Understanding Pet Aggression

Understanding Pet Aggression

Understanding Pet Aggression
Understanding Pet Aggression

Understanding Pet Aggression

Understanding Pet Aggression. When people perceive that they are in danger, humans and animals alike are more likely to get agitated, even dogs. According to Katherine Miller, PhD, who is the head of anti-cruelty behaviour research at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “aggression serves a function for dogs.” “Dogs will defend themselves against actual or imagined dangers to their body, territory, or resources such as food and toys,” says animal behaviourist Dr. Patricia McConnell. However, if the sight of any other animal or the approach of a stranger causes your dog to start barking, snarling, and snapping at anything in sight, then behaviour modification may be in order.

The odds are in your favour if your dog is still in the puppy stage. According to Miller, the greatest method to prevent a dog from developing an aggressive personality as an adult is to start socialising it while it’s still a puppy. You should get your pet used to seeing a variety of people and environments so that it won’t see them as a danger in the future.

If your dog is far beyond the age when they were cute and playful, some remedial training may be the most effective approach to bring them back down to earth. One of the most important aspects of effectively controlling angry outbursts is being able to anticipate them. “People claim a dog didn’t provide any warning, but in most cases there is one — it’s simply unacknowledged,” adds Miller. “People say a dog didn’t give any warning.”

Warning Signs of an Aggressive Dog

Keep an eye out for small changes in your animal companion’s behaviour, such as sudden silence, glancing out of the corner of their eye rather than straight at something, dropping their head, or hunkering down. When any of these things occurs, quickly shift your dog’s attention away from the situation. Warning signals sometimes arise in the split second before a dog’s behaviour becomes more severe.

You may also prevent aggressiveness from occurring in the first place by paying attention to what your dog’s body language is trying to tell you. Miller advises, “Don’t try to make the dog do what you want him to.” It is a recipe for disaster to coerce your dog into playing well with a young kid or another animal, even if they are showing signs of pulling away from the interaction.

When a typically calm dog suddenly displays aggressive behaviour, it is important to take the animal to the veterinarian so that any possible medical explanations may be ruled out. Miller recommends seeking the assistance of a skilled dog trainer or behaviourist if your pet is still acting aggressively after you have followed the instructions in this guide.

Expert Tip

“Keep some goodies on available when you go for walks with your dog, and give him one just in case he gets too excited and lunges at the dog next door. Or, if your dog is growling at you when you come too near to him while he’s eating, toss something nice into his bowl.” — Katherine Miller, PhD

Aggressive Cats

The Cat Doctor in Atlanta, Georgia, is a feline specialist clinic, and its hospital director, Dr. Drew Weigner, DVM, gives some advice for regulating aggressive cat behaviour.

Confront the truth. According to Weigner, “Play aggressiveness is widespread and not always a negative thing, particularly for kittens.” [Citation needed] “Causing harm to other people is not acceptable behaviour.” Check the expression on your cat’s face to determine whether or not it is playful or acting aggressively. A cat that is bending down and hissing at you while its ears and whiskers are turned back and its eyes are dilated is trying to warn you to be cautious.

Mess around with it. According to Weigner, “the most common reason for a cat to cross the threshold from playful behaviour into aggressive behaviour is boredom.” Spend an hour and a half each day interacting and playing with your cat.

Stay clear of me. According to Weigner, using your hands like toys teaches cats to see them as prey and leaves you vulnerable to being bitten by a cat, both of which necessitate a visit to the doctor in every case. Instead, make it a practise to use kitty teasers, such as toys that look like fishing poles or laser pointers. These will keep your cat entertained for far longer.

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