How to Stop Dog on Dog Aggression
Training, Tips and Advice
Dog on dog aggression training encompasses management and behavioral modification programs crafted for owners of dogs suffering from inter-dog aggression.
Inter-dog aggression takes place when a dog displays aggression towards unfamiliar dogs or other dogs within the household.
While occasionally such agonistic behaviors are considered normal, it is abnormal when excessive and repeated aggressive behaviors are exhibited towards other dogs.
There are several causes for inter-dog aggression in canines; therefore, identifying the culprit is key so to find the most suitable dog on dog aggression training program.
Understanding Dog on Dog Aggression in Dogs
Normally, dogs try to avoid conflicts by engaging in ritualized aggression. Ritualized aggression encompasses a variety of social signals meant to diffuse the real aggression. Posturing, barking, growling and snapping are all ways dogs demonstrate a conflict but without making contact or causing serious injuries.
Unfortunately, there are cases where actual violence takes place among canines, often leading to serious and even fatal results.
Many times, dog aggression problems arise in multi-dog households once dogs reach social maturity which generally takes place between 18 to 36 months of age. It is not uncommon for two dogs of the same sex to get along for quite some time until around 2 years of age.
Dogs reacting to stranger dogs, on the other hand, are often reacting due to dominance or fear; however, many other predisposing factors are at play when dealing with inter-dog aggressive displays and attacks.
The Inter-Dog Aggression Candidate
Any dog may develop aggressive tendencies under the right circumstances, but some dogs are more predisposed than others to inter-dog aggression. For example, intact dogs are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors linked to dominance, territory, and protective behaviors.
It is also in the breed standard for certain dog breeds to demonstrate confrontational behavior towards dogs of the same sex. Certain small dog breeds may also suffer from "small dog syndrome" also known as "Napoleon Complex".
Among multi-dog households, it is quite easy for a fight to ensue over resources. Toys, food or attention from the owner may spike an altercation among pack members.
Puppy aggression is often seen in sibling rivalry when litter mates live together and are allowed to bond too much. This may lead to potential fights once the puppies reach puberty.
Fearful and timid dogs, on the other hand, may be prone to defensive aggression and this may be genetic at times.
Finally, dogs equipped with a strong predatory drive may attack smaller dogs that trigger a chase response.
Causes of Inter-Dog Aggression
What triggers a dog fight? There are several types of aggression in dogs.
- Fearful aggression is often seen in timid, under-socialized dogs with poor social skills who feel the need to "attack before being attacked".
- A dog attacking intruder dogs that enter its perceived turf is most likely acting out due to territorial aggression.
- Maternal aggression is observed in mother dogs when another dog comes too close to her offspring.
- A dog guarding its food and attempting to attack any dog that comes too close is suffering from food aggression.
- Dominance aggression takes place when dogs of similar rank fight over social status or when a top ranking dog feels challenged by a lower raking dog.
- A dog that feels the need to protect another animal or person from another dog perceived as a threat is resorting to protective aggression.
- Sexual aggression is hormone related and mostly seen in intact male dogs. In the case of re-directed aggression an aroused dog may attack another dog just out of pent-up frustration.
Inter-Dog Aggression Management Tips
Because there can be medical causes for aggression in dogs, it is imperative to have a veterinarian assess a dog displaying unusual aggressive behaviors, especially when they appear out of the blue.
With medical problems ruled out, the next step would be to manage the dog's environment as much as possible. If your dog is not getting along with another dog in your pack, muzzles, puppy crates, barriers, fences and training leashes will help keep troublemakers out of harm's way.
If the aggression is addressed towards unknown dogs, such as during walks or at off-leash parks, the dog would have to always be well under control and kept away from trouble. A protective head halter and a muzzle are good management tools to keep on the aggressive dog during walks. Walking the dog at a safe distance from other dogs is also a must to keep everybody safe.
Dog on Dog Aggression Training Tips
Wondering how to stop dog aggression? Severe cases of inter-dog aggression may require the aid of a professional.
Understanding the body language exhibited by aggressive dogs is the key in preventing full blown attacks from occurring. Depending on the severity of inter-dog aggression, veterinarians may prescribe serotonin reuptake inhibitors and benzodiazepines for cases based on fear and anxiety.
Dog on dog aggression training encompasses a variety of behavior modification programs most commonly including desensitation and counter-conditioning.
Training aggressive dogs often encompasses basic dog training commands which turn particularly helpful in dog on dog aggression training because stationary positions ultimately encourage self-control. A dog that is passively sitting cannot be actively lunging and biting at the same time!
Evaluating the Prognosis for Inter-Dog Aggression
It is imperative for dog owners to realize that there are no guarantees when it comes to treating a dog affected by inter-dog aggression. Management, dog on dog aggression training and behavior modification programs may need to be implemented for the rest of the dog's life. While the aggressive displays may be reduced with dog on dog aggression training, they often cannot be completely eliminated and relapses may occur.
In severe cases of dog on dog aggression in multi-dog households, one option would be to keep the dogs separated by using separate sleeping rooms, offering rotational walks and potty breaks and investing in double gates.
Rehoming the dog may be an alternative to keeping the dogs separated for most of the time. A dog suffering from dog to dog aggression indeed can make a great pet in a home where he is the only dog.
Punishment should have no place in a dog on dog aggression training program. Indeed, it could only make the problems much worse.
Here is a brief video that talks about some of the things we just covered in this article...
Dog to dog aggression is a major behavioral problem that can put a big dent in the lives of dogs and dog owners. For this reason, it cannot be emphasized enough the importance of early socialization in puppies along with training.
Dog on dog aggression training is mostly remedial work over a problem that in several cases could have been prevented or managed better. However, the good news is that dog on dog aggression training along with an appropriate behavior modification program can significantly help owners manage the problem and help dogs lead better lives.
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