What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites?

Usually conversations about serious behavioral problems include three primary options for dealing with all serious behavioral problems: 1) Keep the dog and work with a trainer or behaviorist to mitigate or manage the problem, 2) re-home the dog if it can be done safely and responsibly, and 3) euthanize the dog.


How do you stop a dog from aggressively biting?

Start training early to minimize this kind of possessive behavior. Teaching the “Leave it” command works well in preventing toy aggression. Food aggression can be avoided by teaching your dog to wait while you put their food down. Teach them to sit or lie down and then remove their food and then put it back.

Can an aggressive dog be cured?

Treatment. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a cure for aggression. Aggressive behaviors are managed and reduced through proper treatment with a veterinary behavioral professional. It’s also essential to understand that aggression is a behavioral problem, not an issue of obedience.

Will a vet put down an aggressive dog?

In addition to aggression, dogs are euthanized for separation anxiety, resource guarding and even just unruly behaviors. Many of these less serious behavior issues can often be addressed with the help of a competent certified dog behavior specialist or animal behaviorist.

Can an aggressive dog be trained not to bite?

Once you know why your dog is growling, you can begin a dog training program to teach your dog to become more comfortable in those situations. In this way, you correct the problem that causes potential aggression rather than taking away your dog’s ability to warn you it may bite.

How do you discipline a dog that snaps at you?

Counter Conditioning For example, if your dog snaps at you when you wear boots, he might be displaying fear aggression related to being stepped on. Desensitize him by leaving the boots out. If he approaches the boots, praise him and give him a treat. When he’s fine with the unworn boots, put them on.

Why is my dog aggressive all of a sudden?

1 Your suddenly aggressive dog may have an injury or an illness that’s causing major discomfort and stress. Some possible causes of pain include arthritis, bone fractures, internal injuries, various tumors, and lacerations. Other illnesses may affect your dog’s brain, leading to seemingly unreasonable aggression.

Is there a pill for aggressive dogs?

Often used in canines for generalized fears and obsessive-compulsive behaviors, this category of medication includes Fluoxetine, Prozac, and Zoloft. SSRIs are one of the most frequently prescribed medication for anxiety disorders, and Fluoxetine is one of the more successful treatment methods for aggression issues.

How many times can a dog bite before being put down?

How Many Times Can A Dog Bite Before Being Put Down. In order to be euthanized, the dog must have bitten people on two separate occasions or caused substantial physical injury after being trained to fight, attack or kill. Still, someone’s dog will never be euthanized automatically.

Should I get rid of my dog if he bit my child?

If the bite is less severe — or more of a nip — giving the dog away might not be the most popular option. If parents choose to give their pup another chance, they should have a plan in place. In short, it’s completely up to the parents as to whether they give their dog away or not.

When should I put my dog down for aggression?

If a dog has a bite history, it is important to note the frequency and severity of the bites that have occurred. Generally speaking, the more severe or frequent the bites are, the more likely you’ll have consider euthanizing your dog.

Why do you have to put a dog down if it bites?

When a dog is put down, it’s usually because there is a history of aggression including the dog having bitten in the past. It’s even more important to never ignore signs of aggression and to take whatever steps you can to prevent your dog from biting.

How much does it cost to euthanize an aggressive dog?

How much does it cost to put an aggressive dog down? The average cost of dog euthanasia is between $50 and $300; however, there are additional costs and considerations that pet owners need to be aware of as well.

Dog Behavior Problems Aggression To Family Members Introduction And Safety

There are a variety of reasons why a dog may become aggressive against members of one’s own family. Aggression stemming from conflict, fear-based aggressiveness, defensive aggression, status-related aggression, possessive aggression, food guarding violence, and redirected aggression are some of the most prevalent causes. If your dog is aggressive toward family members, it may be challenging, hazardous, unpleasant, and infuriating to live with (see Aggression – Diagnosis and Overview for more information).

Should I keep a dog that is aggressive toward family members?

There are a plethora of compelling arguments for having a pet in your life. Their presence enhances our lives in many ways: they give company, allow us to share experiences, nurture, entertain, and enrich our lives. Therefore, the decision to spend your life with a dog who is violent toward you should not be chosen lightly. The capacity to ensure the safety of those who will be in the vicinity of the dog must take precedence over all other considerations in making the decision. In certain houses, the family composition, daily commitments, and other considerations may make retaining and rehabilitating an aggressive dog unfeasible and perhaps harmful, if not impossible.

The only way to ensure that a dog will not become hostile again is to euthanize him when he becomes aggressive.

How do we assess the risk of keeping an aggressive dog?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 800,000 individuals seek medical care for dog bites each year, with half of those being children (see Aggression – Children). Do not be fooled into thinking that dog attacks are uncommon; they are everyday occurrences in the life of ordinary families, and it is believed that 15 percent of dog owners have been bitten by their own dogs. Having bit someone, a dog has demonstrated his propensity to employ biting as a behavioral technique, at least in that setting, and is thus more likely to bite in the future.

Considering the context, the harm inflicted by the bite, the choices the dog took, such as his desire to prevent escalation to a bite by growling, snarling, or snapping, and the diagnosis of the kind of aggressiveness, one can determine the severity of a bite in most cases.

