Aggressive Dog Behaviour Can Occur Even Without Direct Provocation Or Threat
There are undoubtedly countless stories of people who have been bitten unexpectedly by a dog. Usually, these stories go on to say that there was no reason for the dog to bite or no reason for such aggressive and potentially dangerous behaviour. While this may be true in an overt sense, i.e.: the person did not openly provoke or threaten the dog, it is likely that the dog was reacting to an instinctive or unintentional stimulus.
12 Warning Signs that Help to Know that Your Dog May Bite
Here are 12 signs that show your pet is about to bite. Knowing them can help you curb aggressive dog behaviour:
If your dog’s body is stiff and the tail is tucked, it indicates your pet is afraid. Pushing or any other direct provocation means they could bite.
When your dog’s ears and the tail is high while the tail meets its back, lips are tight, chest puffed out, and is staring at you, they are ready to fight.
If your pet is growling and snapping, it indicates they are uncomfortable and unhappy. This also shows aggressive behaviour, where your dog is likely to bite.
Lifting a corner of their lip to show a tooth or all teeth can be a sign of aggression. However, some breeds, such as Australian Shepherds, grin as a sign of pleasure. Aggressive dog behaviour training can help you understand the signals more clearly.
When your pet is stalking you, and it’s not playtime, it could mean they are about to bite. This is when their head will be low with a stiff body and intense stare. Usually, a dog stalking with a relaxed body language is not a concern.
Some breeds, such as Border Collies, have a habit of staring. However, a dog staring at you with tense body language indicates they could bite.
Your dog may try to get away from you when they are fearful. If you fail to understand them and respect their condition, they will likely get aggressive to push you away. It is wise to encourage them to come to you gently instead of chasing them to interact unless you are well-versed in aggressive dog training.
Your dog may become aggressive when you are trying to approach something valuable to them. As mild behaviour, they may growl and take away the object from you. But if they stay there to guard and try to lunge, they are also likely to bite if you don’t back off.
If you see your dog licking their lips, yawning repeatedly, and trying to avoid looking at you, it means they are feeling uncomfortable with something going around. This doesn’t mean they are about to bite, but a pet that is uncomfortable, stressed or afraid is more likely to bite.
Dog with Raised Fur
When dogs are fearful or overly stimulated, the fur on their back stands up. Sometimes, only the fur on the neck between the shoulders stands up. Or, for others, the hair stands up near their tails. If you see your dog’s hackles raised, it’s a sign that you need to back off. Otherwise, they are likely to bite or show other signs of aggression.
Dog in Aroused State
A highly aroused or excited dog with its tongue hanging out may bite. This is more likely if you interfere when they are trying to attack something or when they are trying to get to a female in heat.
Some aggressive dog training methods can make your pet feel defensive such as tackling the dog to the ground. So, choosing the right aggressive dog behaviour training service is wise to achieve the best results.
There are several reasons why a dog may bite and/or display aggressive behaviour to a stranger or to people it knows, including family members. Such motives may include:
- Protection of its own possessions (food, water, toys)
- Protection of its owner or the owner’s property
- Protection of its puppies
- provocation or fear
- Injury or illness
- Instinct/prey drive (stimulated by motion such as jogging, bike riding)
- Reaction to a loud noise or an aggressive act (even if meant as playful)
However, perhaps the most important factor or all-encompassing reason for aggressive dog behaviour and/or biting is a lack of proper training (or any training) by its owners.
When confronted by an aggressive dog displaying threatening or menacing behaviour, a number of safety steps or reactions can be taken or demonstrated to try and calm the dog and prevent possible injury/harm. Such actions, or non-actions, can be one or more of the following:
- Try to remain calm – agitation/animation can further encourage the dog
- Avoid loud screaming (in general or at the dog) as it can also embolden the dog
- Assume a motionless and rigid position with hands at your sides
- Turn/stand sideways to the dog and avoid direct eye contact
- Clench your hands into fists to protect your fingers
- Do not turn and run – this can actually incite the dog’s prey instincts
- Try to pacify the dog by offering an alternative object (water bottle, hat)
- Face the dog and give a stern and loud command to back away
- Take command of your space – place a stick, umbrella, cane, in front of you
- If possible, straddle/kneel on the dog’s back and press on the back of its neck
Unfortunately, the best behaved or friendliest dog can become aggressive and/or bite, even when apparently unprovoked. In the majority of cases, such behaviour can either be prevented or eliminated through the aggressive dog training programs provided by certified professionals such as the team from Alpha Paws.
Curb Unwanted Behaviour With Our Aggressive Dog Training Program
Aggressive behaviour can manifest itself in any number of ways, such as barking, growling, snapping/biting, and stiff posture, and can be aimed at people or other dogs.
Such types of aggressive behaviours can be prevented and/or discontinued by enrolling the dog in a specifically-designed aggressive dog training program. Our dog trainers team will first assess the external stimuli that can lead to aggressive behaviour, as well as any communication breakdowns between the dog and its owner family with respect to any training practices. Then a comprehensive and customized training program will be developed and delivered to curb the dog of its unwanted aggressive behaviour.
When the subject is aggressive dog behaviour, the best course of action is often one of prevention. Call the dog training professionals at Alpha Paws today at either 905-830-9500 or 1-877-868-PAWS (7297) to discuss the specific course of action to address any type of aggression from your dog or puppy.