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If your pet exhibits any aggressive behavior, it’s important to be prepared, and know how to manage it. This is important in order to protect the safety of not only your pet, but also those that come into contact with it. A dog that shows aggression to people usually exhibits some of the following actions: becoming very still and rigid, guttural bark that sounds threatening, charging with no contact, growling, showing teeth, quick nips that leaves no mark, quick bites that tear the skin, repeated bites in rapid succession. There are different types of aggression your pet can display, so it’s important to speak with your vet to know which one, and how you can help manage these behaviors. 

Talk to Your Vet 

First off, if your pet is consistently showing patterns of aggressive behavior, seek help from your vet. Here your vet can evaluate your furry friend to see if a health issue could be at the center of the problem. It’s important to rule out any possibilities. According to ASPCA, some pets with orthopedic problems, thyroid abnormality, adrenal dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, seizure disorders, and sensory deficits can exhibit changes in irritability and aggression. If a medical issue doesn’t seem to be the root cause of your pets aggression, your vet can work with you one-on-one with ways to manage this that is tailored to your specific pet. 

It’s important to know and understand what type of aggression your pet is exhibiting, that way you can better manage and treat it with things like specific training methods. Your vet can help you with this. Here are types of aggression your pet could be displaying:

  • Territorial aggression
  • Protective aggression
  • Possessive aggression
  • Fear aggression
  • Defensive aggression
  • Social aggression
  • Frustrated-elicited aggression
  • Redirected aggression 
  • Pain-elicited aggression
  • Sex-related aggression
  • Predatory aggression  


Exercise can be one of the best, and healthiest, ways to combat your pet’s aggressive behaviors. Your pet may have a lot of pent up energy that they have been waiting to release. Taking them to a dog park where they can run, or for daily walks can be very rewarding for them, and you as the pet owner. Dogs who get plenty of exercise are less frustrated and less likely to lash out. 


If your pet exhibits aggressive behavior remember to stay CALM. This is essential in keeping you and your pet safe. As a pet owner, you can train your pet to be calmer by acting in a more calm-like manner. Ask your vet about specific ways and strategies to do this. Remaining calm and teaching your pet to behave the same way improves the relationship you have with them and makes everyone much happier overall. 


One of the most important ways to help manage your pet’s aggression is through good, constructive training. When doing this, it’s important to work with a pet behavioral expert that knows the proper way to train animals. Also, because it can be dangerous to start with depending on how aggressive your pet is acting. A qualified professional can develop a treatment plan customized to your dog’s temperament and your family’s unique situation, and they can coach you through its implementation. 

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