Aren’t all bites the same?

All bites should be taken seriously; nevertheless, the circumstances and choices made by the dog throughout the event may provide some insight as to what alternatives the dog explored before retaliating with aggressiveness. In general, most dogs are able to maintain good control over the intensity and ferocity of their biting behavior. “Dogs that are prepared to use violence to alter the result of a situation are very difficult to cure,” says the author. It is possible that some bites are repressed and will not leave any imprints on the skin.

Bite wounds that are more violent may cause the skin to break, puncture wounds that are superficial or deep, many punctures that are present, or ripping and shearing injuries.

In some cases, dogs bite only once and then retreat, whereas in others, they bite many times during the same incident. Some dogs bite when they feel threatened or when they are in close proximity to them; other dogs rush from the other side of the room.

How do we avoid aggression and keep family members safe?

The first step in ensuring the safety of family members and the commencement of the process of behavior change is to ensure the safety of family members and to prevent bites. First, identify any events that might lead to aggressiveness and take steps to prevent the dog from being exposed to these situations (by caging or confining the dog, using a muzzle, or manipulating the environment) or otherwise control the dog in the event that a confrontational situation arises (e.g., leash and head halter control, tie down).

Although the long-term objective would be to decrease or eliminate the possibility of aggressiveness in these settings, each new incident has the potential to cause damage and further escalation of the situation.

The use of a correctly fitted basket muzzle is much more efficient at avoiding bites, and it may be necessary in some instances.

Once a family decides to begin a behavior modification program for aggressiveness, their capacity to keep others safe and prevent hostile episodes must be regularly reevaluated in order to maintain success.

Don’t we just need to show our dog that we are alpha or dominant for the aggression to stop?

It seems unlikely that aggression toward family members is connected to one’s level of dominance or social standing. As a result of this prevalent misperception, unsuitable treatment measures may be implemented, and the violent behavior may deteriorate more as a result. Aggression in dogs is frequently motivated by fear, anxiety, conflict about what to expect and what to do, and the anticipation of possible punishment (see Aggression – Diagnosis and Overview, (Dominance, Alpha-ship, and Pack Leadership – What Does It Really Mean?, and Canine Communication – Interpreting Dog Language for more information.) The following conclusion follows: If anxiety and fear underlie aggressive responses, then training programs designed to enforce the human family members as alpha or dominance through confrontation and intimidation-based interventions will actually increase rather than decrease anxiety and the associated aggressive responses (see Figure 1).

While strategies aimed to acquire pack leadership, alpha status, or dominance over your dog are effective, they do not address the underlying issue of dread or anxiety, as well as a lack of awareness of what to anticipate or how to behave in a given circumstance.

While maintaining control and having consistent interactions with the pet are beneficial, they should be accomplished in a non-confrontational manner that reduces anxiety and conflict rather than increasing those underlying feelings.

What can be done for my dog’s aggression?

A complete history and evaluation of aggressive episodes, as well as your dog’s behavioral history, are required in order to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment strategy. When looking for someone to assist you with your pet’s behavior problem, look for suggestions to follow. A behavior modification program will typically include the avoidance of triggers, the teaching of new responses, positive reinforcement for desirable behaviors, control with a head halter and leash, training exercises for response substitution, and desensitization for the dog’s significant triggers (see Behavior Consultations – Seeing a Behaviorist, Getting Started, Diagnosing a Behavior Problem – Is It Medical or Behavioral?, and Aggression – Introduction for additional information).

“Dogs that are prepared to use violence to alter the result of a situation are very difficult to cure,” says the author.

How do I gain effective control of my dog?

During the early stages of their relationship with their dog, it is critical that family members establish themselves as excellent parental leaders for the dog. Animal trainers that are competent at what they do treat their dogs in the same way that good parents would treat their children or a good teacher would treat a student As a pet owner, it is critical to give consistency, patience, perseverance, regularity, and predictability to your animal companions. Rewarding positive behaviors provides knowledge to the dog, which may then be used as a guide for the dog’s interactions with you in the future.

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This is achieved through the use of incentive-based teaching, physical control mechanisms, and close monitoring.

While you acquire control over your dog’s behavior, he also develops control over his rewards by “offering” you the behaviors that will help him learn the ones that you want him to learn.

While your dog looks away, lowers its head, or avoids you, especially when you are reprimanding it, this is a sign of deference, appeasement, and submission, as well as an attempt to bring the interaction to a close (see Canine Communication – Interpreting Dog Language for more information).

Remember that just because a dog defers in one situation does not imply that he will do so in another. Each situation is distinct, and the dogs’ desire for the resource in issue is taken into consideration while determining the response.

How can I treat my dog’s aggression?

Starting with educating the dog what you DO NOT want him/her to do, treatment programs will progress. This is usually accomplished through the use of a positive reinforcement-based training program. Depending on the specific dog and scenario, tasks such as training a dog to go to a confinement area on cue, sit and stay for rewards, or get off/on furniture on command (see Reinforcement and Rewards, Learn to Earn – Predictable Rewards, and Working for Food) may be taught to him. Control devices, such as head halters and leashes, help to maintain control and safety without the use of harsh, firm corrections, while also reducing the likelihood of aggression occurring (see Training Products – Head Halter Training and Training Products – Head Halter Training – Synopsis for more information).

