Some people may be fearful of dogs because of their preconceived notion of dog aggression. But could dog aggression happen to a well-trained, domesticated pet, such as your dog?
Sadly, the answer is yes. Sudden dog aggression could affect any dog, no matter how well-mannered he is, and it depends on underlying conditions.
In this article, we will discuss the details of sudden dog aggression, including how you could prevent it from happening to your dog.
Sudden Dog Aggression
Just like humans, dogs are also capable of shifting from one mood to another. However, if a dog’s mood is bad most of the time, he gets irritated more often.
As a result, he might even growl or show his teeth more frequently. As his temperament changes, you may also think that he could be a danger to other animals, even people.
Unlike us humans, dogs cannot communicate with words, so it’s up to us to do the investigating.
Should your dog display sudden aggressive behavior, it’s your responsibility as an owner to determine the underlying cause of such hostility.
Possible Causes of Sudden Dog Aggression
Pain causes everybody, including dogs, to have a bad mood.
So, if your dog is suffering from pain from an underlying illness, he might display signs of aggression, such as growling or baring some teeth whenever they are being handled.
Visit your veterinarian to have your dog checked for possible illnesses.
Dogs are also quite capable of the fight-flight response, so it’s no surprise if your dog exhibits aggressiveness during the times they are terrified. Fearful dogs are often the ones who are ready to bite in order to defend themselves from potential attackers.
· Possession Aggression
Dogs are possessive and territorial creatures.
Once they perceive something as theirs, they tend to display aggressive behavior towards another animal or person who they perceive as threats to their possessions. Some dogs even attack people or animals who invade their territory.
· Establishing Dominance
Dogs are social animals, and it is quite natural for them to acknowledge the authority of dogs who are more dominant than they are.
However, there are also dominant dogs who feel the need to assert their dominance over other dogs (or even humans), and they do this by displaying aggressive behavior. This way, they feel that they are the ones in charge, and are, therefore, “more powerful” than other creatures.
As the owner, you may correct this behavior through proper dog behavior training, so as to teach your dog that he’s not the one in charge – you are.
Pain triggers a dog to act aggressively. Some dogs do this to avoid discomfort.
So, when training or simply going out for a walk, try not to punish your dog physically. Violently pulling his leash, or hitting him could trigger your dog to act defensively, and therefore may try to bite you in an attempt to defend himself from physical punishment.
· Dog’s Previous Experiences
How the dog was handled in the past could potentially affect his behavior.
If during socialization phase he was conditioned to act aggressively, the dog might instinctively reinforce this behavior over time to cope with survival. You, as an owner, may correct this behavior by teaching your dog good and acceptable dog behavior.