Dog Aggression Toward People: Causes, Treatment, & Prevention


Although canine aggression can take many different types, aggression against other dogs may be the most concerning. Both the person who might be harmed and the dog, who might end up being put down because of their aggressive behavior, could be seriously hurt by the aggression directed at humans.

In addition to heredity, environmental variables also affect a dog’s predisposition for aggression. Socializing your dog early is the best approach to stop them from developing an aggression problem.

We don’t always have a choice in the age of the dogs we bring home, especially when we adopt them from shelters. Suppose it pertains to your dog and they have aggressive tendencies. In that case, you should also undertake your training and get help from a competent behaviorist.

The following material merely provides a general summary of dog aggression against people. Suppose your dog is already aggressive, especially toward people. In that case, getting help as soon as possible from a competent behaviorist is possible.

Often, aggression is caused by a failure to communicate.

While it currently appears to be of slight advantage to the domesticated dog, canine aggression once served essential functions, such as locating food and defending territory and other pack members.

Aggression toward people still occurs in modern dogs in response to a real or imagined threat. The scenario frequently grows worse because our two species don’t natively speak the same language.

In reality, you might be addressing a dog in audible human language by saying, “Hey, I’m into you! Let’s be pals, but it could also imply that I’m a threat and am after dominance “in dog terms.

Consider the well-known example of the man approaching the dog directly. He looks into the dog’s eyes and pats him on the top of the head. Each action indicates a conflict with the dog, and you can expect him to react accordingly.

Naturally, the inverse is also possible. Even though a dog may think they are being transparent when they indicate, they want you to back off, and it won’t matter if you can’t read their cues and warning signs.

Enrolling your dog in an obedience class or enlisting a professional trainer’s help will communicate and improve your bond with your best companion.

Dog aggression against people: causes

Aggressive aggression is a result of fear and anxiety. Your dog sees everything strange as threatening, whether a person, an object, or an animal.

Genetics has a role in how well a dog can tolerate the unexpected or the unfamiliar, and some breeds are naturally more cautious than others. For instance, Labradors are more relaxed, while Rat Terriers are more anxious. The breed is only one piece of the puzzle, though.

It is possible to expose your puppy to as many different types of people, animals, sights and sounds before they reach the age of 14 weeks because lack of socialization is the second significant contributing factor.

Introduce a puppy to unusual people and situations when he is still a young puppy. He will be much more likely to be able to handle them. Otherwise, they might react out of aggression and fear.

Abuse is another factor. A dog subjected to maltreatment by a person will be unstable, untrusting, and for a good cause. Punishing such a dog physically or verbally will only make problems worse by escalating stress and anxiety.

How to Approach the problem

You should seek professional dog behaviorist advice if your dog exhibits aggressive behavior.

Your dog could lead to strained relationships with friends, relatives, or strangers with just one snap, let alone a bite. After all, none of these people are aware of how adorable your dog may be when they are left alone at home with you. Ignoring the problem will only lead matters worse.

Desensitization is the method that is most usually used to cure aggression. The first step is to isolate the most essential, recognizable elements of your dog’s aggression triggers.

By pairing the two, you’ll establish pleasurable associations between the trigger stimuli and the rewarding behavior—one tiny step at a time.

Desensitization is a procedure that takes patience, perseverance, and expertise. Speak to a behaviorist before you begin to get precise instructions.

In the interim, manage your dog’s environment and don’t tolerate too much pressure.

Don’t try to take a picture of bearded men sitting on Santa’s knee if it makes them uncomfortable, even though it would make a lovely holiday card. If they appear slightly anxious with children, manage them cautiously or avoid them.

Children are known to react to dogs with extreme excitement or exaggerated fear, which your dog will pick up on, and often respond with fear-based aggression. It’s not a brilliant idea to enter a fearful dog’s “space.”

Remember that many adults also own dogs; your dog may arouse their fear and cause them to feel uneasy.

Remember that your dog’s anxiety and aggression will only grow if you yell at them, act angrily, or spank them physically. These strategies are never adequate.

Be aware of the signs of aggressive conduct for your and others’ safety.

  • Hacker awareness
  • A curled lip or exposed teeth
  • Growling
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Snapping
  • Body wasting away

How to stop aggression against people

While there is no foolproof way to minimize aggression, there are certain simple things you can do to lower the chances that it will happen significantly:

  • Socialize and expose your puppy to as much of the outside world as possible before they are twelve to fourteen weeks old.
  • Introduce youngsters to interpersonal contact at a young age. Impact their paws, tail, mouth, and ears.
  • Neuter or spay your dog as soon as possible to lessen significantly hormone-driven aggressive behavior.
  • Always be kind and considerate to your dog, and use positive reinforcement to instill good manners in him. Physical punishment, intimidation, and isolation only increase aggression by adding to a dog’s anxiety.
  • Before adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group, learn about its past and disposition as much as possible. Find out if an aggression test has been performed on them.