In order to prevent the dog from becoming overwhelmed to the point of aggression or defensiveness, classical counter-conditioning, desensitization, and exposure gradients are used.

As a result of these changes, the dog is held accountable for obeying new orders while also being lavishly rewarded for making new, suitable judgments.

What can be done if my dog refuses to obey my commands?

It is critical that the owner avoid any conflict or circumstance that might result in injury or in which the owner would not be able to gain control in a safe manner. It may be feasible to set up circumstances and the surrounding environment in such a way that the dog is compelled to cooperate. The use of “force” or confrontation with your dog is unproductive since it may result in resistance and aggressiveness. Instead, determine whether or not compliance can be accomplished in each circumstance individually.

As previously said, fitting the dog with a remote leash and head halter, which can then be used to take the dog for walks and left attached while the dog is indoors and the owner is present, will allow you to get more instant control (except for bedtime).

If you want to ensure success and physical control, the head halter and remote leash are good tools to have on hand.

What is the prognosis for dogs that show aggression toward their family?

Dogs that are willing to use violence to influence the outcome of a situation are seldom healed, but they may frequently be managed. Predictable interactions, the avoidance of aggression-provoking stimuli, and a regular daily schedule of exercise, play, and social contact are all factors that can help to improve behavior. Some dogs, on the other hand, may continue to be hostile toward family members and to pose a danger to people who live with them as a result. Certain household settings may make it hard to successfully rehabilitate an aggressive dog while also protecting people from injury or damage.

For each individual instance, a veterinary behaviorist must conduct an evaluation and provide continuing follow-up to establish whether or not progress has been achieved (seeAggression – Introduction and Aggression – Getting Started – Safety and Management).

How to Stop Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

It is possible that you have a behavioral problem of aggression on your hands if your dog habitually growls, snaps, or bites. One of the most common reasons dog owners seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist is because their dog is aggressive. Not only are larger dogs and so-called “dangerous breeds” more prone to violence, but any breed is capable of turning violent if the correct circumstances are present. Although aggressiveness cannot be eradicated overnight, there are actions you can do to reduce aggressive behavior and assist your dog in remaining calm in stressful situations.

Why Do Dogs Behave Aggressively?

If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior, it is because he or she is preparing for an attack or is anticipating one. This includes becoming motionless and rigid, grinning, snarling, baring fangs, lunging, and nipping at the orbital region of the opponent. The first step in putting an end to this behavior is to determine what is generating your dog’s hostility. While they’re eating or chewing a bone, some dogs will growl when someone approaches them and approaches them too close. Others respond angrily toward children or strangers, while others are passive.

When around other animals, some dogs become hostile.

The most important thing to remember is that you cannot come up with a plan to alter your dog’s behavior unless you understand the underlying cause of his behavior.

  • When a dog exhibits territorial aggressiveness, it protects its territory or your house against what it perceives to be an invader. Protective aggressiveness: When a dog defends its pack members against another animal or a person, it is called protective aggression. Besides that, mother dogs are particularly protective of their puppies and may turn aggressive toward anybody who comes close to their territory. When a dog exhibits possessive aggressiveness, it is protecting something that is important to it, such as food, chew toys, bones, or another object of value. This is referred to as resource guarding in some circles.

Elvira Kolomiytseva is a photographer who works for Getty Images.

  • When confronted with a frightening circumstance, the dog feels afraid and attempts to flee, but when trapped, the dog attacks. Defensive aggression is similar to fear aggression in that the dog attacks in defense of something rather than attempting to flee first, as in fear aggression. Other, more subtle indicators that they wish to be left alone have often been provided by these dogs before biting, such as turning their heads away. Social aggression: When the dog is in a social context, he reacts aggressively to other canines. Canines who have not been properly socialized with other dogs and people may also show signs of aggressive behavior.

Tim Harrison is a Getty Images contributor.

  • Frustration-induced aggression: When the dog is restrained on a leash or in a fenced yard, he or she exhibits aggressive behavior. When a dog is overstimulated and unable to respond to the stimulus, he or she may exhibit undesirable behavior. Sometimes a dog will grow extremely enthusiastic, such as before going for a walk, and will bite its owner in the face. Redirected aggression: If a human attempts to break up a dog fight, the dog may become angry against the person who attempted to break up the fight. Additionally, it may occur if the dog is unable to approach the object of its animosity, such as a neighboring dog on the other side of a fence. Pain-induced aggression: When a dog is hurt or in pain, it exhibits aggressive behavior. Sexually motivated aggression: When two male canines or two female dogs are competing for the attention of a partner, they become violent. If the animal is still in its natural state, this can be avoided by spaying and neutering the dog. Predatory aggression: While the dog exhibits predatory behavior, such as when pursuing after prey, he behaves aggressively without giving much warning. When a youngster is playing chase with a dog, this inclination may create a severe safety hazard for him or her. Dogs with predatory aggressiveness may first appear to be playing a harmless game, but they may suddenly turn on the youngster and bite him or her.

courtesy of Kypros / Getty Images

Signs That Your Dog May Become Aggressive

It is vital to watch a pattern of warning indicators, such as the following, in order to identify aggressive behavior in any dog:

  • Growling and snapping are common. An immovable body and a rapidly wagging tail
  • Yawning or licking one’s lips
  • Averting one’s eyes Fur was raised
  • Cowering and tucking of the tail
  • Seeing through the whites of the eyes

Not all dogs who display this behavior are normally violent; many of the warning indicators are also indicative of worry or fear in the dog’s environment.

