When your dog shows aggression toward other pets, you might live in constant fear that they’ll hurt another animal in your household. You may also be afraid to take them anyplace where they could encounter unfamiliar dogs, such as the local park. If this describes you, here’s what you should know about canine aggression and how neuter surgery can reduce it.
Why Is My Dog So Aggressive?
Aggressiveness can be caused by a number of underlying factors, including:
- Past Experiences: A dog that has been neglected or abused is more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior. Dogs that have had traumatic interactions with other dogs in the past, such as those that have been rescued from fighting rings, may be particularly inclined toward anti-social attitudes. Lack of early socialization can lead to aggressiveness because your dog simply doesn’t know how to behave around other dogs.
- Fear and Jealousy: Your dog might show aggression when it feels scared or intimidated, or if it is jealous of a weaker pup. Sometimes, canines become possessive of their family, food, or toys, and will act to protect their territory. Male dogs that have not had neuter surgery often exhibit jealousy and aggression toward each other when competing for a mate.
- Physical Causes: In some cases, a dog’s aggressive behavior may be due to a medical condition. For example, dogs that are in pain sometimes become aggressive to try to protect themselves. Your veterinarian can perform tests, such as a urine analysis and an MRI scan, to determine if your pet’s aggression has an underlying biochemical or neurological cause.
What Steps Can I Take to Solve the Problem?
Being the owner of an aggressive dog can be scary and frustrating. Fortunately, there are numerous solutions, including:
- Training: Work with an experienced dog trainer to teach your pet how to socialize with other animals. If the dog’s aggression is caused by fear, trauma, or overprotectiveness, an animal behaviorist can help it learn new ways to deal with those emotions. Reward positive behavior and avoid punishing aggression, as punishment could make your dog even more aggressive.
- Neutering: Deciding to neuter your male dog is a simple way to curb aggression. After neuter surgery, the dog will lose interest in finding a mate, so it won’t be so inclined to act jealous and aggressive toward other male dogs. There are many affordable neuter clinics that will provide this service.
- Medication: If the aggression is caused by a physical condition, your vet may prescribe an anti-anxiety drug or other medicine. The vet might also recommend herbal supplements that can calm your dog down. Some of these can be added to your dog’s regular food, while others come in treat form.
If your dog is exhibiting anti-social behavior, get professional help. Nutmeg Spay/Neuter Clinic in Stratford, CT, offers inexpensive spay and neuter surgery for dogs and cats. We are dedicated to reducing the number of unwanted litters and helping your pet live a long, healthy life. We also offer low-cost vaccinations. Call (203) 690-1550 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.