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My dog is aggressive with humans: why? How to solve the problem?

A dog's aggressiveness towards humans is extremely problematic because the consequences can be serious. It is therefore urgent to react so that the animal's behavior can be improved so that it stops being a danger. And to find the best solutions for the animal, it is essential to start by understanding how the dog became aggressive because it is not innate. Has he been bullied? Is he in physical pain? Is it irritated? Is he trying to defend something or someone? Let's discover the main reasons why a dog may be aggressive towards humans and the most effective ways to solve this type of problem.

How does a dog become aggressive?

Aggression in dogs is not acquired at birth, but it is established little by little, according to its life history. Here are the main events that can lead to aggressive behavior in a dog, regardless of its breed.

Mistreatment: masters who do not love their pet and scorn it at all times or brutalize it generate fear. The dog is worried, even hyper-anxious, and the anxiety caused by certain situations makes it aggressive because it is the only solution for it to manage this type of situation. When a dog is afraid, its reaction is not preemptive: it is instantaneous, which is very dangerous for its victim who does not have time to take cover.

Irritation: many situations can generate irritation in a dog. Forcing him to do something against his will can make him aggressive after a while. Aggression following an exacerbation is common in dogs that are confronted with children who are heckling or screaming. And even if these animals show warning signs, the children usually do not know how to interpret them and this is how they get bitten, sometimes seriously.

The need to defend her puppies: This is the case with bitches who take care of their puppies. They are constantly watching over their litter and may attack a human who gets too close to the puppies. In a nursing bitch, a human can be a direct danger to her offspring or to herself. She therefore automatically becomes aggressive because she has no other way to react.

A health problem: a sick dog can become aggressive. This is particularly the case if he is in pain, if he regularly has a high fever, i.e. higher than 39°C, which can lead to the suspicion of an infectious focus. Aggressive behavior can also be found in a dog with a hormonal dysfunction and of course when he is suffering from a form of dementia. In these cases, veterinary care is necessary. The professional must first examine the animal and then submit it to various complementary examinations in order to identify the health problem at the origin of this aggressiveness.

Defense of its territory: it is mostly dogs trained to stand guard that show aggression towards unknown or known humans but who exceed certain limits. The animal is only doing its duty. They may attack after giving warning signals.

Predatory instinct: This is the type of situation that can be found in a primitive dog or in a dog that hunts for food. In some herding dogs that have not been properly trained, aggressive behavior towards humans can be found in the same way that they would be with the animals they are supposed to watch over.

Dog Aggression: It's Never Too Late to Act

The first thing to do is to solve the problem of communication between humans and dogs. Indeed, in the vast majority of cases, a dog warns - in his own way - when a situation does not suit him. He expresses his discomfort or irritation by theoretically explicit signs, but some humans do not understand this type of language and persist. It is only then that the animal becomes aggressive. It is therefore important to be observant and to stop imposing on a dog a situation that exasperates him. Signs may include growling, ear position (lying backwards), tail tucked between the hind legs, curled up lips, repeated and rapid licking of the nose...

Aggression in a dog is often the expression of a reaction to a disturbing situation, to an emotional shock. A dog is generally not aggressive by nature, contrary to popular belief. On the other hand, it can become aggressive if it is poorly educated, if it is not socialized or if it has been badly handled by a brutal, incomprehensible, not very patient master or simply one who does not respect his animal. Finally, a malaise as in the case of disease, or even physical and/or psychological suffering, often leads to mood disorders in dogs, as is the case with humans.

Aggressive dog towards humans: what solutions?

The first step is to identify the cause of the aggression and then learn to decode the warning signals in order to better understand them. As a general rule, the dog seeks to avoid conflict, so it warns that a given situation does not suit it.

Then, you must establish a relationship of trust with the dog based above all on respect. A lack of trust makes the animal feel insecure. Similarly, misunderstanding can destabilize the dog and end up making it aggressive towards its owner or another human. It is therefore necessary to be constant in its demands but also coherent and patience is essential. This way, the dog can assimilate the rules that you want to teach him.

Attention, any socialization or re-socialization session implies that the animal is muzzled. This gives the trainer confidence, which has a positive impact on the dog's emotional state. It is also important to establish a routine because it is soothing, and to take care to always reassure him. Never go too fast is the rule because you must give the dog time to become familiar with the object of his fear. It is equally important to teach him the basic rules little by little, without rushing, in order to reach a satisfactory level of obedience.

It is also essential to allow a dog to exercise so that he can externalize his aggressiveness. Leaving your pet locked up in a tiny kennel all the time encourages unstable behavior.

We understand that it is totally unconscious not to intervene with an aggressive dog under the pretext that he is an adult and that we cannot change anything. On the contrary, it is always possible and in any case absolutely necessary to modify his behavior. Whatever his breed (and therefore his size) he can bite and become very dangerous towards an adult human but even more so towards a child. Before it is too late, every owner must prevent his dog's aggressiveness by educating him. If he thinks he does not have the ability to do so, he should entrust the education of his dog to an experienced dog trainer.