How to Stop Aggression

Record when your dog becomes hostile as well as the events that led up to the behavior. This will play a significant role in selecting what you should do after that. It is critical to identify and address the underlying causes of the aggressive behavior. The conduct is only a sign of a more serious underlying issue. There are a variety of approaches you may use to reduce the animosity and assist your dog in remaining calm. It will need patience, persistence, and, in certain cases, the assistance of a professional.

See Your Veterinarian

Those dogs that aren’t ordinarily violent but who suddenly show aggressive habits might be suffering from an underlying medical condition. Hyperthyroidism, severe injuries, and neurological issues such as encephalitis, epilepsy, and brain tumors are all examples of health conditions that can lead to aggressiveness.

In order to discover whether this is the situation with your dog, consult with your veterinarian. Your dog’s behavior may improve significantly as a result of treatment or medication.

Call in a Professional

If your veterinarian has determined that your dog does not have a medical condition, it is time to consult with a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. As a result of the severity of the problem, it is not recommended that you attempt to solve it on your own. A specialist can assist you in determining what is causing your dog’s aggressiveness and developing a plan for dealing with it. Request a reference from your veterinarian, or get in touch with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers for help finding a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Create a Plan

A behaviorist or trainer can assist you in determining the most effective method of dealing with your dog’s hostility. In the majority of circumstances, positive reinforcement will be used to teach your dog new actions. Consider the following scenario: if your dog is moderately hostile towards strangers, begin by standing far away from someone your dog is unfamiliar with. You should be a safe distance away from your dog so that he does not snarl or snap at you. Then, as you gradually close the gap between your dog and the stranger, continue to utilize positive reinforcement by rewarding him with lots of goodies and praise.

This similar approach may be used to acclimatize your dog to a number of existing conditions as well as new ones.

Avoid Punishment

Punishing your dog for aggressive behavior almost always backfires and can actually increase the level of hostility in your dog. Using unpleasant methods like as beating, scolding, or otherwise reprimanding a growling dog, the dog may feel the need to protect itself by biting you. Punishment may also result in your dog biting someone else without notice as a result of the punishment. Example: A dog who growls at youngsters is trying to communicate his discomfort with being around them. If you penalize a dog for growling, he may not warn you the next time he feels uncomfortable, and instead may bite you in response.

Watch Now: How to Train Your Dog With Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to some situations, training alone is not sufficient. Dogs who are aggressive may also require medication to help them handle their behavior problem more effectively. When a dog is feeling fear, worry, or anxiety, it’s crucial to remember that the dog is incapable of learning new behaviors. Consider medicine as a technique for assisting your dog in overcoming this phobia. Many dogs will only require medicine for a short period of time. Consult with your veterinarian to learn more about your choices.

Handle Unavoidable Situations

Finally, you must assess if your way of life will allow you to keep to a schedule. Consider the following scenario: If you have a dog who is hostile toward children and you also have children, it is practically hard to avoid the setting that triggers the hostility. In this situation, finding a new home for your dog that is strictly for adults may be the best solution for both of you. If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

If Aggressive Dog Threatens You, Know What to Do

Would you know what to do if you were confronted with an aggressive, dangerous dog out of nowhere? And what if you’re bitten by a snake? During an appearance on “The Early Show” on Tuesday, resident veterinarian Dr. Debbye Turner Bellprovided crucial tips for preventing and treating canine attacks. Moreover, she shared some sound advice on how to prevent your dog from getting hostile. Dogs bite around 4.7 million people in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with one in every five bites requiring medical care – or approximately 800,000 individuals every year.

  • WHAT CAUSES DOGS TO BITE Many factors contribute to a dog’s biting behavior, and many of them have nothing to do with the dog being vicious.
  • Canines will bite as a self-defense response when they perceive themselves to be threatened, uncertain, or challenged.
  • Dogs are territorial creatures who will defend their territory at any costs.
  • A dog that is taken by surprise will bite.
  • Dogs who have not been properly socialized and taught are more prone to bite than dogs that have been properly trained.
  • Neither a particular breed nor a particular breed or kind of dog is more prone to biting than others.

According to the website HealthyPet.com: “A study conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Humane Society of the United States analyzed dog bite statistics from the previous 20 years and discovered that no breed is inherently more dangerous than others based on the data collected.

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In the 1970s, for example, there were a large number of fatal attacks from Doberman pinschers, owing to the fact that Dobermans were quite popular at the time and there were more Dobermans about, as well as the fact that Doberman pinschers’ size made their bites more hazardous.

A further finding of the study was that there are no accurate statistics available for nonfatal dog bites, making it impossible to determine how frequently smaller breeds are biting.” THE APPROPRIATE METHOD OF APPROACHING A DOG WHO IS UNFAMILIAR 1) First and foremost, obtain the owner’s approval!

