For the most part, dogs are a wonderful part of the family and provide you and your loved ones with affection, entertainment and protection. However, there can be times when your dog acts aggressively toward other animals or even people. Regardless of the circumstance or the reason for the behavior, it is crucial to deal with the first sign of aggression you see in your dog. Doing so will allow you the best chance to correct the behavior effectively.
Contact your veterinarian or a dog behaviorist at the first sign of aggressive behavior, such as excessive growling or heavy nipping. Set up an appointment as soon as possible to determine if the aggressive behavior is a result of a medical issue.
Contact a local dog trainer or behavioural specialist and ask him/her to come to your house for private evaluation and training. Aggressive animals can be dangerous, so it is important to contact a professional to handle the situation and teach you the proper method of dealing with the animal. The trainer can also help determine the cause for the aggression and then teach you ways to resolve the it most effectively. Ask your veterinarian or local humane society for recommendations of trainers in your area.
Establish yourself as a strong leader of your “pack.” Determine your dog’s schedule and make him work for his affection and rewards. This helps dogs feel secure and more like the pack animals they are. Relying on you allows the dog to relax and not feel the need to take on the aggressive alpha role.
Keep an aggressive dog contained and away from other animals or people until a trainer has given you the proper tools to deal with its aggressive behavior. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to keep the dog and those around it safe.
Enroll your animal in a basic obedience course after it has gone through training with a professional. This helps reinforce the alpha role you now possess and gives your dog mental and physical stimulation. Doing so will likely reduce the energy needed for aggression.