Aggression is a common behavioral problem in dogs. It is a severe problem because it can cause much loss to other pets around and humans as well. It can feel isolating to have a dog that shows aggressive action to the point where others stay away, and you avoid taking your dog as much as possible out of the house. Something as simple as greeting other dogs or playing can easily turn into a severely violent situation within seconds. There are physical or neurological causes of certain forms of aggression that can be improved by CBD. Most of the time, dog aggression is due to anxiety and chronic pain. Hence CBD is effective in controlling dog anxiety and pain, reducing aggression in turn. Before doing an in-depth discussion about the CBD benefits for a dog with aggression, let’s understand what aggression is and what the factors which make dogs aggressive are! Understanding the causes of dog aggression is the first step in managing aggressive behavior.
What is aggression, and how do dogs show aggression?
Aggression includes a variety of actions that typically start with warnings and may result in an attack. The term “aggression” refers to a wide variety of dog behaviors that occur for multiple reasons in various circumstances. When guarding their areas, defending their offspring, and protecting themselves, nearly all animals are aggressive.
When a dog is aggressive, it exhibits a variety of sequences of highly intense behavior, which can be the following:
- Becoming very still and rigid
- Guttural bark that sounds threatening
- Lunging forward or charging at the non-contact person
- Showing teeth
- Snarl (a combination of growling and showing teeth)
This sequence is not always observed in dogs, and they often do some of the above actions.
Different types and causes of Aggression
Aggression is a very broad term used to express a particular behavior. Aggression in dogs has multiple types based on the causes of that behavior. Let us take a look at the most commonly faced types of dog aggression.
Dogs are a social species. They live by making groups or packs which they consider family. If one family member in danger, the others typically rush in to help that individual. It is known as protective aggression. When they think that one of their family members or friends (human or animal) is in danger, pet dogs can exhibit the same kind of aggressive behavior.
It occurs when a dog is possessive about something. It is always food, toys, or some other item of value. A dog that exhibits possession aggression may growl if someone approaches its food bowl or gets too close when the dog is chewing a favorite toy.
A fearful dog can quickly develop aggressive behavior. Most dogs only exhibit aggressive behavior if they sense that they are in danger, cannot escape, and feel the need to defend themselves. For example, if a dog has backed into a corner with no way out or if he feels a hand raised above his head means he’s going to get hit, it can happen.
Aggression that is caused by frustration is known as redirected aggression or barrier frustration. It occurs when a dog is frustrated at not being able to get to something and takes its frustration out in another way. In dogs who spend a lot of time tied up, restrained on a leash, or behind a chain-link fence, this form of aggression is common.
Illness, Injury or Pain-Elicited Aggression
Some medical circumstances may cause dogs to become aggressive. If a dog that has never shown any symptom of aggression suddenly begins growling, biting, or snapping, it may be due to an illness or disease.
Pain is a common cause of aggression in dogs. Your suddenly aggressive dog may have an injury or an illness that is causing major discomfort and stress. Arthritis, bone fractures, internal trauma, multiple cancers, and lacerations are possible causes of pain.
Risk factors involved in dog aggression
One must keep in mind that dogs were once wild animals and then got domesticated by humans so they can show aggression in times of desperation by instinct. These are some of the risk factors involved with dog aggression.
Statistics gathered on biting and aggression reveal that certain breeds are more likely to be aggressive and bite. Still, we must not judge or predict the aggressive nature of a dog due to its breed because any dog from any breed can become aggressive under certain circumstances. A dog’s temperament and history of interacting with other people and animals is a better predictor of aggressive behavior.
Young dogs with an aggression issue are more malleable and easier to cure than older dogs.
- Bite history
Dogs who have already bitten are have high chance that they might repeat their offensive action. One must be highly careful around such dogs.
- Aggression triggers
Certain triggers bring on aggression in a dog. For example, some dogs become aggressive when eating. Notice different strangers who make the dog aggressive.
Countering Aggression in Dogs
There are different approaches to counter aggression in dogs. Behavioral modification techniques are quite helpful, but it is better to train the dog in the best way from the beginning. If training does not prove effective, medication can be used as adjuvant therapy.
Role of CBD against Aggression in Dogs
CBD is very effective against aggression because CBD reduces anxiety, and anxiety is one of the major reasons for dog aggression. CBD helps lessen the pain from arthritis and other physical conditions, which in turn, reduces aggression.
Dogs have an endocannabinoid system in their body that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, memory, reproduction, fertility, and other functions in the body. To keep these functions going smoothly, its receptors bind with many cannabinoids. Cannabinoids have an essential role in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD is a cannabinoid that is safe for use in dogs, and it does not have any reported side effects.
Diagnosing aggression in dogs can be challenging, but performing tests like biochemistry, urine analysis, and medical scans can be helpful because they uncover abnormalities that may point veterinarians to the dog aggression’s underlying cause.
Behavioral modification techniques are the best way to counter aggression in dogs, and if they do not work, the medication should be used along. CBD is better than traditional medicines used because CBD does not have negative effects on the health of the dog.
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