  • Allow the dog to come up to your hand and sniff your palm.
  • Never pet a dog that has his ears pulled back, his head down on the ground, or who growls or cowers.
  • Keep your hands away from his tummy, tail, ears, and feet.
  • 2) Approaching at eye level, very near, and with a smile.
  • That is an open invitation to engage in combat!
  • 4) Ignoring their warnings and proceeding anyhow!
  • They’re telling you that they don’t like what you’re doing and that you should quit.

5) Inappropriate touching: Dogs often do not appreciate having their ears, tails, or feet tugged.

This is a pose of submission, and an aggressive dog will put up a fierce fight against this “challenge.” WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE THREATENED BY AN ANGRY DOG 1) Maintain your composure and stillness.

This is a race that you will not be able to win.

Don’t turn your back on them.

3) Avoid making direct eye contact.

4) Do not give the dog a friendly smile.

Screaming and yelling in a loud, angry tone only serves to enrage the dog.


Maintain your composure.

Please do not hit the dog.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU GET BITE 1) If the bite is severe, call 911 immediately.

If the wound is deep, painful, discolored, or swollen, consult with a medical professional immediately.

4) Report the bite to your local authorities and veterinarian.

This is not only good for the health of your dog, it can decrease the dog’s drive to roam, and compete for the affections of the opposite sex.

2) Avoid playing “tug of war” with a dog.

If they “win,” they feel empowered.

3) Avoid “roughhousing” with, or other sudden movements toward the dog’s owner.

4) Socialize and behavior-train your dog.

NEVER bother a dog while he is eating.

6) Have enough toys for your multiple dog household, so that the dogs don’t have to share.

7) Do not allow your dog to roam unsupervised or off-leash.

The dogs seen on the show: Pablo (A863679) – 3 yr.

7 pounds.

Very well done.

Coco is a female pit bull that is one and a half years old. Madison is a Blue Merle Pit Bull Mix with a white coat. Age: six years old. To find out if Pablo or Coco are available for adoption, get in touch with New York Animal Care and Control. Contact information may be found at 646 235 8127.

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My dog is being aggressive, what should I do? – RSPCA Knowledgebase

Attacking one or more persons is described as a threat, challenge, or attack on their person or person’s property. Visible signs of hostility include changes in body posture, piloerection (hair raising up), and auditory signs like as snarling and barking. Aggression may also entail the use of teeth and, in some cases, claws. All behavior is influenced by the impacts of genetics, learning, and the environment, among other factors. Depending on the situation, aggression may be considered normal or pathological.

There are several types of dog aggressiveness that have been identified, including:

  • Territorial aggressiveness — the dog defends its territory by barking, growling, snarling, and biting
  • Predatory hostility — the dog hunts tiny animals and birds in complete silence. Drooling is a typical symptom in newborns who are being stalked by the creature.
  • The dog may bark, growl, or snarl while backing up in reaction to humans or other animals, indicating that it is afraid of them. Despite the fact that its tail and ears are down, the dog displays anxious body posture. It is possible that the dog will bite you from behind and flee. Whenever it finds itself in a tight spot, it hunts for escape routes.
  • Pain aggression is a type of hostility that occurs in response to being manipulated or experiencing a painful experience.
  • The act of inflicting pain on another person, generally in retaliation to being manipulated or experiencing an unpleasant situation
  • Sexually-related aggressiveness– this type of hostility is most commonly seen between intact male canines.

Scientific investigations have found that the assumptions that particular breeds of dogs (and all individuals within those breeds) would be violent are unfounded and unsupported. According to the RSPCA Australia, any dog of any size, breed, or mixture of breeds may be harmful, and as a result, canines should not be classified as dangerous only on the basis of their breed.

How can aggression be treated?

Aggression is a condition that may be treated and controlled successfully. To do so, however, it is necessary to identify the type of aggressiveness present as well as the ‘triggers,’ or the circumstances that cause the violent behavior. We strongly advise you to talk with your veterinarian, who may be able to assist you or send you to a veterinary behavior expert for evaluation and therapy. Behavioral modification strategies are frequently used in the treatment of aggressive behavior. Positive reinforcement is the foundation of these strategies; they are designed to reward ‘excellent’ behavior while avoiding encouraging ‘unwanted’ behavior.

An nervous dog on leash, for example, may feel uneasy when it sees a strange dog approaching from a distance and may react by becoming more aggressive as the unfamiliar dog gets closer to him.

If the dog’s owner decides to reprimand or punish the dog at this point, the dog may come to link new persons or dogs with both punishment and fear, reinforcing the anxiety-related aggressiveness and making the situation worse.

Dog Bites: How to Manage a Dog Willing to Bite

Having a dog with behavioral issues may be a frustrating experience. Discover more about your dog, learn how to handle your dog, and then focus on the present issues you are experiencing with your dog in this post. If your dog has demonstrated a willingness to bite, the information provided below may be of assistance in keeping him safe and happy. First and foremost, if the dog’s violent behavior is new to you, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues.

Instead of being hostile, the dog’s fearful actions are more often than not branded as such by the owner.

Read this resource (as well as the ones listed below) to help your dog become less scared and more comfortable in the world. You should also work with a relationship-based behavior consultant and a veterinarian, and engage your family and friends in the training to ensure consistency.

