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Puppy Aggression

How To Eliminate Puppy Aggression

It is amazing how that cute, cuddly four-legged creature can cause you to need a solution for puppy aggression.  Truth is, that innocent puppy chewing and biting can result in danger for you, your visitors and neighbors if you do not deal with it at an early age.

There are laws that can result in your dog being put down if someone is hurt from puppy aggression.  To make sure that this never happens, you have to socialize and train your puppy early.  Biting is not the only aggressive behavior that need correcting either, lunging and barking at people need to be addressed as well.

Why Is Your Puppy Being Aggressive?

There is always a reason for puppy aggression, such as:

  • Boredom – If your puppy is left alone for long periods of time, anxiety and boredom will often lead to frustration which ultimately results in aggression.
  • Bullying – If your children, friends or neighbors are bullying your puppy and they think that it is cute or that they are only playing, they could be causing your puppy to lash out.
  • Genetic Disease – Certain dogs suffer from rage syndrome that causes them to spontaneously last out for no reason.  You may want to research the breed and check to see if they are prone to violent outbursts.
  • Physical Pain – If your puppy has a disease, illness or injury and is suffering from discomfort or pain, they could have an aggressive behavior.

Solutions

Whatever the cause that is responsible for puppy aggression with your dog, there are a few helpful solutions and tips that you can follow.

  • Early Intervention – Preventing aggression is a lot easier than correcting it.  Puppies are much more impressionable than older dogs who are set in their ways.  If your puppy bites, chews or growls, you must say “no” in a confident, firm voice and then reward him for responding and stopping either with praise or a treat.
  • Be The Leader – You need to consistently enforce that you are the leader by handling treats, toys and food.  You should be able to take a bone away from your dog without being growled at. Command that your dog sits before going outside because you are in control.  You should also never try to cuddle your puppy when he is excited nor get him too worked up and expect him to not snarl.
  • Stop Yelling – Puppies get startled and scared easily so it is never necessary to yell at them.  A firm “no” is all you need.  Never yell or physically punish your puppy.  Rewards should always be given for subordinate, calm behavior and eventually your puppy will learn which behavior is more rewarding to him and puppy aggression will become a thing of the past.
  • Socialize – The importance of socializing your dog early cannot be stressed enough, this means with humans and other dogs.  A simple visit to a busy park on a Saturday afternoon will at least ensure that our puppy is comfortable with people of all ages and the dogs that are walking them. The more familiar your puppy becomes with social situations, the less likely you will have to deal with any puppy aggression in the future.
  • Teething Issues – Between three and six months of age, your puppy will begin teething where biting and chewing becomes common because it soothes their gums.  Of course, a little bit of playful gnawing is not considered aggressive but it can lead to behavioral problems if it is encouraged.  Be tolerant and patient because teething is uncomfortable and they don’t want to necessarily chew on you, just something that will relieve their pain.  Simply give them something to chew on instead.  A helpful tip is to put their chewy toys in the fridge or freezer because the coldness will soothe their gums when they chew on them.
  • Game Choice – Wrestling or playing tug-of-war does nothing but encourage aggressive behavior.  During these impressionable puppy months stick with going for long walks and playing fetch to wear them out.  This will help decrease your chance for puppy aggression.