What Triggers a Dog to Act Aggressively

Do you have an aggressive dog? We understand that dealing with one is never easy, with gear or equipment like a calming pet bed from PetSwag not working to improve their emotion. Aggression is a major problem that can lead to messes, accidents, and even injuries from your pooch’s anger or frustration towards people or things.

But why exactly does your dog start feeling aggressive and what can you do to stop him from feeling this way? Read on to find out.

Causes of Dog Aggression

To stop your dog from acting aggressively completely, you will need to know what makes him feel this way in the first place. It’s rare for dogs to become violent without reason.

The most common culprit is lack of training and socialization, though there are other causes contributing to the aggression. The most common ones are the following:

  • Fear
  • Illness or feeling pin
  • Wanting to establish dominance
  • Protecting his possessions or territory
  • Other inanimate objects or animals that trigger their anger, such as cats or birds
  • Consequence of past trauma

You will know if your dog is acting aggressively if he exhibits any of these signs:

  • Stiff posture
  • Growling and snarling
  • Baring teeth
  • Ears are pinned back
  • Begins biting

Types of Dog Aggression

Besides the causes of aggression in dogs, it’s also best to know the different types. This can help you identify what motivates the aggressive behavior and how to prevent it from happening.

  • Possession or food aggression, also called resource guarding, is a behavior focusing on your dog being obsessed with food or certain objects. It may be his favorite toy, sleeping area, food, even dog car seat covers, or anything else he considers his own. The outcome is the same, and if someone approaches the item, the dog reacts violently.
  • Fear aggression has no warning signs whatsoever, as your dog will react when they feel there’s no other choice but to defend themselves. Some dogs won’t growl before biting, while others cower in fear. This is usually caused by past trauma.
  • Leash aggression is stemmed from his frustration with their leash and the feelings of restriction. This is caused by a lack of training, but it is the easiest to correct.
  • Social aggression comes from more dominant dogs, who remind others that he is the boss using aggression. This is why you need to be assertive and act as your dog’s alpha, not their beta.
  • Pain-induced aggression is a defense mechanism, perceived as aggressive behavior. If your dog is injured, he might bite you even if you are trying to help. If an older dog starts acting aggressively without warning, it may most likely be experiencing pain, discomfort, or are sick. Don’t try correcting the behavior but take them to their veterinarian to treat any illnesses or injuries that may trigger the aggression.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, you learned a lot about aggression in dogs and why it happens. Find out the root cause so you will be able to find the perfect solution to stop your dog from acting up. Good luck!