Aggression in Dogs – How to Calm An Aggressive Dog?

how to calm an aggressive dog

Dogs may be little furry creatures or big, huggable pets. One thing they all have in common is that they are creatures of emotion. There are times when they are just so lovely and adorable. However, for some breeds, they can be more aggressive and stressed. No dog owner wants their dog to behave aggressively. It is not a surprise that a dog owner would want to find out how to calm an aggressive dog.

How do I know if my dog is aggressive?

Firstly, it’s essential to find out if your dog is aggressive or not. This is because the approach to an aggressive dog to a non-aggressive one would be different. Sometimes, a little aggression is normal in dogs. For instance, it is perfectly normal for a dog to bark at random strangers. Also, they could only be aggressive towards certain people like dog groomers or even a veterinarian. 

To find out how to calm an aggressive dog, it may be helpful to find out the different types of aggression in dogs.

What are the types of dog aggression?

There are different types of aggression in dogs. First would be Dominant aggression. This is the type of aggression wherein they are physically aggressive. Signs of this would be excessive barking, growling, extreme protectiveness around personal space, nipping or biting, with or without provocation. Male dogs and particular dog breeds usually have this type of aggression. More often than not, this type of aggression is inherent in the dog. 

Fearful aggression is another type of aggression. Unlike the first type, this one stems from other underlying emotional issues, such as anxiety. These dogs would not look dominant as opposed to a dominant, aggressive dog. They would appear timid and wary of strangers. 

Both of these types of aggression could result in relational aggression. In this type of aggression, dogs behave aggressively towards other dogs and humans, too. Some form of aggression is normal, but when it becomes too excessive, it might be time to interfere. 

Finding out how to calm an aggressive dog, whatever type of aggression they might have is the best thing to do.

Why is my dog aggressive?

Your dog is behaving aggressively for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes they merely want to be left alone. They could be provoked for some reason. Moreover, they may be just having “one of those days,” and simply letting them sleep on it may be the solution. However, if this remains constant, it’s a bothersome problem.

Hormone-driven aggression is a phenomenon in some dogs. When dogs’ hormones go crazy, this reflects negatively in their behavior. Fluctuations in hormones may be due to thyroid problems, tumors, and other autoimmune diseases. In this case, a quick consultation with your veterinarian will solve the issue. 

Pain due to hidden illnesses can also cause aggression in some dogs. If your dog exhibits sudden aggression, consult with your veterinarian. Your dog’s vet will run some tests to find out if your dog has an ongoing infection or disease. 

If you want to know how to calm an aggressive dog, keep on reading.

How do you calm an aggressive dog?

If your dog’s aggression is hormone-driven, it might be a good idea to neuter or spay them. If you do this early on, this will minimize their aggression and possibly prevent it from getting worse. 

Moreover, if there is an underlying illness, treating this would restore their usual good, cheerful behavior. For chronic conditions, adequate pain control is a priority. Some dogs become very irritable if they’re constantly in pain. This is usually manifested with aggression.

Some dog owners swear by calming treats in helping manage their dog’s aggression. This hemp calming treat contains Valerian Root and Chamomile, which are natural anxiolytics. Make sure you’re giving non-toxic and safe treats and supplements. Furthermore, you may also use a calming wrap on your dogs. These wraps provide constant pressure around the dog’s torso, which is proven to alleviate anxiety. 

In most cases, simply allowing your dog to socialize will eliminate most of their aggression. If you want to find out how to socialize an aggressive dog, keep on reading.

How do you socialize an aggressive dog? 

Planning a playdate with other dogs is one of the best ways to socialize an aggressive dog. The key to doing this is to do it gradually. Don’t introduce your dog to multiple dogs at once. Start by having playdates with one or two dogs. Gauge your dog’s response towards the other dogs and their owners. 

If you can’t organize a playdate, bring them with you on a walk to the park. Exposing them to different animals and people will somehow desensitize them. This will allow them to be more comfortable with strangers. Make sure that the park won’t be too crowded when you first bring your dog. Keep your dog in a comfortable collar and leash to keep things under control. This one from Gauterf is lightweight and comfortable, which your dog will surely appreciate.

Keeping them busy with other dogs, such as exercises and training, can also be helpful. This obstacle agility starter kit is excellent for any dog. It’s perfect for releasing some of your dog’s stress, as well as to energize them. Moreover, this will also allow them to interact comfortably with other dogs and people.

You’ve done the right thing by finding out how to calm an aggressive dog on your own. Hopefully, with the steps above, you’re able to easily and quickly appease your dog. Knowing how to socialize an aggressive dog is always an advantage. If none of the tips above work, coordinate with your veterinarian. Keep in mind that this issue is best approached with a positive attitude. Never scold or hit your dog for behaving aggressively. You may always work with a professional trainer if it gets too out of hand.