How to Identify and Manage Puppy Aggression
If you’re a new puppy owner, congratulations! Owning a dog is arguably one of the most rewarding experiences. As a responsible dog owner, however, you might be concerned about your puppy’s behavior. While most “aggression” in puppies is a form of bonding and play, there are some red flags to address early on to ensure your pup is well-adjusted and sociable. In this article, we’ll explore why your new puppy might misbehaving and how you can curb it. Most importantly, protect your pet with a Canine Liability Insurance policy.
Depending on your breed of dog, certain characteristics might be more prevalent in their bloodline. For example, if your dog’s ancestors were bred to hunt, protect and herd, these tendencies might come out at a young age. However, this doesn’t mean your dog is a bad one or that your dog is aggression-prone. It just means you’ll need to redirect and shape their behavior early on.
If you have more than one dog, your puppy might be learning his position in the hierarchy. According to Here Pup, some of this behavior could also stem from a “pack dog” mentality. Some breeds are predisposed to becoming the “alpha dog” if the owner doesn’t use proper training and socialization techniques to create a hierarchy. The seeds of this predisposition can be sewn quite easily in the puppy stage.
There are various reasons your dog can learn to be aggressive. Most often, dogs learn aggression as a way to protect themselves from abuse and mistreatment. However, they can also learn to “resource guard.” This is just a fancy way of saying they protect their food, treats, and toys from others. This is more common in dogs who have to compete with other siblings or humans for their resources.
Nipping aggression in the bud starts with you. Recognizing playful behavior as such will prevent you from overreacting and potentially scaring your new puppy. Next, reinforce behavior with positive praise. Some dogs are more difficult to train than others- but be patient. Punishing your puppy for trying but not succeeding can have a negative effect.
Lastly, socialize your puppy from an early age. Their play and interaction skills are taught when they’re young, so take them around as many dogs and people as you can. This will teach your puppy to not fear strangers or new dogs, especially while he’s with you!
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.