This is probably the most serious of all dog behavioural issues, and the most common reason for dogs being sent to rescue shelters or needlessly euthanised. For many dog owners, it can be frustrating and disheartening to see how their once playful puppy has progressed from being cute and lovable into an aggressive monster in adulthood. What a way to repay all the ‘love’ you have given it!
The reasons for dog aggression are many and varied. All sorts of life experiences can happen along the way that may nurture aggression in dogs. Fundamentally, most aggression problems stem from an underlying fear. Dog’s are not born aggressive, but some will inadvertently learn to react in an aggressive manner in an effort to survive and through misinterpretation of their role in the pack. Aggression issues are mostly confined to adult dogs although it is not unknown in young puppies. In any case, action needs to be taken quickly. Be careful though not to confuse mouthing or teething with aggression in young puppies. In most cases, adult aggression in dogs will stem from the dog feeling vulnerable or unprotected.
Dogs are unable to speak for themselves, and as a result they are often misunderstood and usually get the blame when things go wrong. It is a sobering thought to consider that 95% of aggression in dogs is actually learned behaviour, resulting from the environment in which the dog has learned to survive within, as it learns to deal with the situation as only it knows how. Euthanising is traditionally viewed as a last resort option, but sadly these days it is all too often an easy out, with humans blaming the dog for a problem and failing to get professional help. The irony is that aggression in dogs is more often than not caused by the human input, with the dog.
Putting a dog to sleep or re-homing can be a very distressing decision for a family and in most situations NOT necessary! At Bark Busters we believe in the saying “Deed Not Breed” and that no dog is beyond help. Most dog aggression problems can be corrected and cured if approached under the expert guidance of a professional Bark Busters dog trainer. We accomplish amazing results by solving the underlying core of the problem, and putting in place our unique dog behavioural modification therapy to un-learn the behaviour, and re-structure the canine responses in a way that makes sense to the dog and it’s owner.
See our client reviews page to read successful case histories where we have solved aggression problems saving dogs from being surrendered or put to sleep.