When your furry companion displays aggression it can be very frustrating. It can make it difficult to go out with your dog or to have company over to your house. Aggression in dogs is the most common and serious behavior problem in dogs. According to ASPCA it is the number one reason pet parents seek professional help.
Most animals are known to show aggression however it can be a serious behavior in dogs. It is a common defense mechanism that animals use when their territory is invaded and it can be very dangerous to the dog owner and any visitors coming to the home. For these reasons it is important to seek professional help when you notice dog aggression symptoms in your dog.
What is dog aggression?
Saying a dog is aggressive can mean a number of things as aggression encompasses a wide range of behaviors that usually begin with warnings and can end with an attack. A dog may end their aggressive encounter at any point.
Dogs that show aggression usually exhibit a few different behaviors. Knowing what those behaviors are and watching for them can help in determining the cause of the aggression.
Signs of aggression
- Becoming very still and rigid
- Guttural bark that sounds threatening
- Lunging forward or charging at the person with no contact
- Mouthing, as though to move or control the person without applying significant pressure
- “Muzzle punch” – the dog punches the person with their nose
- Showing of teeth
- Quick nips that leave no mark
- Quick bites that tear the skin
- Biting (may cause a bruise and/or puncture wounds)
Types of aggression
There are a number of different types of aggression for a dog and some more common types include:
- Territorial: Some dogs will attack and bite an intruder. This could happen whether the intruder is known or unknown. Dogs are often valued and praised for their territorial behavior however some dogs will attack and bit an intruder which can be very dangerous.
- Protective: Some dogs will show aggressive behavior if they believe one of their family members or friends are in danger. The problem with this type of aggression is if/when the dog starts to treat everyone outside the family, including friends and relatives, as threats to those the dog believes to be vulnerable.
- Fear: This can be activated when a dog feels trapped or cornered. Some dogs that are fearful may not show their teeth or growl. In this case the only warning is the dog’s fearful posture and their attempt to retreat. Fear can also lead to a dog becoming defensive which is another type of aggression.
- Possessive: Many dogs tend to guard their possessions from other, human and dog alike, whether they need to do so or not. These possessions could involve food, treats, toys or even a favorite spot such as their bed. Those that guard their food may have a food-related possessive aggression.
- Social: Dogs tend to develop a hierarchical order. Those believed to be in the higher status may use aggressive threats to remind the others of their place. Many consider this to be about dominance and determining the “alpha”.
- Frustration: This occurs when a dog is excited or aroused by something but is held back from the thing much like a child that lashes out when they get frustrated at not getting their way.
- Pain-Elicited Aggression: Some dogs can be very friendly and happy however when they are in pain they may behave aggressively.
- Sex-related: Intact male dogs will still try to get the attention of females in heat and females will work to get access to a male. Intact male dogs sometimes challenge other male dogs even when there are no female dogs present. This is less common and usually occurs between the ages of 1-3.
- Predatory: This can include chasing and grabbing fast moving objects. It is rare for this type of aggression to be toward people or other dogs at least for pet dogs.
Treating your dog’s aggression is not a simple task. Success is dependent on taking the right approach and understanding how the aggression started. You need to monitor your dog to work on determine what/who sit off the aggression.
Successful treatment for dog aggression typically involves adopting a routine approach as this is an issue that is more behavioral. You need to apply the methods that will give your dog relaxation, self-control and reduce stress. It can also be important make sure to provide environmental enrichment and work on the human-dog bond as ways to control the aggression.
How can CBD Oil help reduce your dog’s aggression?
CBD has been used as a therapeutic treatment for a number of years. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system which includes receptors throughout every part of the body. These receptors work to maintain stability in the body.
CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system helps provide a relaxation effect which can be very important in reducing your dog’s aggression. The endocannabinoid system works as a bridge between mind and body and as the CBD affects the receptors it also helps to calm the dogs mind. As your dog relaxes and becomes less frightened his need to display aggressive behaviors should be reduced.
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