We’ve talked about a number of behavioral issues in our posts this month – fear of fireworks, fear of thunder, and separation anxiety. But aggression is one of the biggest behavior problems that bring pets to us here at Town N Country.

Aggression isn’t qualified simply by a dog that bites. A dog that bites someone has usually exhibited several indicators to warn of aggressive tendencies. While it’s difficult to give an exhaustive list, the following symptoms are very common:

1. Jealous type. Possessive over food or toys and jealously guards them. The pet may growl or snap when any person or other pet comes too close.
2. Fighter dog. Fighting between dogs of the same household that escalates to the point of injuries.
3. My Space. Growling or snapping at anyone who gets too close to the dog’s crate.
4. Stalker walker. Growls, snaps or lunges at passersby on a typical walk. Don’t presume the dog wouldn’t carry out her threats.
5. Back yard patrol. Shows aggression to the meter reader or anyone who comes in that space.
6. All in the family. Shows aggression toward a member of your family.

Sometimes owners of a pet can make excuses for their pet’s behavior, but ignoring warning signs is a dangerous gamble. When you have concerns, talk to us.

In many cases, spaying or neutering is the first step.

Our primary concern will be to determine underlying triggers and then to create a strategy to correct a pet’s inappropriate response.

Often the solution is a combination of long-term medication coupled with behavior modification. For difficult-to-diagnose cases, Town N Country may refer to Dr. Flannigan, a behavioralist vet.

At times, a dog may be aggressive for good reason – like she’s just given birth or he’s sick or hurting. As the person who loves the dog, you are the first one to investigate. Is this behavior justified? Is there a bigger problem?

Behavioral issues top the charts as the number one reason for euthanasia of a pet. Early intervention can prevent a bad incident from becoming a dangerous pattern.

A dog with an aggressive nature or aggressive tendencies can create a host of problems for her owners. Don’t wait until you have a full-blown incident to ask for help. Give Town N Country a call and let’s set up an appointment.