It’s the holiday time of year again which means parties, dinners, and more. If you’re thinking about hosting an event at your home but own a dog with aggressive tendencies, planning ahead of time means everything. Here are some tips that pet parents may find helpful.
Understanding Aggression in Dogs
Whether it’s frustration or fear aggression, pet parents need to establish control over those aggressive behaviors. The best way to guide a dog away from these unwanted behaviors is through obedience skills – and more importantly, obedience under distraction. When a dog has more structure both inside and outside of the home, this helps mitigate aggressive tendencies.
The answer is because the dog’s focus is now on their handler.
“Most of all, a dog needs to understand that their aggressive behavior is not the way to behave,” Performance K9 Training owner & founder, David Greene, said. “It’s a learned behavior which needs to be discouraged so that a dog ultimately learns what is expected of them.”
Dog Aggression Towards Visitors
Dog aggressive behaviors can appear in many different ways. They act this way to establish dominance. The most common characteristics of an aggressive dog are one or more of the following:
- Snapping and nipping
- Posture changes (i.e., standing tall, hair raised between the shoulders, tail stiff, tail tucked under the legs, ears pinned back)
Frequent yawning may also be a sign of stress.
“If a dog is displaying one or more of these behaviors, pet parents sometimes make the mistake of petting their dog and saying something like, ‘It’s okay, there’s nothing to be afraid about,’” Greene said. “In a dog’s mind, they misinterpret this human gesture as a reward which is really encouraging them to behave this way in the future.”
In some cases, a dog with aggressive tendencies may not show any of these warning signs.
What To Do When Guests Come Over
If a dog has not undergone training to stop aggression, then pet parents must be extra careful when guests come to visit. Be sure to place your dog in a safe place such as a crate or a secure dog run.
If you decide to crate your dog, every single time you let them out for a walk to stretch their legs and do their bathroom business, be sure to have them on a leash at all times and that they are unable to slip out of their collar.
“It’s also highly recommended that only the adults in the household take care of the dog when visitors are around,” Greene said.
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