Managing a dog with behavior challenges

When trying to change a dog’s behavior, management is a vital component of the process. “Managing” refers to taking the necessary steps to keep your dog from engaging in undesired behaviors or emotions while yet providing him with a high level of comfort and well-being. In order to do this, you must first get to know your dog, then assist him in being as sociable as possible, and then supervise your dog when required — all with the ultimate objective of keeping him comfortable and secure for the rest of his life.

  1. Allowing your dog to damage a human or another animal is, as you are surely aware, not an acceptable behavior.
  2. Every time your dog engages in a certain behavior, he becomes more proficient at it.
  3. Don’t wait until your dog has bitten someone before seeking assistance.
  4. In extreme situations, the dog’s inappropriate conduct may finally result in his death.
  5. There are a variety of approaches that may be used to control a dog and his environment so that he does not have the chance to engage in behavior that could get him in trouble.
  • Put up signs throughout the house conveying current training guidelines to ensure that everyone in the family is on the same page when it comes to the dog’s training
  • And In the case of a need, physical and visual barriers such as doors, X-pens, and baby gates should be installed. Create a secure haven for your dog in the form of a crate. Make your dog wear a vest that reads “Dog in training” when you are out in public with him
  • This will keep him safe and protected. Create a basket muzzle for the dog (see illustration below)
  • Whenever possible, choose high-value goodies (items that the dog considers particularly delicious) that can be administered through a muzzle. Employing natural remedies such as L-theanine and aromatherapy (such as BlackWing Farms products) to assist control the dog’s general emotional condition is a good idea.

Place signs throughout the house that communicate current training guidelines to ensure that everyone in the family is on the same page when it comes to the dog’s training. If required, construct physical and visual barriers, such as doors, X-pens, and baby gates. Create a secure environment for your dog by crate training him. Make your dog wear a vest that reads “Dog in training” when you are out in public with him; this will keep him safe. Create a basket muzzle for the dog to wear (see the illustration below); When training your dog, give him high-value goodies (something he will like eating) that can be provided via a muzzle.

Getting to know your dog

Learning about your dog will enable you to recognize his triggers (things that lead him to act in an unfavorable manner) and strategies to avoid them in the future. Similar to people, dogs communicate through body language, which means that your dog is communicating with his full body rather than just his tail or his vocalizations alone. Learning to interpret the body language of your dog can help you understand how your dog is feeling at any given time. Before rising to snarling, lunging, or biting, a dog will usually send various indications.

More information may be found in the article ” Dog Body Language.” Growing up, many people chastised their dogs for growling, believing that the dog was being “bad” and that asking him not to growl would cease the behavior and resolve the issue.

If you punish your dog for growling, he may growl less in the future, giving you less notice before he bites you.

It is true that punishing the growling has no effect on the underlying emotional condition that is causing the behavior; but, it does educate him not to communicate with you in the future.

When a dog attack comes apparently out of nowhere, it is common for the dog to have a history of being punished or having his warning signals disregarded by his owners. Learn more about the body language of dogs.

Working with your dog

Dogs are typically scared because they have had negative encounters with something or because they have had no experience with something that makes them uncomfortable. Providing you work with your dog gently and persistently, you will most likely be able to assist him in feeling better about whatever has previously caused him discomfort. After excluding the possibility of a medical explanation for the behavior, begin training by teaching fundamental cues utilizing relationship-based training approaches.

  • Serve as a kind, compassionate, and patient educator.
  • Working with your dog at home, away from any distractions, is a good place to start.
  • Once he has learned the fundamentals of good manners, you may begin working with him in various settings, including those with additional distractions.
  • Provide plenty of positive reinforcement, but make the dog work for it.
  • Also keep in mind that, although though training is a serious endeavor, your dog should enjoy himself while he is learning.
  • Consider what you were doing at the time.
  • Rewind a step or two – to a location where the dog was having a good time.

Is it possible that you become annoyed or angry?

The vast majority of medically sound dogs will react to compassionate, gentle instruction by making consistent progress in the training process.

Any type of discomfort, sickness, or damage to a dog’s body might have a negative impact on his or her behavior.

Having a skilled specialist assist you in working with your dog on his individual behavior difficulties may be really beneficial.

Continue to put in the effort and reward him for the rest of his life.

In this article, you will learn about relationship-based dog training.

Please note that Best Friends Animal Society is not liable for any injuries that may occur as a result of employing the techniques mentioned in this article. Anyone who employs the procedures discussed here does so entirely at his or her own own.

Rehoming An Aggressive Dog: When Is It Time To Say Goodbye?

No matter what the circumstances are, saying goodbye to your dog is terrible no matter what. In my family’s instance, we had to say goodbye to one of our dogs since he was growing increasingly violent as the years went by. This was not a choice we took lightly, but in the end, we felt it was in the best interests of everyone involved. After all, we didn’t want our dog to act on his hostility and end up injuring or killing another person. This was the greatest option for us in the hopes that he would be adopted into a permanent family where he will be more comfortable and less intimidated.

