It is an unfortunate fact that millions of dog bites take place every single year, and many of the victims are children under the age of nine. While some of these attacks are the result of humans provoking the animals, owners still need to be wary of aggressive behavior. In order to avoid injuries and legal battles, you need to address these issues as quickly as possible. Here are four of the most effective ways to correct canine aggression before it becomes a major problem.
Speak with Your Veterinarian
While most dogs will become aggressive when they feel threatened or afraid, you should be wary of any sudden changes in their demeanor. Unusual signs of aggression can be caused by underlying medical issues. Your dog might be acting strangely because they are in pain or have a hormonal imbalance that needs to be addressed. In addition to carrying out a checkup, your veterinarian should also be able to give you some tips on how to properly control your dog and prevent serious injuries.
Be Consistent and Patient
Bad behavior isn’t going to change overnight, and that is why owners need to be patient. Over time, you should get a better idea of what is causing the behavior and how to stop it. Once you have done that, you then need to recognize the early warning signs and quickly put an end to any aggression. In some cases, it can take months of training before the aggressive behavior goes away.
Change Their Diet
A dog’s diet has a major impact on its energy levels and demeanor. Some aggressive canines benefit from switching over to low-protein diets, and you might need to try out a couple different brands of food before you find something that works. Another option is to supplement their diet with calming substances such as tryptophan and chamomile. Many companies make high-quality supplements specifically for dogs with behavioral issues.
Don’t Combat Aggression with Violence
The worst thing that an owner can do is try and control their dog with violence. Responding to their aggression with force will only make the dog feel as if that type of behavior is acceptable. If you are particularly angry, then you need to take a step back and give yourself a chance to calm down. Owners who are able to control their emotions won’t transmit feelings of fear and anxiety to their pets.
Even a relatively minor scratch or bite can result in a major legal battle if your dog was acting aggressively. This can happen if your dog bites someone and they turn to a lawyer who specializes in dog attacks. Luckily, the vast majority of dogs can easily be trained to avoid aggressive behavior as long as their owners are willing to invest time and energy into their canine friends.