Are you a dog owner? If so, and one day you see your dog display aggressive behavior, it’s a cause for concern. The Animal Humane Society defines aggression in dogs as “the threat of harm to another individual involving snarling, growling, snapping, biting, barking or lunging.” When dog owners understand what behaviors contribute to aggressive behavior, it can help them treat the aggression.
You may get the “sweetest” puppy who seems to get along with everyone, dogs and people alike, but as he or she gets older and becomes a young adult, that can change. According to the Humane Society, how much a dog’s temperament changes depends on a variety of factors, such as early socialization, training, supervision, and the dog’s genetic makeup.
What if My Dog Bites?
If your dog bites a person or another animal, it’s smart to seek professional help, but you also want to follow this advice:
- Do not let your dog have contact with visitors. If you know you’re going to have visitors, take your pet into another room where he or she won’t have any contact.
- If you have children visit your home, the Humane Society recommends putting your dog in a crate behind a locked door.
- Never assume your dog is fine and won’t bite again because he or she is “good most of the time.”
- Do not let others pet your dog.
- Do not let other people approach your dog, especially children.
- Do not punish your dog if he or she is aggressive (they bark, hiss, lung, or growl). Instead, the Humane Society advises to remove your dog from the situation, as far away as you can so they can calm down.
- If you punish your dog verbally or physically, it is likely to make their behavior worse.
- Keep your dog in a fenced yard or on a leash at all times when you leave the house.
- Do not let your dog be outside unattended. If your dog barks at people walking by, their behavior will get worse. If a pedestrian sticks their hand in the fence to pet your dog, they can be bitten and you can be held liable for their injuries.