Are You Unintentionally Encouraging Aggressive Dog Behavior?

Did you know that every single time you interact with your dog you are training him? Yes, the way you treat your canine, your reactions to his behavior, and even your body language have long lasting effects on how your dog will behave in the future. So, given this fact, it is important to know exactly what NOT to do to elicit aggressiveness in your dog. By becoming conscious of what things can trigger and foster aggressive dog behavior, you will take one step closer to prevention.

Here are the common mistakes that dog owners make when interacting with their dogs:

  1. Hitting A Dog When He Misbehaves                                                                                                                                

    You should never, ever use any sort of physical abuse or violence when punishing your dog. You cannot eliminate dog aggression by behaving in the same manner as your dog, i.e, as the aggressor. Any violence that you inflict on your dog will only backfire; he will become extremely fearful and even more aggressive and may even attack. When your dog misbehaves, an appropriate response from you would be a Firm “NO” or you could give him a “time out.”

  2. Playing “Pull and Tug” With Your Dog                                                                                                                                                                 Dogs, by the very nature, are aggressive animals. Dogs view the game of pull and tug as a struggle, or challenge, that they must overcome at any cost. Roughhousing with your dog in this manner will show him that it is okay to show aggression, as he may bite or maul you just to win the game. Instead of resorting to a game that promotes aggression, why not play ball with your energized dog or take him for a brisk walk? Exercise is always beneficial, and it will release endorphins in your dog’s brain, making him feel more relaxed and ultimately less aggressive.
  3. Keeping Your Dog Prisoner

    – Chaining up your dog for or keeping him in a cage for long periods of time is not only inhumane, it fosters aggression. Dogs are not loners. They have a need to be around people, and, like humans enjoy their freedom. Caging any animal will inevitably make it even more wild. However, if you have to temporarily put your dog in a cage or tie him up, make sure that he has all of his needs met (food, water, cleanliness, etc), and that it is not for more than a couple of hours.