My dog is aggressive with humans: why? How can I solve the problem?

A dog's aggression towards humans is extremely problematic because the consequences can be serious. It is therefore urgent to react so that the animal's behaviour can improve so that it stops being a danger. And in order to find the solutions best adapted to the animal, it is essential to start by understanding how the dog may have become aggressive because it is not innate. Has he been brutalized? Does he suffer physically? Is he irritated? Is he trying to defend something or someone? Let's find out the main reasons why a dog may be aggressive towards humans and the most effective ways to deal with this type of difficulty.

My dog is aggressive with humans

How does a dog become aggressive?
Aggressiveness in dogs is not acquired at birth, but it sets in little by little, depending on their life history. Here are the main events that can lead to aggressive behaviour in a dog, regardless of breed.

Abuse: owners who do not love their pet and mistreat it at any time or brutalize it generate fear. The dog is worried, even hyper anxious, and the anxiety caused by certain situations makes him aggressive because it is the only solution for him to manage this type of situation. When a dog is afraid, his reaction is not preventive: it is instantaneous, which is therefore very dangerous for his victim who does not have time to take cover.

Irritation: Many situations can cause irritation in a dog. Forcing him to do something against his will can make him aggressive after a while. Aggression following an exacerbation is common in dogs that find themselves in front of children who heckle, who shout. And even if these animals show warning signs, the children generally don't know how to interpret them and so they are sometimes bitten severely.

The need to stand up for their puppies: This is a common occurrence among female dogs who take care of their puppies. They are constantly watching over their litter and may attack a human who gets a little too close to the puppies. In a lactating bitch, humans can represent a direct danger to her offspring or to herself. She therefore automatically becomes aggressive because she has no other means of reacting.

A health problem: a sick dog can become aggressive. This is particularly the case if he is in pain, if he regularly has a high fever, i.e. above 39°C, which can lead to the suspicion of an infectious outbreak. Aggressive behaviour can also be found in a dog with hormonal dysfunction and of course when he is suffering from a form of dementia. In these cases, veterinary care is necessary. The professional must first of all auscultate the animal, then submit it to various complementary examinations in order to identify the health problem at the origin of this aggressiveness.

Defending one's territory: it is mainly dogs trained to stand guard that are aggressive towards unknown or known humans but who exceed certain limits. The animal is only doing its duty. They may attack after giving warning signals.

The predation instinct: this is the type of situation that can be found in a primitive dog or in a dog that hunts for food. In some dogs in herds that have not been properly trained, aggressive behaviour towards humans can be observed in the same way as it would be with the animals they have to look after.

Dog aggression: it's never too late to act
We must start by solving this communication problem between man and dog. Indeed, in the vast majority of cases, a dog warns - in his own way - when a situation does not suit him. He communicates his discomfort or irritation with signs that are theoretically explicit, but some humans do not understand this type of language and persist. Only then does the animal become aggressive. It is therefore necessary to be observant and stop imposing a situation on a dog that exasperates him. Signs can be grunts, the position of the ears (lying backwards), the tail tucked in between the hind legs, snubbed chops, repeated and rapid licking of the nose...

Aggression in a dog is often an expression of a reaction to a disturbing situation, to an emotional shock. A dog is generally not aggressive by nature contrary to popular belief. On the other hand, it can become aggressive if it is badly educated, if it is not socialized or if it has been badly handled by a brutal, incomprehensible, not very patient or simply does not respect its animal. Finally, a malaise as in the case of disease, or even physical and/or psychological suffering, often leads to mood disorders in dogs, as it is the case in humans for that matter.

Aggressive dog towards humans: what solutions?
It is necessary to start by identifying the cause of the aggressiveness and then learn to decode the warning signals in order to better understand them. As a general rule, the dog seeks to avoid conflict, so he warns that a given situation is not suitable for him.

Next, a relationship of trust must be established with the dog, based above all on respect. A lack of trust creates a feeling of insecurity in the animal. In the same way, misunderstanding can destabilize him and end up making him aggressive towards his master or another human being. It is thus necessary to be constant in its requirements but also coherent and patience is required. The dog can thus assimilate the rules that one wishes to inculcate to him.

Be careful, any socialization or re-socialization session implies that you put a muzzle on the animal. This gives the handler confidence, which has a positive impact on the dog's emotional state. It is also necessary to establish a routine because it is soothing, and always take care to reassure him. Never go too fast is the rule, because the dog must be given time to become familiar with the object of his fear. It is just as important to teach him the basic rules little by little, without haste, to tend towards a completely satisfactory degree of obedience.

It is also essential to allow a dog to exercise himself so that he can express his aggressiveness. Leaving his animal locked up in a tiny kennel all the time encourages unstable behaviour.

It is easy to understand that it is totally unconscious not to intervene with an aggressive dog under the pretext that he is an adult and there is nothing we can do about it. On the contrary, it is always possible and in any case absolutely necessary to change his behaviour. Whatever his breed (and therefore his size) he can bite and become very dangerous towards an adult human but even more so towards a child. Before it is too late, every owner must prevent aggression from his dog by taking care to educate him. If he thinks he doesn't have the ability, he must entrust the education of his dog to an experienced dog trainer.

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