Learning to Live With Pets

Traveling For Your New Job & Your Aggressive Dog Needs Boarded? 3 Reasons For Aggression & What To Do About Them

If you own an aggressive dog and you've recently been hired for a job that involves a lot of traveling, you may be concerned about what to do with your dog while you are away. While pet boarding is a viable option, one question that you will likely be asked before you drop your dog off is whether or not your dog is aggressive. Aggressive dogs need to be handled a bit differently, which may include the use of a muzzle or keeping your dog separate from the rest of the dogs in the boarding facility.

It's a good idea to delve into the reason for the aggression and work on correcting it and the aggressive behavior. Here are 3 reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs and what you can do about them so your dog will be easier for the boarding facility to manage.

Leader of the Pack

When a dog feels that it is the strongest of their pack, it is instinctual for the dog to become the leader of the pack. Sometimes, dogs can think they are the boss of their owners. If your dog is always used to being in charge, it may have difficulty transitioning to a more submissive role in a boarding facility. This could lead to aggressive behavior towards the handlers in the facility as well as the other pets that are there.

One way to tell if your dog is the leader of your pack is if it listens to you and responds to your commands appropriately. Another thing you can do is have your dog assessed by a professional dog trainer who will be able to determine if your dog bosses you around. If you come to realize that your dog has taken that viewpoint of your relationship with it, it will be highly advisable to have your dog professionally trained. The amount of training that it will need will largely depend on the extent of its "leader of the pack" mentality and aggression.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs that have separation anxiety can act out aggressively. Dogs with separation anxiety may refuse to eat and/or drink water or try to escape from a room or a crate. They may become easily frightened due to not understanding what is going on and why they are in a completely different environment, especially without you.

Sometimes, dog owners put too much emphasis on when they are leaving their dogs, which can make the dogs feel excited and/or stressed. Do not make a big deal out of it when you leave your dog at home or the boarding facility. The idea here is to make the dog feel like your leaving is nothing to pay attention to. Start leaving your dog at the boarding facility for short periods of time and gradually work up to several days at a time until both of you are comfortable enough for you to travel away.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Dogs can have PTSD, which can cause them to be aggressive. PTSD in dogs is similar to PTSD in humans. Something can trigger memories of a horrible experience, which can give the dog flashbacks that make the dog believe that it is experiencing the same horrible things that happened to it in the past. For example, a dog with PTSD from being involved in a dog fight may have a flashback and act aggressively when it is around strange dogs in a boarding facility.

Canine PTSD can be treated with behavior modification. The idea here with behavior modification is to replace the bad memories the dog has with good memories that will not trigger PTSD. Using the same example of a previous dog fight, non-aggressive rough-and-tumble play can teach your dog that not all fights are worrisome.

For more information on pet boarding, contact a company like The Pets Place Animal Hospital.