By Suresh Sherawat*
Keeping a dog is a wonderful experience as a friend, companion, and part of our family. Dogs like to live in packs. They have been our faithful friends for many years and perform their duties till today and nobody can doubt their loyalty. But sometimes due to sudden changes in circumstances or atmosphere some dogs show aggression which is beyond their control and ruled by unexpected situations, which creates an undesirable situation for dog owners and it is not easy to handle.
We are discussing here; What are the reasons behind this abnormal behaviour? In the last two years, the whole world suffered a lot due to the COVID-19, which impacted human behaviour as well as our loving pets. A dog’s behaviour can be described in different phases of their lives.
1. Puppyhood Aggression
When you bring a puppy home, the puppy feels lonely because he has been separated from his mother, brother and sisters. After sometime it acceptances the new home, gets familiar with the new environment and then the puppy begins to play. It also shows friendly aggression, like soft biting of stuffs in the surroundings. It has been observed in stray dogs that they protect their food and show aggression. It can be corrected by showing them love and affection by petting them, sitting by their side while feeding.
2. Fearful dogs
This kind of dog can be described as nervous or cowardly. Whenever you take them for a walk, they fear from other dogs and try to run away. This is called fearful aggression. On hearing loud noises and sometime in such situation they may even bite. One of the reasons which leads to this kind of aggression is being mistreated in puppyhood and kept in an undesirable condition. To correct this kind of behaviour, requires confidence building program and accompanied by a normal dogs.
The dogs which are raised and developed with lots of love, affection and pampered by its owner. They like to stay with family members and anyone approaches the children or other members of the family, they show aggression towards the stranger or other animals. Sometimes they attack without warning. To prevent this situation or to correct this behaviour, one must socialize their pet from Puppyhood by taking them to the park where other dogs are around. It will take some time to improve their behaviour, the wait could be long but the result will be fruitful.
4. Injury or sickness
It has been observed that whenever any pet gets injured in an accident or gets hurt by someone, they go through painful trauma and do not allow anyone to touch them. They show aggression to protect themselves and to avoid yet another painful experience. This behaviour can be changed with time when they are fully recovered from illness. The process is slow; you have to win their confidence and show kindness, love and caring attitude.
We have seen a number of cases reported to animal welfare organizations, about dogs kept chained for an extended period or put in a small cage with limited exposure. This leads to frustration and aggressive behaviour because they are not getting enough space as required to do activities. Mostly in such a situation, sometimes dogs can also develop mental problems. if you observe any dog in this situation, please report the matter to the nearest NGOs or talk to the concerned person. Suggest them to take dog on long walk or participate in playful activities. Apart from this, there are many other related issues of aggression dominance is one or another important factor. In this case dogs aggressively display dominance towards other people or animals. Anxiety is other reason aggression happens due to change of home or sudden change of weather. Infact in such situations a dog takes time to assess the situation.
Remember, aggression is a behaviour and can be modified by applying the right scientific methods, in case you fail to understand your dog’s aggressive behaviour. Please consult professional behaviourist or trainer on aggression and moving into positive reinforcement.
* The author of this article is an Australian qualified Master Trainer with Global certification. He has worked globally for various Hollywood films, Gov. corporates, winner of many international awards. Having four decades of experience in training.