How To Handle Aggression Between Dogs

Just like humans, dogs also go through behavioral issues, and treating them is not always easy for the owner as well as the dog.

Taking care of dogs can be hard at times, but trying to take care of a dog that has aggressive behavioral issues is particularly hard.

So, people who are thinking of adopting dogs must know how to handle, treat, and take care of aggressive dogs by first analyzing the cause and how your dog is reacting to it. 

Handling Dog Aggression the Right Way

Introduction To Dog Aggression

When someone tells you that their dog is getting aggressive, the first image that comes to their mind is that of a dog that bites, but that is not all. Aggression can mean a lot of things.

There are different extremities of aggression; for example, some dogs tone down their aggression and occasionally just growl, but some even attack other animals and even people. 

Dealing With An Aggressive Dog

Whatever kind of aggressive signs a dog displays, the most important thing is to understand what is triggering that kind of behavior from your dog since there would be multiple reasons why your dog would be angry.

Knowing the underlying cause can help you treat the aggression better and faster.

Signs And Symptoms That Help You Find Out If Your Dog is Aggressive

There are always signs that will help you know if your dog is aggressive. Some symptoms are precursors to upcoming aggression attacks.

Sudden Onset Aggression syndrome is a rare condition where the dogs do not exhibit any kind of symptoms. But, in other cases, some signs can help one understand if the dog is aggressive

Common Reasons For Dog Aggression

To help your dog get through aggression, understand what your pet is going through, and find ways to help them, you should first know the root cause of your dog’s aggression.

Dogs never become violent out of nowhere, and often, the main reason is the lack of proper training or socialization. But there are other reasons too that can cause aggression in dogs. 

Other Reasons For Dog Aggression

Other common reasons include protecting possessions or territory, establishing dominance over other dogs and animals, fear, and sometimes pain or even illness.

Sometimes, the dogs have a stress factor that makes them go into a rage, and they start acting out as soon as they come in contact with the factor. At other times, they could be acting out even as an effect of past trauma.


Signs That Let You Know Your Dog Is Aggressive:

  • When a dog is aggressive due to any cause, it exhibits some sort of sign or symptom almost all the time. If the dog suffers from Sudden Onset Syndrome, it will not be preceded by any specific behavior. 
  • Other common signs of aggression in dogs include:
  • The dog has a stiff body posture.
  • The dog’s ears are pinned back.
  • The dog will start growling randomly at both living and nonliving beings and objects, like other animals, humans, and even stationary objects.
  • The dog will bare its teeth.
  • It will start snarling.
  • Aggressive dogs bite with different intensities, from bites puncturing the skin to light snipping. 

Various Types Of Dog Aggression

Just like the causes of dog aggression vary, dog aggression can be classified into various types. Finding out what motivates your dog’s bad behavior can help prevent and treat the furball’s aggression.

To summarize, finding out and determining the right type of dog aggression is very crucial in the process of healing and coping.

Possession Aggression

Possession aggression is also known as “resource guarding” because this type of behavior is based on the dog’s obsession with certain objects and items they own. It could be their bed, their favorite chew toy, and sometimes even their bowl of food. Once another human or animal approaches their belongings, they start acting out aggressively. 

Food Aggression

Food aggression is based on the dog being super possessive of their food or food bowl. When someone tries to get their hands on their food, they start acting out in ways like growling, snarling, and biting. It could be the owner, other animals, or anybody. They immediately start reacting. 

Fear Aggression

Fear is a powerful motivation for any living being. When faced with a fearful situation, everybody reacts in one or the other way: flight or fright.

Fear-aggressive dogs choose the fight response, where they start acting out and fighting. There are no signs for dogs with fear of aggression because they act out only when they think there isn’t any other option. 

Leash Aggression

When your pet is friendly, stress-free, and calm almost at all times but starts growling, snarling, and acting out when you put them on a leash, they are leashed aggressively.

Normally, they act out toward other dogs, which starts when they feel frustrated and restrained by their leash. This is probably the easiest type of aggressive behavior to correct. 

Social Aggression

Social aggression entirely depends on the instincts of the dog. Dogs normally function in packs and follow a strict hierarchy, even if you don’t know there is one.

