Getting a new puppy is an exciting experience. A puppy is playful, cute, and lovable and can bring the whole family together. Nevertheless, sometimes our puppies don’t exactly live up to expectation. While the majority of puppy owners will have a problem free experience, some of us have to learn how to deal with problems like aggression. Your puppy may growl at family members, bite or snap, or bark excessively, and obviously these signs of aggression are unacceptable. If you have a puppy that is acting aggressively what should you do?
First, you need to identify the reason for the aggression. Aggressive behavior in puppies may be defensive, territorial, or the result of anxiety. In addition, puppies may behave aggressively because they want to dominate. Identifying which kind of aggression your puppy is demonstrating will help to deal with the problem. For example, if your puppy becomes aggressive when family members come in contact with his food or toys, this is a sign of territorial aggression. Alternatively, puppies who growl at older dogs may be trying to assert their dominance. Ultimately, dealing with aggression involves a training program that is built around the fundamental causes of the aggression.
Generally speaking, there are two types of training that can help reduce your puppy’s aggression. Socialization training and obedience training have different goals but similar results. With socialization training, you want to teach your puppy to get along well with other dogs and people. You want your puppy to remain relaxed when there are new people or animals introduced. Socialization training is especially effective for reducing anxiety and preventing territorial aggression. With obedience training, you are achieving multiple goals. First you are teaching your puppy his position in the household and that it is unacceptable to show aggression toward family members. In addition, obedience training helps to reduce defensive aggression because puppies learn the natural organization of the household.
Puppy owners can find a wealth of information online about puppy training, but should also consider a professional puppy trainer if their own efforts have failed. Essentially, puppies need to learn appropriate behavior and with consistent training that focuses on reinforcement is the most effective method.