A large dog that exhibits signs of hostility might be quite harmful. You are faced with a very tough decision if your dog exhibits fear aggression, like mine does: You can either put the dog down or retain it. There truly isn't a better option.

How to Control Aggressive Dogs

You could take your dog to a shelter, but chances are good that the shelter will put your dog to death unless it is a no-kill shelter or one that can handle the needs of an aggressive dog. If fortune favors you, you may be able to locate someone who is both willing and able to care for the dog.

Crucial Factors to Keep in Mind When Owning a Dog

Even while owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibilities, having an aggressive dog increases that burden even further. It is important to treat an aggressive dog seriously and should not be taken lightly. An aggressive dog cannot be kept unless you are prepared to take the required safety measures for both your dog and everyone else your dog interacts with.

You might also need to adjust your way of living. 

How to Come to the Tough Choice to Put the Dog Down
But deciding to put them down is also a major choice. Pets are like family to a lot of people. We adore our pets, therefore the thought of putting them down for anything other than medical needs is abhorred. But you also don't want your dog to cause harm to others. You must consider your options:

  • Do you still have alternatives to consider?
  • Do you think you can protect others around you and your pet?
  • Are you equipped to deal with situations as they arise?
  • There might still be hope if your response to those questions was yes. It could be time to think about putting your dog down or giving them away if they are hostile toward you or the other family members in your home or if you don't think you can prevent them from injuring someone.

But, know that you are not alone and that there are lots of things you can do to support and protect your pet if, like me, you choose to tough it out.

Dog Aggression Types and Symptoms
There are four main reasons why dogs become aggressive:

• Dominance

• Territory

• Fear

• Prey

Territorial Hostility
Territorial violence is the result of a dog's property obsession. Dogs are marking their territory, which is one of the reasons they seem to urinate on every tree when you take them for a stroll. When outsiders or other animals enter their territory, a territorially aggressive dog will react by biting, growling, or snapping. This is their way of defending their home. Therefore, it may be an indication of territorial aggression if your dog is barking at the mailman or growling at strangers who enter your home.

This kind, also known as social aggressiveness, happens when your dog thinks he is the pack leader. These dogs are frequently content and well-mannered, but they will get aggressive if someone in the family or another member of their group crosses any mental limits.

Examples are when a dog becomes agitated when its food or treats are taken away, or when you attempt to stroke, cuddle, or move your pet when he's asleep and he growls or snaps.

Fear of Violence
Fear aggression has already been briefly discussed, although it usually manifests in timid dogs who lack self-assurance. Waiting till a person has turned their back before a dog begins to bark or charge is one indication or symptom of fear aggression (never turn your back on a nervous dog). Nipping and jumping up is also a really strong indicator because scared dogs will nip and run, not wanting to go in for the attack. Dogs that are afraid will also lunge and bark at anything that comes near.

Wolves are the ancestors of all canines, and wolves hunt to survive. As a result, many dogs have a high prey drive, which makes them strongly motivated to hunt after tiny animals like squirrels, rabbits, cats, or other creatures. A squirrel or cat that your dog starts after and attacks is a solid indicator that they are showing signs of prey aggression. Dogs chasing animals into the streets could arise from this. Some dogs may mistake bikes, animals, or even small children for prey due to their intense hunt drive.

Other Reasons for Identical Behaviors
Although there are other reasons why dogs could act aggressively, the four types of aggression mentioned above are the most hazardous. But don't confuse an enthusiastic, high-energy dog—even if they can be a little naughty—for an aggressive dog. Not every dog who leaps on humans, tugs on his leash, or chases squirrels is hostile. Aggression is frequently indicated if they are attempting to bite, nip, or lunge at a person or dog.

Working With a Dog That Is Aggressive
Well, your dog is hostile, but what else do you know? How would you begin? There isn't a lot of helpful information available on that. The fact that no two dogs are alike and that what suits one might not suit another further exacerbates the problem. But, the list of tips for handling your dog's aggression issues is provided below.

Collaborate with your veterinarian
When dealing with an aggressive dog, your veterinarian might be your greatest ally. My dog may not be liked by many, but my veterinarian has always been very supportive. Medication for anxiety or aggression, such as Prozac or Xanax, might be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Also, my dog's veterinarian has truly adjusted to his needs. They were willing to treat him without requiring me to bring him in for a visit when he had an issue, like diarrhea that needed to be treated or the time he damaged his front leg. In this manner, neither the dog nor any staff member at the vet have to risk injury during a visit. A good behaviorist might also be recommended by the vet. If you wish to keep the dog and provide it with medical care, you will need your veterinarian on your side.

Training for Obedience
Obedience training is necessary for all dogs, or at the very least for large dogs. It takes more than simply tricks to get your dog to listen to you; this is especially true when the dog is agitated, afraid, or enthusiastic. The most crucial thing is to have an excellent recall so that in the event that your dog runs off after someone or something, it will always return to you before something awful happens, like running into an automobile or biting someone.

Teach Your Dog to Contemplate When He's Nervous or Excited
The fact that fear aggressive dogs become anxious or eager and then ignore your directions because they aren't even truly hearing them is one of their main issues. Thus, you need to teach your dog how to think and react when they are happy. This is appropriate training for all sorts of aggressiveness and enhances the likelihood that they will follow your instructions when responding to a trigger.

As indicated previously, one approach to educate your dog to think while enthusiastic is to train them to recall, but another effective method is to make them sit. When playing catch with your dog, for instance, every few throws or so, make them sit before you toss the ball.

Spray Citronella
Anyone who has a dog that is hostile toward other dogs ought to do this! We genuinely believe that this tool has saved my life, and we heartily urge everyone who walks their dog to use it. The best technique to defend both your dog and the other dog when a stray or unleashed dog approaches is to use citronella spray to squirt the loose dog in the nose before a fight breaks out.

Although the other dog won't be harmed by your citronella spray, they will probably dislike it and leave you and your dog alone.

Modification of Behavior
Dogs that exhibit fear aggression need behavior modification in addition to obedience. Your veterinarian can suggest a reputable behaviorist. We would advise not visiting a random one you came on online. If you do, though, be careful to employ clicker training or other forms of positive reinforcement training. Acts of hostility such as yanking and tugging on a leash or performing alpha rolls will exacerbate the issue. Your dog can learn from a behaviorist to not overreact to stimuli and to avoid lunging, attacking, or biting the things it is afraid of.


How do you calm down an aggressive dog?
Patience and a composed manner are necessary while trying to soothe an angry dog. First, take off any triggers that the dog is reacting to aggressively, including strange persons, other dogs, or loud noises. Remain composed and use a calming voice when you speak. Steer clear of direct eye contact since it may be interpreted as threatening. As an alternative, stand sideways to the dog and, if necessary, slowly back away.
How do you punish a dog for food aggression?
A dog that is aggressive toward food should never be punished! Instead, choose a non-coercive strategy to lessen tension and prevent inciting further anxiety.
What is the dog calming code?
The Dog Calming Code teaches both new and veteran dog owners how to communicate with dogs, how to connect with dogs, and how to create an ideal relationship that makes training easier.
What is the best human sedative for dogs?
Because of its incredibly relaxing effects, benadryl may be helpful for an anxious dog. Although Benadryl is a human medication and has not yet received approval for use in dogs, many veterinarians advise using it due to its ability to reduce anxiety. Benadryl is very safe for dogs to use.