Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Pets > Pet Care > Managing Your Dog's Aggression
|

Managing Your Dog's Aggression

Canine aggression comes about due to any of a number of causes. Some dogs just have bad temperaments. Some have medical problems that cause behavioral changes. Aggression can be directed at people, at other animals, or both. An aggressive dog—one that threatens to bite, tries to bite, or does bite—is dangerous. If your dog behaves aggressively, you need to get qualified professional help immediately.

Start with a physical exam by your veterinarian. Be sure she knows about the aggression problem. Have a full thyroid panel run (not just a thyroid screening), as low thyroid sometimes causes aggressive behavior. Ask your vet about other tests you may want to have run. Be aware that even if a physical cause is found, it may be difficult or impossible to control your dog's aggressive behavior reliably enough to make him a safe pet. Altering cuts down on aggression if it's done before sexual maturity. It may help an older dog in some cases, but not all.

Here's the bottom line on aggression: No matter what the cause, and no matter how much you love your dog, if you cannot manage your dog's aggression so that he will never pose a threat to any child, to your neighbors or visitors to your home, or to anyone else's pet, then you should seriously consider having him humanely euthanized. It's a terribly sad and difficult decision to have to make, but sometimes it is the responsible and loving choice. How would you feel if your dog attacked and maimed a child or killed your neighbor's dog? A single dog bite is painful and can cause a lot of damage. An attack by an aggressive dog is devastating. Get help and do what you can to fix the problem, but if it can't be fixed, release your dog from the demons that provoke him, and keep everyone safe.

More on: Pets

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog © 2003 by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks