How Can You Explain Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs? petscentral December 11, 2015 Pet Training A dog is aggressive to other dogs, especially those he is unfamiliar with, are sometimes considered normal. This dog aggression comes from your dog’s frustration and dominance. However, there are some doubts on dog aggression due to learning and genetic factors. Dog aggression towards other dogs can actually become a problem to dog owner just like you and me. The mere fact that you are already searching the net about this particular behavior means that you have reached your patience limit about this uncanny habits. In such cases, it is really best for you to understand this dog aggression so that you can handle the problem well and good. What Is Dog Aggression? This term is being used by dog owners and breeders alike to best describe a canine-to-canine hostility. The aggression is somewhat related to the dog’s intention of inflicting harm to the other dogs that they have a problem with. There are a lot of factors that contribute to such dog aggression. It is important for a dog owner to know what these factors are in order to help minimize them and in turn decrease the time the dog gets aggressive towards other dogs. These factors include but not limited to: A traumatic experience Being abused by owners Genetic and breeding disposition Early imprinting of an aggressive or serious mother Forceful training methods and techniques Wasn’t exposed to other dogs during their critical socialization period while growing up Lack or no structure in the environment of the dog Lack or no clear direction from its owner Problems in health Physical ailments Territorial behavior With these factors, there is no question as to why some dog to dog aggression occurs. For example, once someone threatens the territory of a certain dog, it is just normal to become aggressive; or if the dog was raised in an abusive environment, then definitely it will also be instilled in his mind that abuse and violence is just normal. If we think about it clearly, dogs are just like humans. When we don’t have a clear direction or if we are having health problems that deemed us with no hope, most of us tend to become aggressive. This is also the case with our dogs. Hence, it is important that we have proper understanding, knowledge and care intended for them. What Are The Symptoms Of Dog Aggression? It is best to know what the symptoms of dog aggression are so that you will be able to stop the behavior before it worsens as soon as you see such signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms include the following: Biting Growling Lip lifting Snapping Intense staring Lunging forward towards other dogs Blocking a dog’s entrance to initiate a fight Fearful or submissive postures: backing away, crouching, lip licking, tucking the tail How To Deal With Dog Aggressive Behaviors? When you deal with dogs having aggressive behaviors, you should not expect that each of them can be given the same treatments and trainings to decrease their aggressiveness. No two dogs are exactly alike, and you need to take into consideration a lot of factors such as their age, preferences, temperament and health for you to come up with a solution. However, no matter what these factors are, you should be clear enough to emphasize and take notice of these things: 1. Have Your Emotions Under Control Most dogs are sensitive to the feelings and emotions of their owners. As a matter of fact, they are even more aware of your emotions than we actually do. So if ever you feel afraid or stressed out, your dog is becoming agitated too. When such situations occur, it is best if you calm yourself down because your dog will also calm down his aggressive feelings. Be sure that you do not grip the leash with constant tension as this will also increase the negative feelings. It is important to keep in mind that when there is another dog in the area and you feel bad about it, do not pull your dog straight from the back as this will increase the chances of him lunging forward into aggression. If you want to remove your dog from the area and away from what you perceive will become a dog fight, you need to pull him out of the side and walk quickly past the other dog. 2. Avoidance Is Also Good Too Most often, we are thought to face our fears and factors that causes anxiety. But sometimes, avoidance is great too. It is best to avoid some things rather than directly face them because it will just lead to more negative feelings and bad situations. If you see another dog, it is best to walk past in a natural pace. This will let your dog know that it is best to avoid rather than confront the others. But ensure that you do not shield your dog while walking as he may think that something is wrong and that he needs to react in order to protect you and himself. If your dog is looking at some other dogs intently, it is best if you move him along so that he will not continue staring. It is important for your dog to know that such behavior of intense stares is bad. 3. It Is Best To Create Space Between Your Dog And Another Dog If there is a tendency that two dogs are walking on the same line towards each other, you need to create space between the two dogs. You may walk your dog in a driveway or perhaps change your direction of walking. However, if this is not very possible at the moment, the best that you can do is to block the view of your dog so that he will not be able to see that other dog. 4. Shield Your Dog From Those With Negative Energies Dogs aggressive towards other dogs are also a result of weak energies from his environment. If someone is having frustrations or are fearful, it is best to keep your dog moving so that it will not generate a transfer of energy. As dogs are very sensitive animals, they can easily pick-up these negativities and channel them within themselves, thus, creating aggression. 5. Know What Triggers Your Dog’s Aggressive Behavior They say that it is best to know who your enemies are, same also goes with dog’s aggression. Though most have the same triggers, some are actually unique to your dog. One factor might be a trigger to some of the dogs, but your dog may act differently. For example, some dogs are typically playful but other dogs perceive such playfulness as a threat to which they respond in aggression. Some dogs look naturally dominant and superior which threatens the other dogs that he passes by, and this also triggers aggression. In such cases, when you already know that aggression is slowly building up in your dog, you’d better take a different route and stay away from the other dog to prevent a dog brawl. 6. Desensitization Is The Key Desensitization is the process in psychology wherein you diminished the emotional responsiveness of your dog to a negative stimulus after several exposures to it. In desensitization, your dog is trained under a quiet and closed environment. Your dog is exposed to a very weak stimulus. In terms of aggression towards other dogs, they are basically exposed to dogs within a wide distance and as treatment proceeds, this distance is becoming shorter and shorter until the two dogs are already close without aggression. Treatment For Dog Aggressive To Other Dogs Dogs are great pets since it is also considered as a man’s best friend. Though some behaviors such as aggression leads us to fear and get mad at our dogs sometimes, there are still ways that we can do to help lessen such occurrences, this treatment for dogs is very helpful for them to control their aggressive behavior towards each other. Treatment for dog to dog aggression usually depends on the causes of their aggression. We cannot perform treatments if we can’t fully check on your dogs. An accurate assessment on your dog is very essential if you want your dog to be treated. A dog trainer will usually recommend that your dog should undergo a veterinary screening for any medical changes that may be the possible cause of aggression in your dog before recommending or doing any behavioral modifications. There are dogs who are aggressive because of fear which may be because of weak nerves coming from genes or from a traumatic experience that he had while growing up or being trained. For dogs having such fears, the recommended treatments are gradual desensitization and counter-conditioning. The gradual desensitization was previously explained above wherein your dog will be exposed to the object of fear (another dog) slowly to diminish the fearful feeling overtime. The desensitization and counter-conditioning are best accomplished through using several techniques such as toy/play rewards, food rewards and praise rewards. In doing these treatments to your dogs, you should keep in mind that ignoring their aggressive behavior is a big no-no because it will only create more space for them to practice such behaviors. A new treatment option for your dog’s aggression is the behavioral adjustment training or BAT. This treatment uses a functional analysis and systematic desensitization. Your dog’s normal function of increasing distance is being used to reinforce alternative behaviors (ground sniffing, head/body turns, etc). The treatment will include creating set-up situations where your dog will have the choice to offer an alternative behavior where he is allowed and encouraged to walk away. During repetitive treatments, your dog will be able to learn how to use this alternative behavior to increase distance from the stimulus without resulting to any aggression, and in the long run, he will become comfortable with the aggressive trigger. Dog to dog aggression can be treated with cooperative efforts of the dog owner, the trainer and of course, the dog himself. Being the dog owner, I am sure that you love your dog too much, hence, you want what is best for him. If you do not care for your dog, then you should have not checked on this article, right? Since you have checked on this article, it is very evident that you want to help your dog deal with his aggression. Always keep in mind that your dog does not want to become aggressive too. It just so happened that there are aggression triggers on his surroundings that he deemed as a threat to you and to him. Your dog only wants to help and protect you. When your dog is being aggressive and is not listening to you anymore, you might become impatient and result to violence. But, please, do not do so. It is important that you stay away from violence because any form of similar action towards your dog, and any pets for that matter, will just increase their aggressive behavior. Violence will also lead them to fear you and perhaps attack you as well. Furthermore, it is important for you to consult your dog’s veterinarian as well as a professional behavior expert because they have the knowledge and skills that is intended for the specific case of your dog. These professional help can provide certain treatments to your dog such as medications if the aggressive behavior is a result of a medical condition, or perhaps modify your dog’s diet to include some food that can help control his temperament. If you want to purchase another dog and stay away from dog to dog aggression problems, you might consider checking the breeding of the dog you want to purchase. Some dogs are prone to aggressive behaviors compared to others because of their genetic make-ups. It is important for a dog owner like you to research on the breed of your dog so that you will know further understand the ins and outs of his temperament and other conditions. Being a dog owner is not an easy job, and you have to take into consideration many facets and details in order for you to come in accordance with your dog. However, if you are able to help your dog overcome problems such as this dog aggression, then, the feelings of fulfillment is also great and you will learn how to become a better dog owner as well.