Our History With An Aggressive Dog

Kopa, a one-year-old treeing walker coonhound (TWC), was adopted by us in November of last year. He and I both agreed that it was one of the happiest days of our respective lives. In search of a companion for Sally, our 4-year-old TWC mix, we came across Kopa, who we believed was a suitable match for her. We were aware that it would take time for us all to bond as a family, so we made a point of taking many walks together, scheduling plenty of games, and setting aside some time for cuddling on the sofa together.

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Unfortunately, our bonding with Kopa did not go as well as we had hoped.

It was very uncommon for Pat to try to embrace Kopa and encourage him to sit, or to create room for Sally on the dog bed by shifting Kopa slightly, but he would respond with a snarl.

He’s a large dog with a vicious bite that may cause serious injury.

KopaSally’s Relationship

Sally was never threatened by Kopa at any point. Sally is a highly dominating dog, and Kopa was quite content to accept her position of subordination. The moment Kopa crossed the boundary, she would notify him and he would accept her decision. The two of them were always a pleasure to be around. Learn more about dog-on-dog aggressiveness by watching this video.

What Do Trainers Advise For Aggressive Dogs?

It was our dog trainer who informed us that Kopa’s conduct was due to the fact that we were not asserting ourselves and showing him that we were the alphas. (To put it another way, we needed to be more like Sally.) We were given recommendations on how to correct this undesirable habit, and we were given permission to borrow a muzzle to make ourselves more comfortable throughout this training time. Unfortunately, putting these suggestions into action simply served to exacerbate the matter more.

How To Rehome An Aggressive Dog

Because I work from home, I am able to spend as much time as I want with my dogs. They are my employees, and they provide me with lots of opportunities to chuckle on my treks to the “water cooler.” Their snoring and twitching always bring a smile to my face, and I like the enthusiasm they display when it is time to go to bed. It’s like they recognize the sound of me shutting off my wireless keyboard and mouse and leap with pleasure because they know it’s time to feed or play. Even after three months of unconditional love, adoration, and care for Kopa, the aggressiveness continued.

  1. This was without a doubt one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make.
  2. Kopa had gained a foothold in my heart far more quickly than I had anticipated.
  3. Despite the fact that most of the snarling was directed at Pat, he was just as upset as I was.
  4. Nonetheless, it was that tiny fraction of undesirable and frightening conduct that prevented us from being able to let our guard completely down.
  5. This was a condition of our adoption of Kopa.
  6. Some may argue that three months isn’t long enough to give a relationship a fair chance.
  7. However, despite the fact that we believed we had done all possible, the situation continued to deteriorate.

We put Kopa’s needs above all else and did everything we could to meet them. We concentrated our efforts on training him and ensuring that he had adequate nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Unfortunately, none of this seemed to make a difference in the end.

Where To Surrender An Aggressive Dog

Because I work from home, I am able to spend as much time as I want with my dogs. I love it. On my daily excursions to the “water cooler,” I am entertained by my coworkers, who provide me with a lot of laughter. Snoring and twitching usually make me smile, and I like the enthusiasm they display when it’s time to go to bed at the end of the day. It’s like they recognize the sound of me shutting off my wireless keyboard and mouse and immediately leap for delight because they know it’s time to feed or play.

  1. We came to the conclusion that it would be better if we assisted him in finding a new residence.
  2. When I got home, I was a wreck.
  3. Pat had been a dog lover for a long time before I became one.
  4. A number of attractive characteristics distinguish Kopa.
  5. As part of our agreement to adopt Kopa from the shelter, there was a provision that said that if we needed to rehome Kopa for whatever reason, we would return him to the same shelter.
  6. Some may argue that three months isn’t long enough to give a relationship a fair chance.
  7. However, despite the fact that we believed we had done all possible, things proceeded to deteriorate worse.
  8. We concentrated our efforts on training him and ensuring that he received adequate nutrition, exercise, and sleeping conditions.

Contact The Shelter Or Breeder You Adopted From

If you adopted your dog from a shelter or breeder, the first place we’d recommend you contact is them. Many of them have requirements in the adoption process that state that if a dog is in need of rehoming, you must notify them first before contacting anyone else (this is how our adoption with Kopa was). Inform the shelter or breeder about your dog’s aggressive behavior in a fully honest manner. Some dogs are trainable, but they require the attention of someone who is knowledgeable about dog aggressiveness and how to eliminate it.

No-Kill Shelters

Some animal shelters will not accept violent pets. Others may put them down if they pose a threat to the lives of other dogs. Furthermore, they may not have the financial means to rehabilitate the dog.

If this is the case, look for a no-kill shelter to take the animal. No-kill shelters, on the other hand, are not guaranteed, because if a dog has a history of biting, it might make it more difficult for the shelter to allow the dog into the facility.

Ask Pet Specialists

If all of the shelters who respond indicate they are unable to accept your violent dog, inquire as to if any volunteers or pet professionals may be available who may have the time, expertise, and financial resources to have the dog tested by a behaviorist. The dog may be able to be put in a household that does not have the triggers that cause his violence, depending on the circumstances of the case. Example: If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior against other dogs, placing him in a household where there are no other dogs may resolve the issue.

What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites?

There are a variety of choices available when dealing with an aggressive dog that bites.

