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Food Aggression in Dogs – How to Stop it and Prevent It

click meDo you own more than one dog? Do they constantly fight over food, but get along in other areas well?  Food aggression in dogs is one of 4 main types of aggression when dealing with a four-legged friend.

The other three types are aggression towards children, aggression towards strangers, and aggression towards other dogs. Although all breeds are different and dogs come from various backgrounds, I’m going to give you some general tips to help you successfully deal with food aggression in dogs.

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Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior

Ideas For How To Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior

Many dog owners would like to know how to stop aggressive dog behavior before something bad happens. When a dog is aggressive, not only are its owners and family at risk, but the neighborhood around that dog is at risk as well. As a dog owner, it is your general responsibility to be sure your dog is not acting aggressively. If your dog is acting aggressively, you must do something to curb that behavior immediately. Aggressive behavior can go from bad to worse if it is not directly and immediately taken care of. There are some great ways that any dog owner can stop aggressive dog behavior quickly and effectively.

Types of Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior manifests itself differently in different dogs. Some common aggressive behavior would be biting, growling, charging or restlessness. First and foremost, if your dog is exhibiting new kinds of aggressive behavior, you are going to want to have him checked out to make sure he does not have an underlying health condition. Once you know that he is not crabby because of a health condition, you can begin to look at other reasons. Was your dog abused at any time? Does your dog get enough exercise? These are all important questions and can often contribute to aggressive behavior in dogs.

How To Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior

If your dog is acting aggressively, there are a few great ways that you will be able to let him know that this is not desirable behavior. First of all, make sure if you are punishing him for his behavior that you are punishing him as the behavior occurs, not after the fact. If you punish afterwards, your dog will not know why he is being punished. For instance, if you have trouble with a dog that bites, make sure you know the warning signs that occur just before the dog strikes. Then, firmly with your knee or your hand, give the dog a stern “no” and touch him on the back or side of his neck. This will give him the signal that you are not happy with the behavior and he needs to back off. This same tactic can be used with dogs who growl or bark aggressively at strangers or guests. The key to stop aggressive dog behavior is to know ahead of time what is going to set your dog off. Many people feel helpless and don’t believe that they can stop aggressive dog behavior, but all it really takes is consistency and patience. Make sure to reward your dog when he exhibits positive behaviors. For instance, when the first moment happens when he doesn’t bark aggressively at a guest, make sure to shower him with as much positive love and attention as you can. It also wouldn’t hurt to give him a treat so that he knows he’s done something good.

Don’t Give Up

Hope is not lost for any dog, no matter how badly they seem to be damaged. When you are able to stop aggressive dog behavior, you and your dog will have a better overall relationship and you will be able to rely more on one another. In the end, isn’t that what you want in a pet? Take care of your dog and your dog will always be there to take care of you as well.

Training Aggressive Dog Behaviors

Training aggressive dog behaviors is not an aspect of pet education for which most owners prepare. People choose the dog based on those adorable eyes or that heart-capturing demeanor. The notion that the animal may be aggressive never enters the equation. Then, during the puppy phase, the warning signs are ignored, or chalked up to frivolity. When the dog owner eventually faces the truth about their dog, the animal is well past that stage of being adorable.

Never Too Late to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Training aggressive dog behaviors is increasingly difficult as the dog ages, but it is a surmountable problem at all ages. First, we have to commit ourselves to overcoming it. Secondly, all owners should speak with their veterinarian immediately because not all aggression is behavioral. There is the very real possibility that there is an underlying medical condition. For instance, aggression often manifests itself in dogs afflicted with seizures.

Aggression Triggers

The second stage is identification and analysis of the aggression triggers, or what and when sets the dog off. Often, there is a pattern among aggression triggers, and the owner can use that pattern to determine the proper approach for training aggressive dog behaviors. When the pet owner has identified the triggers, it is best to isolate the dog from those triggers except in controlled environments used for training purposes.

Forms of Aggression

Dog owners must be aware that no form of aggression is alike, but with subtle differences in approach, training aggressive dog behaviors is possible with each form. Behavioral aggression may manifest due to dominance, fear, a predatory nature, for territorial reasons, or due to redirected aggression. It is also quite possible for a dog to be manifesting multiple forms of aggression.

Dominance Aggression

Aggression can manifest in dogs seeking to elevate themselves to pack leader status. Aggression toward humans may be evident, but the dog generally focuses this energy towards other animals.

Fear Aggression

Fear in dogs is one the most common, dangerous, and misunderstood causes of aggression. In fact, most owners with “aggressive” dogs have fearful dogs reacting to environment stimuli.

Predatory Nature

Some dogs have strong hunter instincts, and they may want to chase squirrels and even cats. However, an elevated predatory nature is dangerous if the pet owner cannot control it.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected or displace aggression occurs when a dog releases the anxiety energy somewhere other than the source. This is a very difficult form of aggression to deal with for the average pet owner because they are inclined to focus on the target rather than the source.

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is one of the most common forms of aggression, but like fear, the general populace misunderstands it. While many of us admire this trait in dogs, it is less admirable when that aggression elevates beyond a warning signal.

If a dog displays multiple forms of aggression, the trainer should isolate that which is the most dominant behavior. While training aggressive dog behaviors, as the trainer manipulates the primary aggression into balance, the other forms will often come into balance as well. Training our own aggressive dogs is not generally a dangerous process. It is vital that the owner display the same level of confidence that they would while training the dog to fetch. If the owner finds training aggressive dog behaviors too emotional of an experience, they should turn to help from a trained professional.