How to Stop Aggressive Behaviors in Your Puppy

As you start training your new puppy, you might worry this new pet is exhibiting aggressive behaviors when in many cases, it's just normal puppy behavior. When a puppy nips or bites at an owner's hand, clothes, or feet, they are just obeying their natural instincts. It's normal for a puppy to bark for attention and make low growls when tugging on toys or playing with other animals and is probably obeying its instinct to herd. But there are situations where certain puppy behaviors are a cause for concern and that you should be aware of.

Aggressive Puppies

A pet owner needs to be aware of a puppy snapping, growling, and biting in inappropriate situations. This could be when a person is gently handling them or trying to show affection. It's important to notice if the puppy's behavior seems to be intended to cause harm. It could be toward another dog or person. A puppy owner should also realize their pet's ingrained traits will depend on its breed. What is normal for a Shepard may not be the same for a Rottweiler. 


There are two main reasons a puppy would become aggressive. They may be experiencing a physical problem that is giving them pain, or it's also possible the puppy has a lack of socialization. Pain can have a number of different causes including problems with their spine, neurological issues, and more. If a puppy is not exposed to a variety of new people, places, sound and things, it can become unable to adjust to anything new. Aggression can also be a taught trait.

How to Stop Aggressive Behaviors in Your Puppy

Helping an Aggressive Puppy

Should the problem be determined to be physical, a trained veterinarian should know how to correct it. There are many situations that can be cured with surgery or just medication. The good thing about puppies is they heal very quickly. A veterinarian will also know if a puppy's aggressive behavior is hard-wired. This means the pet will always be a liability to its owner.

Stopping Play Biting

It's important for puppies to be provided feedback on their behavior. When it comes to biting there is bite prohibition and bite inhibition. When a puppy is taught bite inhibition, it will learn how to safely put its mouth on human skin. Teaching a puppy bite prohibition will cause it to learn never to put their mouth on human skin. Ask a trainer what might be the best course of training for your breed. When a person is bitten by a dog, the dog may be innocent, but their owner may be held responsible. Personal injury attorneys in Meridian, Idaho deal with these kinds of claims and say dog training should be documented if possible.


Your puppy is a great new addition to the family, but does require some training. Make sure you know what behaviors might be aggressive and which you should work on stopping.


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