Sudden Aggression in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s sudden aggressive behavior.

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Note: When handling an aggressive dog, take special precautions to avoid being bitten. Even if the dog is normally quiet and loving, do not assume he will not bite you. Muzzle the dog if necessary. Use heavily padded gloves or cover the dog’s mouth with a thick towel or blanket. Herd the dog into a carrier, if possible, for transport to the nearest veterinary hospital. In extreme cases, isolate the dog in a room or pen and call animal control for assistance.

CAUSES OF AGGRESSION

Pain: Trauma (cuts, broken bones, bruises), orthopedic disorders (arthritis, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, back problems), ear infections, eye problems, and many others.

What to do: Take the dog to a veterinarian to diagnose the source of pain and administer treatment, if needed.

Illness: Diseases affecting mood or behavior (rabies, distemper, encephalitis, cognitive dysfunction, brain tumors, and many others).

What to do: Take the dog to a veterinarian to diagnose and treat.

Behavioral: Introduction of new family member (canine or human), maternal aggression, escalation of rough play.

What to do: Consult an experienced dog trainer or animal behaviorist.

Disclaimer: DogChannel.com’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Have a health question about your dog? Ask our 
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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

1/1/2013 5:36:19 AM

When my dog was a puppy we worked very hard on socializing her with the community, people and other dogs. This is a very important for your dogs behavou. We also took a class in obedience for us the owners to know the things we needed to do so our dog did not develop aggressive behaviors.

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cissy   Lafayette, IN

4/12/2012 10:17:22 AM

I have 3 chow mix dogs and one is still a puppy. Our puppy who is less than a year old likes to start fights with our chow beagle mix. The puppy is a female and the one that she likes to pick on is the male. what can I do to get this to stop? I know that the female pup is very protective and does not like the chow beagle mix dog to get close to me. The pup is suposed to be my husband's dog but she is just as protective of me. This is driving me crazy!!!!

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Troy   Mountain Home, ID

12/31/2011 12:57:17 PM

Is the dog training book in audio or a is it something to read because I cannot read very well.

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MARGE   CASEVILLE, MI

3/27/2011 10:41:37 AM

MY FRENCH BULLDOG IS AGGRESSIVE TO OTHER DOGS, ALSO ALWAYS HU8NGRY, HOW MUCH TO FEED A 25 LB DOG

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