Tale of anger management in canines

Managing a pet’s anger or aggression is essential for the safety of both the pet and those around him. If your pet is displaying aggressive behavior, here’s what all you can do.

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The safety of both your pet and those around him should always be the top priority. Working with professionals who specialize in dog behavior can be incredibly valuable in addressing aggression issues. Additionally, patience and consistency in applying these techniques are essential for long-term success. Managing your pet’s aggression can be a challenging process, but with the right approach and guidance, it is often possible to see significant improvements in their behavior and overall well-being.

Never too late to identify the triggers

Pay attention to the situations or stimuli that trigger your pet’s aggressive behavior. Understanding these triggers can help you avoid or manage them more effectively.

Daily drills with obedience training

Enroll your pet in obedience training classes. Basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “leave it” and “whatever commands you want your pet to learn” can be useful tools in managing his behavior.

Say it loud – socialisation is important

Proper socialisation is vital for puppies and adult dogs. Gradual exposure to other dogs, people, and different environments can help reduce fear-based aggression.

Positive Reinforcement for praise parade

Use positive reinforcement training techniques to reward good behavior of your furry friend.

ABC of Desensitisation and Counter-conditioning

If your pet is aggressive due to fear or anxiety, you can work on desensitisation and counter-conditioning. This involves gradually exposing your pet to the trigger while providing positive experiences and rewards.

Muzzle manners and teaching comfort

If your pet has a history of aggression and you need to protect others, consider muzzle training. A properly fitted muzzle can prevent biting and keep people and other animals safe.

Management techniques make it work

In the short term, use management techniques like baby gates, leashes, or crates to prevent your pet from being in situations where aggression may occur. This keeps everyone safe while you work on behavior modification.

Push away the Punishment

Avoid punishing your pet for aggressive behavior, as this can make the problem worse. Punishment may lead to fear or anxiety and escalate aggression.

Medication

In some cases, medication prescribed by a veterinarian can be part of the treatment plan for aggressive dogs, especially when anxiety or fear is a significant factor.

Celebrating success with consistency

Ensure that all family members and caregivers follow the same training and management techniques consistently. Inconsistent handling can confuse your pet and bring the entire training back to square one.

Don’t shy away to seek professional help

If your pet’s aggression is severe or poses a significant risk to people or other animals, it’s essential to consult with a veterinary behaviorist or professional dog trainer experienced in working with aggressive dogs.

(Dr Amarjeet Singh Kanda –Physiotherapist and Animal Behavior Expert, Deubathh Welfare Foundation)

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