The deciding factor in whether a dog is considered “good” or not is their aggression level. A dog that shows aggression on any level is automatically considered a dangerous dog. This is for good reason; after all, dogs are strong creatures with powerful jaw muscles. They can do major damage to their target. If your dog is showing signs of aggression the time to take action is now, not after something bad happens. Dog training will help you get a handle on your dog’s aggressive tendencies and teach the dog what is expected of them.
It is important that you recognize the first signs of aggression. One of the earliest signs of aggression is your dog is lowering its head and staring upward when being petted. This can progress into showing teeth, growling, and then snapping. Another sure sign of dog aggression is a dog with the hair on the back standing up with their eyes locked on the target. More obvious signs that you have an aggressive dog are biting, nipping, growling, and snapping.
If you notice the above aggression signs in your pet you need to take action immediately. The biggest mistake an owner can make is ignoring signs of aggressive behavior. It will not go away on its own; your dog will not grow out of it. If your pet is displaying only very early, subtle signs of aggression you can try to deal with it through home training. However, if your dog has bitten anyone or is aggressive towards you should consider contacting a dog trainer to handle the training for you.
If your dog is aggressive towards people, it is probably out of fear or protection. Some dog breeds are natural guard dogs, and curbing this behavior can be very difficult. Before you purchase a puppy, research the breed to determine typical aggression levels. If you have a breed with a natural tendency towards aggressive behavior, start training early. Puppy training classes can help your puppy socialize and familiarize themselves with other dogs. A dog that is aggressive towards people needs to be handled very carefully. Start by slowly introducing them to new people, but make sure that it is done outside of your home. A dog view’s their home as their territory, and territorial aggression is the worst form.
Never hold your dog back while they are meeting someone new. It can make them feel trapped. Also, never muzzle your dog with a cloth muzzle or your hands. If your dog wants to walk away from the situation let them. Your pet should never be forced into a situation that makes them uncomfortable. It will only lead to more aggression. A good example of this is Kyle Dyer. This news anchor from Denver, CO was bitten in the face on live TV. The dog was clearly displaying signs of being uncomfortable with the situation, but the owner had ahold of the collar so the dog couldn’t leave. Also, Kyle grabbed the dog’s face and turned it towards her while she was trying to kiss the dogs face. All of these things add up to a bad situation.
If your dog is showing signs of aggression it is your job to stop it. Get your dog into obedience and behavior training early to prevent the possibility of accidents.