Dog play and aggression are behaviors that are exhibited by both young and old dogs. As a dog owner you know your dog best and can easily make out whether your dog is playing, or is angry; but sometimes it might be difficult to spot this difference.
In an Edmonton pet boarding facility, it’s normal for a dog to play-bite, bark, chase, swipe, and lunge and this activity is typically carried out in a gentle, safe and harmless way with other dogs.
However, if your dog is left alone, sometimes even growling, biting, jumping, barking, etc. can turn from friendly to aggressive. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to identify signs of aggressive behavior.
Some factors that make a dog aggressive:
Repeat of past behavior:
Dogs will most likely display aggression if they see a person or a thing that has harmed them, or scared them in the past.
Dogs who have grown up in isolation are more likely to show aggressive behavior than dogs who have been socialized.
Stressed or scared dogs are more aggressive than others.
High levels of testosterone may also be a factor causing aggression in dogs. Females in breeding season or with litters may become more aggressive.
Signs associated with aggressiveness in dogs:
Aggressive behavior in dogs can be exhibited in multiple ways but we should remember that just because a dog is displaying aggression, it is not an aggressive dog.
For instance, a mother may growl at her puppy in case the puppy pulls her tail. However, if she bit and hurt the puppy, it would tantamount to aggression. It’s important to make out this difference and recognize when you need to intervene to prevent this behavior from escalating.
Similarly when dogs play, they tend to play fight, play bite and wrestle. Although it is usually funny and safe, at times it can escalate and turn serious, unless you check and intervene. In such a situation, you should keep your dog safe and avoid any confrontation with other dogs, or with other human beings.
Warning signals indicating that an intervention is required:
Below are some warning signals that you should never overlook, since it is at this point that playing typically turns into fighting.
Stiffness of facial muscles:
Before a fight, the dog’s facial muscles tighten and it’s brows appear furrowed. The dog appears rigid and stands in a stiff-legged posture.
A look of nervousness:
The dog appears nervous and looks tense.
Direct staring at another dog:
This may happen when your dog is continuously focusing on another dog without blinking.
Snarling at another dog:
A dog snarls by lifting its lip and making jaw movements. This might be accompanied by a low growl and is an indicator that the dog is uncomfortable and aggressive.
Growling, especially when it is deep and low is a sign of aggressive behavior that requires your intervention.
How to make dogs friendly and less aggressive:
One of the best ways to do this is to leave your dog for a few days at an Edmonton Pet Boarding facility. They will look after your dog properly, bathe it, groom it and take it out regularly for walks. Your dog will be given meals at fixed and regular intervals and will have a daily schedule of play time and rest time.
Some other popular steps taken by people include:
– Socialize your dog early: Schedule play dates with other puppies and well-mannered adult dogs who can teach your puppy to behave.
– Socialize your dog at an early age so that it is able to mix with other dogs easily and does not feel uncomfortable in their company.
– Neuter your dog as it will help reduce hormone-driven aggression.
– Use positive reinforcement techniques to correct your dog, rather than intimidating him.
– Always keep your dog under supervision and never leave it unattended.
The best way to prevent aggressive behavior in dogs is to involve yourself in their activities. Socialize with them and always keep under supervision.