Aggression in Dogs (Overview)

5 min read


Treatment focuses on the problem and not curing the issue, as there is no cure. The dog's owner will be trained on behavior management techniques to assist the dog with its anger. Desensitization and relaxation techniques are used to help the dog overcome its fear. Devices such as muzzles can be effective when the dog is away from home. All treatment is focused on preventing injury to humans, other animals, and to the dog.

Don’t allow a dog to achieve dominant status over any person. Also, in choosing a dog, it’s a good idea to take a realistic look at your own personality. Do not get an aggressive dog if you are meek and mild mannered, for example.

It’s a good idea to arrange for them to play with other non-aggressive dogs so the friendliness will rub off on them. If you have an older dog that is aggressive, praise them for good behavior and discipline mildly for unacceptable behavior. They should sit on command, sit before going out the door, etc. This reinforces that you are the dominant one in the family. Also, neutering male dogs is not always sufficient, but it does help prevent dominance aggression.

Living and Management

It is recommended the dog be monitored on an on-going basis. In addition to monitoring, it is important for the dog owner to work regularly on the recommended techniques to reduce the dog's aggression and to improve its socialization ability.

If you doubt your ability to initiate these actions, ask your veterinarian for additional advice and recommendations for behavioral training centers in your area.


Early socialization is also important for prevention. Chasing children or joggers and jumping on people should be prohibited. Moreover, dogs should not be played with aggressively and physical punishment is never appropriate. Using these and the suggestions listed earlier can help to reduce the incidence of fear-based and aggression-based behaviors.

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