Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dog Sudden Change Behavior - Signs and Tips

Since we got our beloved dogs, we do our best to give them the best care and training so he/she can be as friendly, as behave and as lovely for everyone. But it is sad that we could never stop them to change behaviors as they age. Sudden aggression, in moods or other unnecessary habits could lead your dogs to bite and hurt others, hence bring other problems such as vet bills and lawsuit.
Aggression in dogs is defined as a threat of harmful behavior directed at another animal or person. It may involve snarling, growling, snapping, nipping, biting, or lunging. A dog may act aggressively for either behavioral or medical reasons, or a combination of both. Proper petsafe and immediate recognizing such dog behavior change and equip enough knowledge on how to deal with these changes appropriately will be the best solution. On some research, the signs could vary depending on dog gender, to their possessiveness, territoriality, dominance or fear while on older dogs, certain hormones or lacking in hormones could be the cause of sudden change in habits and behaviors, and could be signs on illness. It is first recommended to seek medical attention immediately. Take the dog to a veterinarian to diagnose the source of pain and administer treatment, if needed.
The common signs of aggression are growling, snarling, barking, curled lips, lunging and an overall menacing posture, where the dog is tensed and ready to snap. There are other indications, such as jumping or mounting, or even standing in your way that are much less of a problem and often go ignored when not accompanied by the other more severe signs. One of the most often misunderstood forms of aggression is that which arises in older dogs all of a sudden, especially when those dogs have been docile, even submissive, for most of their lives. Older dogs in particular may enjoy puppies, but because of their increased age and decreased endurance, they will only tolerate them for a time. After a self-determined grace period, they will let the puppy know they have had enough in a firm and forceful way. In most cases, this message is sent with a snap that is all bark and no bite. Try to slow down the younger dog, teach him to be gentle with others especially with older dog, this could help.
The most common hidden causes of aggression in older dogs is the onset of arthritis, which makes them not only less able to engage with other dogs, but also potentially vulnerable and defensive as a result. Arthritis in dogs is unfortunately very common, a result of genetic factors, diet, or even over-exercise. If arthritis is causing a dog pain, then they can lash out not only at other dogs, but also at you. It is recommended to walk and exercise dogs with arthritis in the morning and in the afternoon while the weather is not hot. Also find the dog a cool and safe place in the house to rest and sleep to lessen the arthritis pain and also, away from being touched by others, but be ware, don’t let him feel to be isolated. Have regular medication on arthritis and also tale control on the dog’s weight. See your vet if arthritis is a possibility, as there are plenty of steps you can take to address the problem, from dietary supplements to massage and acupuncture, and a revamped exercise regimen. Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective but best left as a last option, make sure to visit an expert vet, this medication could cost a good bit and they can be rough on the dog’s stomach, and includes such side effects. Dog crates are also recommended.
Fear induced aggression is one of the more common types of aggression that pet guardians will experience. A fearful dog will strike preemptively if they perceive a dangerous situation. Look for a fearful dog as a dog who displays a tucked tail, pulled- back ears, horizontally retracted lips or an averted gaze. He or she might lick his lips or yawn. If you see this, keep your dog away or approach very carefully. It is possible to appease a dog’s fear, but a bouncy large dog might scare a fearful dog into an attack. If you have a fearful dog, a dog park is not a good place for him or her. Consider teaching your dog confidence in very controlled situations with friendly calm dogs before you expose them to the wilds of a dog park.
Medical issues such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy, seizure, hydrocephalus and trauma are highly observed conditions on dog conditions, usually dogs in these states should always be handled cautiously as they are not fully aware of what are they doing. Predicting aggressiveness in these behaviors may be difficult. This is because aggression involves emotions and a dog’s emotions vary depending on the situation. And, there is even “appropriate aggression”. Seizures and hypothyroidism are both know to cause aggression in previously social dogs. If your pet suddenly becomes aggressive to other dogs, be sure to have a veterinarian check him or her out before you deal with the behavioral issue.

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