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Dealing with Aggressive Dogs


Aggression in dogs can manifest in a number of ways, so knowing how to manage and deal with your dog’s aggression can be very useful. There are a number of situations that can make a dog become aggressive. Typically the aggression stems from a fight-or-flight response where the dog may resort to aggressive behavior if they feel threatened. 

According to the Animal Humane Society, there are three main causes for  aggression in dogs:

  • Social aggression: In environments where there are multiple dogs, aggressive behavior and fights can break out if one dog is trying to assert dominance over another or is trying to claim an object or territory from another dog. These situations may require you to manage the environment and to reward your pup for good behavior so they know how to act in social situations. 


  • Aggression from pain: A dog may resort to aggressive behavior, including biting, if they are feeling pain. For a dog in pain, it’s important to handle the situation very delicately. A dog in pain may even bite their own owners. If your dog is experiencing unusual pain, take them to the nearest pet emergency clinic. 


  • Learned aggression: Your dog may become conditioned to resort to aggression in order to get what they want. If their aggressive behavior has been rewarded by getting what they want in the past, you can be sure that they will resort to it again in the future. It’s important to only reward positive and polite behavior so your dog resorts to positive actions when they want something. 

Train Your Pup at Life of Riley

Fortunately for the dogs in the Potomac, Bethesda, Washington DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and surrounding areas, our two convenient locations offer a variety of training options to turn your pup into a well-behaved companion. At Life of Riley, we only employ the most talented dog trainers who solely use positive reinforcement methods to encourage your pup to work with us, rather than cooperate out of fear. Please contact us to discuss your dog’s unique training needs and to schedule an initial consultation.

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