How to Deal with an Aggressive Dog

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With proper training, an aggressive dog can be transformed into a well-behaved companion you’ll love having at your side.

Warning
Due to the potentially serious consequences of dog aggression, seek professional guidance.

Step 1: Understand your dog
Understand that it is a dog’s nature to behave aggressively out of frustration, fearfulness, and dominance.

Step 2: Rule out medical causes
Get an aggressive dog examined by a veterinarian to eliminate medical reasons for the behavior.

Step 3: Exercise your dog
Exercise your dog regularly to release pent-up energy and establish a balanced mental state.

Tip
Muzzle an aggressive dog as a precaution when taking him out in public and avoid playing tug-of-war games

Step 4: Establish pack order
Establish yourself as pack leader by making it clear to the dog that you are the boss, reducing dominance-based aggression.

Step 5: Set boundaries
Set boundaries, making it clear that it is not acceptable for your dog to bite hands or clothing. Use a time-out for biting, if necessary.

Tip
Neuter or spay your dog to reduce dominant, territorial, possessive, and protection aggression.

Step 6: Keep people safe
Keep people safe by confining or restricting your dog until his aggression problem is resolved. With effort and patience, you can bring out the best in any dog.

Did You Know?
Did you know? Behavioral problems account for 50 to 70 percent of all euthanized dogs.

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