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10 Tips to Calm an Aggressive Dog

By Adarsh Gupta, Feb 19, 2019

Aggression is something that can turn a whole day upside down. Be it in humans or animals, aggression only invites more troubles and unpleasant relationships. And when your dog displays this behavior, it can also get dangerous at times. They would avoid being close to you and may get agitated on being approached. So, does your dog get aggressive for every little reason?

Dogs exhibit aggression for various reasons. They may be ill, afraid, frustrated, show dominance or possessiveness through their aggression. If you notice a sudden behavioral change and find your dog transforming from a friendly mutt to an uncontrollable aggressive one, you need to consult a veterinarian immediately.

Aggressive Dog

However, if your dog is physically healthy and yet he is displaying aggression, there are certain ways you can help him calm down. Herein, we will discuss different methods that can help your dog mellow down. Your dog will need you to help him, so be patient!

Tips to calm your aggressive dog

1. Consult a vet

If your dog has turned aggressive and is displaying new signs suddenly, you need to take him to a veterinarian immediately. If your dog has started growling, biting, snapping at the slightest change around them, your dog may be suffering from some ailment or stress. A dog in discomfort is usually irritated and aggressive and may attack when approached. Some of the common causes of troubles are bone fracture, arthritis, stomach ache, tumor and also lacerations. Therefore, taking them to the vet at the earliest is essential. It will help you understand what triggers your mutt.

2. Hire a trainer

Hiring a trainer is one of the most effective ways of helping your dog calm down. Professional dog trainers have the understanding to deal with different dog behaviors. They hold experience in dealing with different kinds of aggression in different breeds of dog. From a training program to dietary change, they will guide you on how to help your little friend. It is advisable to go for an experienced trainer.

3. Take them out to exercise

Let the energy vent out through exercise. Plan a workout regime for your dog, take him out for a walk everyday and spend some time playing fetch. When your pup burns out energy, you will notice that they are happy, and will also enjoy a good sleep. Daily workouts keep pets calm and relaxed. It also helps in reducing their stress.

Teach them tricks

4. Teach them tricks

Engage your dog in some task. You can teach them to open the door, fetch the dog bowl, and carry your groceries. By showing them specific tasks or giving them something to do, you will help in keeping their minds engaged and bodies active. It will also help them focus while keeping their behavior calm and composed. It is one of the best ways to keep hyperactive dogs busy and healthy.

5. Use desensitization

Desensitization is the process where you expose your dog to the triggers that make them aggressive. This process is helpful when you know what the triggers are. Do not impose it upon them or do not let it be too intense, as it may make them more anxious and uncomfortable. You need to expose him to the trigger for a few seconds and watch how they behave. If they act calm and composed, you need to treat them immediately. This process takes time and patience.

6. Reward them for good behavior

You need to praise your dog whenever he displays good behavior. It will encourage them to behave well. You can treat them with tasty dog treats, pat them or rub their bellies – they will love it. Moreover, you must also treat them whenever they behave passively in the presence of guests. This process is also known as positive reinforcement.

7. Do not punish them

If you punish your dog every time he gets aggressive, you will only trigger their mood and make them angrier. It may backfire, and your dog may want to attack you. So, next time your dog growls, avoid hitting or yelling at them. Give them space and let them be, until they calm down. And once they have calmed down, give them some treats to make them realize that their good behavior is appreciated.

Let them socialize

8. Let them socialize

Keeping your dog chained up will undoubtedly lead to aggression. You need to take them out to the dog park or arrange play dates with other dogs. Interacting with other dogs or people will keep them engaged and interested. It will also help in lowering their aggression and will make them happy and healthy.

9. Use calming background music

Soothing music has the power to calm any mood. While you are home with your dog, play some kind of soothing classical music at the background. Moreover, you can also put on the music when you go out for work and leave your pup at home.

10. Show love and care

Your dog may be disturbed, anxious or afraid. These are a few times they tend to get aggressive when someone approaches. First, you need to calm yourself and take it slow. Give them space and understand what is troubling them. Talk to them softly, throw in few treats, let them come to you, and once they come into body contact give them a gentle rub or pat. Your dog needs to feel safe and protected near you. Once they trust you, they will eventually mellow down.

Be the friend your dog needs and the parent your dog deserves

The moment you adopt a pup, you need to understand that you will have to dedicate time and energy to raise them good. Your duties as a dog parent would be to keep your pup happy and healthy. Planning is essential. Your dog will learn what you teach them. Therefore, have a daily routine set for them. Take them out for exercise, invest some play time and never forget to cuddle. Dogs that receive love right from the beginning are seldom aggressive. You need to connect with them to understand their mood and their mood swings. Once you have gained their confidence, you will nurture a bond that would last for long.

Author Bio:

Adarsh Gupta writes on several websites, like, where he posts about various aspects of different dog breeds – their breed history, temperament, quick facts, etc. He also make recommendations on diet, training and general healthcare based on his 8 years experience with raising dogs at home.

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