The dominant dog will constantly remind the others who are in charge by displaying aggressive body language. Dogs start lashing out against dogs they think are far inferior to them.


Different Types of Dog Aggressions:

  • To understand why your dog is acting the way it does, it is important to understand the factors and causes so that it can be treated properly. 
  • Possession aggression is also known as resource guarding, which is the aggressive behavior of dogs while guarding something.
  • Food aggression is the type of aggression a dog exhibits when they are trying to protect its food and keep others from touching it.
  • Fear aggression is the way a dog acts out by snarling, biting, and growling when they are afraid. 
  • Leash aggression is observed in dogs when they feel frustrated and restrained while they are on a leash. 
  • Social aggression in dogs happens when they try to establish a hierarchy in the household or their area. They exert dominance over the other puppies. 
  • Some dogs react aggressively to pain, while some dogs are predisposed to aggression since birth.

Pain-Induced Aggression

Living beings normally react to pain, and dogs do too. Even though dogs are good at hiding their pain, they might start growling and nipping if the pain gets worse.

While some consider this as aggressive behavior of sorts, it is a sort of defense mechanism. For example, some injured dogs start biting their dogs when their owners try to help them.  

Breeds of Dogs That Are More Prone To Get Affected By Aggression

Some think that some breeds of dogs are normally predisposed to aggression, and that might be true because of their hereditary traits.

Some types of breeds, like pit bulls, Dobermans, and rottweilers, are too aggressive. But, scientists have proved that might not be the case.

Methods To Handle Dog Aggression

Aggression can be a very complex issue, and there is certainly no easy fix or a good solution to turn your dog into a well-behaved dog soon.

Just like every other behavioral problem, with the right approach and a great amount of patience, your dog can be helped with its aggression. 

Drawbacks Of Having An Aggressive Dog

You will be constantly worried about coming home to a very moody puppy or a wrecked house, and you will never be able to guess if your dog will attack someone, whether it might be another human or animal.

You will also be scared if the dog has harmed itself, what you will need to do to take care of your dog, and if it is an illness that must be cured. 


This article tells us a lot about dog aggression and ways to prevent them, and if not, help them to handle it.

It is certainly tough to handle your puppy while it is aggressive, especially if the dog is aggressive by birth.

With the proper training and care, like every other behavioral disorder, aggression can also be mitigated. 


Different Ways to Control and Treat Dog Depression:

  • Prevention is key when a dog owner is dealing with an aggressive dog. 
  • If you know how to prevent the problem in the initial stages, it is better. 
  • The best-case scenario is that it is better to follow puppy training from the beginning.
  • There are some tips and tricks to prevent the development and progression of aggression and the causes of aggression in dogs.
  • Watching out for signs of resource guarding in aggressive dogs
  • Exposing your dogs to socialization and fraternization with other dogs and strangers can help a lot.
  • There is also the other option of positive reinforcement training.


What is the best method to handle and take care of dogs that are aggressive towards strangers and other animals?

The best way would be to understand dog aggression towards strangers and if your dog is aggressive towards every stranger or if there is a particular type. After finding out the specifics, it can help you determine the cause of aggression and methods to treat it. 

What should I do when my dog is aggressive towards cats and other animals?

Normally, people immediately assume that dogs and cats are mortal enemies, but that is not always the case. After finding out the level of aggression the pet displays, start exercising control of your dog since it is a matter of safety for both the dog and the cat. 

What steps should be taken when the dog is aggressive toward its owner?

In most cases, the aggression displayed by your dog is not normally because of you but can be redirected towards you from another issue, like dog-on-dog aggression or resource guarding. Make sure to rule out any physical illnesses and injuries first. 

What is the best way to help a dog that is aggressive while eating?

The best way to help a dog while it is eating is to let the dog know that nobody is trying to take their food away and stand near them while they eat, trying to pet them and make them feel comfortable. 

What are the different types of dog breeds that are born aggressive or more prone to get affected by aggression?

Some of the biologically aggressive breeds include German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman, Siberian Husky, Boxer, and many others. These dogs are often labeled as biologically aggressive breeds.

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