By Tess Thompson

 

Dog Aggression  is normally the result of improper training that is incomplete or inconsistent. The best time to train a dog is before he turns five months old. As his age increases, the difficulty in training him also increases as habits and reflexes get conditioned. Dogs tend to aggressively assert their dominance, protect territory and resort to aggression when in an inextricable situation. Sometimes, a dog’s inherent predatory instincts can also lead him to aggression. Such aggression can manifest itself in the shape of attacking young children, dog biting or excessive barking. A puppy that has been socialized early in life, trained to accept commands and accept the owner as his leader is less likely to indulge in aggressive dog behavior unless he is compromised or instigated.

 

Correcting aggressive behavior in breeds that are genetically predisposed is practically impossible. If you are keen on owning such a dog, the most you can do is to manage the aggression and ensure that you take all steps towards prevention of a dog bite. Dog aggression is mostly correctable by re-training unless the aggression is caused by an underlying medical condition. In such cases no amount of training will correct the aggression and such a situation may ultimately lead to dog biting  unless proper medication is administered timely. The veterinarian is the best person to consult in such cases. Treatment of the underlying medical cause will automatically treat dog aggression. Some of the medical causes that can lead to aggressive dog behaviors include the following.

 

·        Hypothyroidism – An under active thyroid gland. It is an endocrinal disease that disturbs the balance of thyroid hormone.

·        Neurological Disturbances – The neurotransmitter, serotonin, plays an important role in controlling aggression and its absence is a common cause behind neurological aggression.

·        Bacterial or Viral Encephalitis – Acute encephalitis is commonly seen in young dogs while its chronic state is seen in adult dogs. Distemper and rabies are viral forms of encephalitis.

·        Low Blood Sugar – It causes staggering or collapse, aggression, and change in moods.

·        Hydrocephalus – An abnormal condition in which cerebrospinal fluid collects in the ventricles of the brain. It is commonly seen in dog breeds that have a short broad head.

·        Brain Tumors – Benign or malignant growth in the brain can cause mood changes, irritation, confusion, and anxiety.

·        Head Injury – When the brain is affected by a physical trauma or injury, it can lead to neurological symptoms including aggression.

·        Epilepsy -There are many causes of epilepsy. It may be hereditary or due to other medical conditions including those listed above.

 

The treatment for most of the medical causes that lead to dog aggression is similar to that of humans. SSRI drugs and other anti-depressants are used to treat most of the brain disorders. Hormonal supplements are used to restore hormonal imbalance to treat hypothyroidism. However, it cannot be denied that, just as in humans, that natural therapies can play an important role in treating medical causes of dog aggression also.

 

Natural therapies of curing aggression actually target the underlying cause behind the medical disorder. Many times treating disease is simply a matter of changing behavioral patterns and diet. Natural therapies have a holistic approach to disease. When used in conjunction with conventional medicine, behavioral and diet modifications can produce excellent results. Herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, and other alternative remedies have successfully been used to treat humans; there is nothing that says that the same benefits cannot be derived by animals also.

Article courtesy of PetAlive for Herbal Remedies for Pets!

References:

http://www.k9aggression.com/Aggression-Treatment/medical_issues.html

http://www.patchandscratchpetclub.co.uk/content/pawsforthought5.htm

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