An experienced dog trainer shared some tips on how pet owners can effectively deal with their dog’s aggressive behavior.
Zak George has been training dogs for almost two decades.
He has his own YouTube channel dedicated to this topic and has hosted various shows on the Animal Planet channel including Dogs 101 and George’s website says.
“It’s not about labeling a dog as aggressive,” George said in one of his recent YouTube videos videos.
“It’s about understanding why a dog is behaving aggressively in certain contexts and taking specific actions to address the underlying cause.”
There are a number of factors that can influence a dog’s propensity for aggressive behavior, including its genetics, socialization, and environment.
But in a way, all dogs are susceptible to it because they are descended from wolves, which are dexterous predators.
“These instincts can sometimes influence a dog’s behavior,” George said.
Signs that a dog is about to engage in predatory behavior can include lip licking, growling and excessive yawning.
This could result in snapping, falling out and ultimately biting.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that applies to all puppies, George said.
“Aggression is unique to each dog and requires a nuanced understanding of your dog’s behavior,” he said.
Because aggressive behavior is often caused by stress or anxiety, it can help to put a distance between a dog and what might be triggering it.
This can result in altering the time a dog walks to avoid people or other pets.
Owners could also create safe spaces for a dog in the home by providing bars or a crate so the animal has a place to relax and calm down.
Forwarding is another useful tool, George said.
If a dog appears to be engaging in predatory behavior, it could be redirected to an activity like fetch, which provides a harmless outlet for these wolf-like instincts.
But George said if aggressive behavior is an ongoing problem for a dog, it’s a good idea for the owner to consult a recognized animal behaviorist.
It can also be triggered by health issues, so he added that a veterinary exam can help owners spot any underlying issues that might be making a dog uncomfortable.