Aggressive behaviour in dogs can be caused by many things. It may be a result of a puppyhood issue or event that was never properly dealt with – such as being attacked by another dog – or it may be due to a leadership related issue between you and your dog. However, whatever the reason for your dog’s aggression, you do need to address it as soon as you can – ideally as soon as aggressive behaviour starts to repeatedly manifest itself. The results of prolonged aggression are not only scary, but dangerous if not quickly addressed. The Source of Aggressive Behaviour in Dogs Aggressive dog behaviour can start as early as 6 weeks of age. This is a crucial stage of puppy development when it should be socialised with other dogs and given the necessary training to prevent them from biting both people and dogs. Generally this phase of socialization lasts until the dog is 14 weeks old but can extend beyond that for certain dogs and breeds. Now a puppy’s biting habit at this age isn’t going to cause any great harm but let that behaviour continue to adolescence and you’ve got a real problem. So early socialization is very important which is why you should never a puppy away from its litter before 8 weeks of age – and no good breeder will ever do so. Up to that age it is the mother that is naturally training and socialising her puppies in the ways of the world. 8 weeks is often the age at which you may get a puppy from a breeder and so for the next few weeks after that you shouldn’t use harsh discipline with the puppy. Try to make sure the dog is treated gently during that initial few weeks after it has left its litter as it is a very formative time in the puppy’s development. Hitting, yelling or other harsh punishments at a young age can often breed aggressive behaviour in dogs over time. For example, if a puppy keeps biting, try whimpering and mock crying as if in pain to show that the biting is hurting you, in order to train that biting is not acceptable behaviour. Ideally a dog should have been properly socialized with people and other dogs by 14 weeks old to avoid future aggression issues. It is known that one of the most important factors that causes aggressive behaviour in dogs is their environment. A dog that has poor living conditions, harsh masters, no socialization, or that has been frightened or attacked by another dog is far more likely to be aggressive as it ages. Of course aggression can also be triggered by a...Read More
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