How To Handle An Aggressive Dog

Jan 22, 2018 | aggression

How to Handle an Aggressive Dog

Recognize The Signs Of Aggression

What are the clear markers of an aggressive dog? Here are some common signs:

  • Growling
  • Showing teeth
  • Snapping
  • Laying back ears
  • Mouthing
  • Biting
  • Lunging
  • Overly protective of their food and toys
  • Repeated attempts to run away
  • Mounting
  • Excessive barking

Even if you only spot one or two of these behaviors, it’s time to talk to a trainer and address the problem right away.

What Are The Underlying Reasons For Aggression In Dogs?

Many triggers can prompt an aggressive reaction in a dog, but their behavior likely falls into one of these two categories:


A dog that is aggressive with a motivation for dominance may have been bred with fighting characteristics prominent in their personality. This motivation can lead to territorial guarding and attacking when a perceived competitor threatens their resources.


A dog that is aggressive with a motivation for defense is likely acting out of fear. They may have social anxiety. They may be guarding their puppies. They could also be in pain due to an injury you may not be able to see.

Work With A Certified Trainer To Modify Behavior

It’s important to address aggression issues immediately. It’s one of the most serious problems you can have with your pet. After discussing your concerns with your vet, work with a certified trainer to identify the root causes of the behavior and make a plan to correct it.

While some believe it’s impossible to cure an aggressive dog, it is possible to drastically reduce instances of aggression by limiting exposure to triggers. But pet owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior and must always recognize the risk.

Prevention Tactics For Your New Puppy

A dog’s temperament is determined by their genes and their environment. While there isn’t much you can do about genetics, as the dog owner you have almost unilateral control over their environment.

Make sure your puppy is socialized at a young age. This can help deter fear of other people and animals. Also establish a training philosophy from the beginning, staying consistent with your pet throughout their development period. Never use corporal punishment — fear and pain will only feed aggressive tendencies.

Are you looking for ways to correct or prevent the unwanted behavior of an aggressive dog? Talk to Prestige K9 today, and we’ll form a plan for your pup.