You may think that going on a walk with your beloved dog is one of both your favorite activities, but this pleasant outing to the outside can quite quickly turn into a stressful one if your dog seems to dislike other dogs and tends to get a little aggressive or if the other dog seems to be threatening yours, it could result in a dog fight and can become a dangerous situation.
Your dog can be the most energetic, friendly, and active dog; however, when on a leash, they can be slightly more cautious and even bark, growl, and lunge at other dogs, so it is important that owners know how to socialize an aggressive dog.
How come some dogs are hostile towards others?
If your dog is indeed reactive to other dogs, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Intense encounters amongst different dogs are normal, as most dogs don’t often get along with other pets or wild dogs.
Statistically, according to research, dog-on-dog aggression is one of the most common behavior problems owners, breeders, trainers, and rescue volunteers face.
Dogs tend to become very aggressive towards other dogs because of the lack of adequate socialization that dogs face during their puppyhood.
As a result, several dogs grow up with poor social skills. They are unable to read other dogs and exchange communication signals with them. Continuous and regular contact and interaction with playmates are necessary for dogs to develop social confidence.
Suppose your dog misses out on the positive socialization and does not experience the same. In that case, they are more likely to develop provocative behaviors based on fear.
Because a few dogs from a young age tend to show aggressive tendencies are kept more isolated than others, the situation only intensifies and makes them more uncomfortable around other dogs.
It is important to socialize your dog from a young age. As their age progresses, learn how to socialize an aggressive dog if your dog has aggressive tendencies.
When it comes to socializing an aggressive dog, it is important to first understand socialization.
It refers to exposing puppies or grown dogs to new situations to make them feel safer and a lot more comfortable and secure when interacting with diverse sights, views, noises, sounds, people, strangers, dogs, and more.
This has to be done and started with a very gentle exposure. It can be done if you take your dog out and allow the pups to experience the world.
Puppies may require a lot more comforting, coaxing, or even treat-giving to smooth the socialization process. Adult dogs, on the other hand, need more desensitization.
Why is your dog aggressive?
Aggression may not always have its roots in need of socialization. It is just that under-socialized dogs are at risk of increased aggression.
Certain factors that contribute towards making your dog behave a particular way include:
- Breed – Every breed of dog is different, and none of them is equal in their characteristics. Some breeds have been more protective, aggressive, and suspicious of strangers. At the same time, some are known for their friendliness and easy-going demeanor.
- Genetics – Dogs that have had aggressive or appalling parents, irrespective of their breed, are likely to grow up to be more aggressive. Signs of a large amount of stress on a dog’s mother can also trigger certain hormonal releases and changes that can affect the offspring for their whole life.
- Adverse Life Experiences – Horrid experiences may seem minor; they can also affect a dog’s overall personality and lifelong temperament management. Dogs tend to go through periods throughout life, such as fear and sensitive periods while they are maturing. Even one single scary event that is incorrectly timed can have a drastic impact on the brains of the dogs. These include events of abuse, harm, fights with dogs, or even constant need to keep their dogs pleased.
A combination of the factors mentioned above clubbed with poor socialization during their growing stages, can result in the creation of an aggressive dog.
Before understanding the techniques you can use to help socialize your dog better, it is important to understand that every dog grows and learns at its own pace and has a distinct personality.
You cannot pressurize your dog into becoming something while attempting to mold it into what you think is ideal behavior for a dog. They must be given due time, space, and lots of love.
Ways to help your dog be a better version of themselves.
There are several ways you can help your dog be a better version of themselves. So, when it comes to how to socialize an aggressive dog, here are a few methods you can use:
- Taking charge of the situation.
The primary thing to establish is that you are the boss and that your dog must try to be obedient. You need to earn his respect instead of trying to get it by force or scaring them.
You also need to find out what is the trigger for the aggressive behavior in your dog. This will help resolve the problem.
You need to gradually learn to expose yourself to their triggers and make them feel comfortable, so they understand that they do not represent a threat.
It is vital not to be harsh and always praise and reward any friendly, calm behavior seen in situations where your pet would have otherwise reacted by being aggressive.
- Introduce your pet to others.
Going on daily walks and even visiting dog parks to see new pets and make friends is the ideal opportunity to help your dog practice and learn the appropriate behavior.
Moreover, suppose your dog gets enough exercise during the day. In that case, they are likely to be calmer, which also allows them to be more submissive. This factor ensures that encounters with new animals and dogs go better and more smoothly.
- Safe Exposure to Social Activities.
Introducing your dog to social activities will help a lot in their socializing process and teach them to practice good behavior. It also helps them gain a calm approach to all and any problem.
You must avoid rushing into problems. Don’t be afraid to use a muzzle and leash, and allow your dog to observe at first rather than rushing them to participate. This will show your pet that they should have a positive experience.
- Seeking, getting, and receiving professional help if you believe it is required.
Often, even if you follow every tip, your dog may display a degree of aggressive behavior regarding socializing. Suppose you are unsure what steps to take. In that case, it is recommended that you seek advice from a professional vet or even a professional dog trainer.
This is because your dog may be suffering from a medical condition that you are unaware of or may need certain medication. What is also important during this process is to make sure it is very slow and gradually introduced to your pup or dog.
You cannot expect them to learn everything immediately when trying tricks to learn from reading about how to socialize an aggressive dog.
You need to use desensitization, which is optimal in socializing a dog and correcting their aggressive behavior.
For example, if you are introducing your dog to others, try using a leash the first few times to have a grip over the situation in case something goes wrong.
Then, as time progresses, you can decrease the distance between your dog and the other dogs. It is also important that you try to make this a part of your dog’s routine as something that they look forward to.
Dogs tend to imitate human moods and nature, so when you are going for a walk to help them socialize, try to make it a jolly process and be happy and smile when you are going out.
This will also help your dog have a positive outlook on the situation. If you see your dog behaving aggressively or apprehensively, try being happy and cheerful around him or her instead of scolding them.
Also, try to give your dog a sense of confidence and assurance when they are about to confront the situation. This will make them less aggressive.
These are just a few tips you can use when it comes to how to socialize an aggressive dog. You can use them according to your pet since every dog is different, and don’t forget to love your dog for who they are.
There is nothing like a perfectly behaved dog, and just like human beings, they are to be appreciated for who they are.
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