Canine Aggression Problems–
Be Cautious, Get Help Early.
There are a dozen types of aggression in dogs. Owner-directed, fear-induced, territorial, predatory, inter-dog and redirected are the top six. Sounds simple but often the causes are subtle and multiple types exist in the same dog.
Aggression displays itself differently depending on the stimulus and the balance between dominance, fear and anxiety in the dog. A fearful, submissive dog may roll over on its back or cower when threatened. A fearful, dominant dog may attack the perceived threat aggressively.
Successful treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis followed by significant changes in the way the dog and owners interact. Behavior modification by the owners is essential to change a dogs’ aggressive behavior. Medications are often used as well.
Identifying the causes of aggression and developing a treatment strategy takes time and commitment. If possible, all family members should attend the initial behavior consultation which usually lasts about an hour. In cases of serious aggression – serious precautions must be taken to prevent injury to another animal or person.
As always, early intervention achieves the best results. Call for a behavior consult at the first signs of aggression in your dog.
Dr. Earl Mummery, DVM
801 Poquonnock Rd. Groton, CT. 06340