  1. Obtain the assistance of a trainer or behaviorist to eradicate or manage the issue. The methods described above will assist you in finding a new home for your dog. If the dog’s hostility becomes threatening to humans and other animals, it should be put down.

Why We Chose To Say Goodbye

Given that Kopa’s growling was becoming more frequent, we determined that it was necessary to return him to the shelter from where he had been adopted. There were several important reasons why we believed this was the right course of action for Kopa and us.

We All Need To Feel Safe At Home

Given that Kopa’s growling was becoming more frequent, we determined that it was necessary to return him to the shelter from where he had been adopted. Several important factors led us to believe that this was the right course of action for Kopa and ourselves.

Young KidsAggressive Dogs

An other factor for our decision to say goodbye to Kopa was that we were expecting a child in August of 2018. The fact that Sally is often around our small nieces and nephews has always made us feel comfortable with her presence. But when there were youngsters about, we found ourselves hanging around Kopa, which was a little uncomfortable. After all, if seemingly innocuous gestures such as hugging and gently shifting Kopa to make room for Sally can bring out growls in him, what’s to say that a small kid walking on his paw, pulling on his ear, or frightening him won’t bring out a more substantial reaction as well?

If Kopa were to cause injury to anyone, we would feel completely guilty and dreadful, especially if it was a child.

It is in these situations that we would not feel comfortable leaving Kopa with them alone.

Hoping To Stop The Growling Before It Escalates Further

One of the primary reasons we decided to surrender Kopa to the shelter was because we didn’t want him to bite anyone. If he bites someone, there is a possibility that he may be taken away from us and put down. In this case, we’d be dealing with a significant deal of guilt for not intervening sooner to assist Kopa in his recovery from his illness. In the event of his death, I would personally feel responsible, which is something I could not live with.

It is also possible that someone could be gravely wounded, or that we will be sued for culpability. Combined, these hazards built up to a lot more than we were prepared to deal with in our own home environment.

Just Because You Know It’s Right Doesn’t Make It Easier

I sincerely hope you will never be confronted with this choice. I hope that with every dog you bring into your house, you are able to form the same type of attachment that we have with Sally. In my experience, saying farewell to a dog that is perfectly healthy is equally as difficult as saying goodbye to a dog who is dying. I sobbed uncontrollably for hours the night we came to this tough conclusion. When things didn’t work out, I was quite disappointed. I felt as though I had let Kopa down. It was as if I hadn’t put forth enough effort to assist him.

We simply weren’t the type of family he was looking for.

We Told Close FriendsFamily

We decided to inform our closest friends and family members. We anticipated that they would inquire about Kopa and that it would be a difficult issue to approach. As a result, we decided to send them a text message to keep them up to date because we were still really emotional. I believe that, for the most part, everyone was taken aback. We hadn’t told anyone about our problems with Kopa since we didn’t want them to find out. We were hopeful that we would be able to change Kopa’s behavior, and we didn’t want our friends and family to have a negative opinion of him or to be afraid of him.

It meant a great deal to us to have their support, especially when Pat and I were feeling so guilty.

Why Was Our Dog Aggressive?

We didn’t know anything about Kopa’s past. We were aware that he had been acquired with the intention of being a hunting dog, but he wasn’t picking up on it quickly enough. However, a neighbor intervened and took over ownership of him, saving him from being killed by his previous owner. Due to the excessive amount of barking, his neighbor chained him up outside and brought him in to the animal shelter (I’d bark, too, if I were chained up to a tree for the rest of my life). In his interactions with Pat and my brother-in-law, Kopa appeared to be the most hostile.

Is it possible that he had a problem with men?

All of these thoughts raced through our heads, but we were unable to come up with any answers or solutions.

Aggressive Dog Rescue: How Is Kopa Today?

We miss Kopa on a daily basis, and the prospect of rehoming a violent dog made us fearful that he would not be accepted again. Unfortunately, he was adopted in November 2018 after undergoing aggression-reduction training to help him cope with his fear of people. My husband and I were overjoyed to learn that his adoption had been successful and that he had found his permanent family. We wish him and his family many years of happiness together.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

If you’re going through something similar, I advise you to take charge of the issue before things deteriorate further.

Growingls are one thing, but biting is quite a different story. Growling and biting are both undesirable actions, but growling might be a warning sign that biting is imminent. Here are some suggestions for dealing with an aggressive dog.

What Can You Do In A Similar Situation?

We were able to return our puppy to the animal shelter from whence he was initially rescued. However, if this is not an option for you, we recommend that you contact a local rescue group such as the ASPCA, the Humane Society, or a similar organization to discuss your situation and your alternatives for moving forward. Have you ever had to say goodbye to a dog who was very aggressive?

About The Author:Kimberly Alt

Currently, Kimberly is in charge of the copy and research strategy for Canine Journal. She has more than a decade of professional writing and editing experience under her belt, having worked for a variety of publications, including newspapers, magazines, and digital publications. Better HomesGardens, Parents.com, and the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers are just a few of the well-known firms with whom she has worked in the past. Simpson College awarded Kimberly a Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism, which she completed.

She is a member of the American Kennel Club.

She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

In addition to being a wonderful family dog, Sally is also gentle with Kimberly’s two children, who are utterly smitten with her.

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