Updated: Aug 20
Are you worried that you have an aggressive puppy?
In my experience as a trainer working within a large veterinarian clinic, I realized that puppy aggression was one of the most commonly misinterpreted behavior scenarios that causes distress to pet owners.
Fortunately, while collaborating with the vets and behavior experts, we were able to put to rest the fears associated with puppy aggression in most cases.
You go to your vet and say, “Please help! My puppy keeps biting me aggressively!”
But at the clinic, the puppy shows none of the usual signs of biting or aggression.
Of course he’s a perfect cuddly pup in front of everyone else…
Without being able to see any physical or medical problems, your vet can’t offer a solution.
He might say, “It’s probably just normal puppy behavior.”
Does that make you feel any better?
You might still be distressed.
You might be wondering:
How do I KNOW if my puppy’s bites, growls, and barking are normal phases of puppy play or if there’s a bigger problem?
How do you learn how to stop a puppy from being aggressive?
That’s exactly what we’re talking about today!
Keep in mind that dog aggression is a controversial topic.
It’s important to realize that there are lots of reasons dogs can be aggressive.
So after reading this article, if you’re still not confident that the aggressive puppy growling and biting is part of your pooch’s normal growth and learning cycle, you should go ahead and talk to your vet or call a trainer.
Did you know there are more than 10 types of aggression characterized in dogs?
In addition to snarling, growling, and biting characterized by what is considered typical puppy play behavior, there are several types of aggression that dogs can exhibit.
Aggression due to fear, food, object guarding, and idiopathic biological aggression are just a few examples of more serious behavioral problems.
These are all atypical behaviors that a dog exhibits in response to pain or fear, or to communicate conflict or threat.
There are lots of theories as to causes and methods of treatment for dog aggression.
However, misinterpreting puppy play behavior for problematic aggression is common among pet owners.
Why is My Puppy so Aggressive?
Today, I want to focus on what’s classified as “play aggression.”
This includes all the behaviors considered typically aggressive puppy play.These behaviors will either intensify or weaken with maturity and training, so it’s important to learn how to stop aggressive behavior in puppies early. These behaviors turn into life skills for canines as part of their typical species behavior.
Even wild animals exhibit some of these behaviors in their play. Lion cubs learn to pounce on prey. Bears learn to wrestle and bite at each other’s muzzles to protect their territory as adults. Whether or not your teacup Chihuahua will ever need to rely on her hunting or defense skills, she will likely practice them quite a bit as a pup!
So what do these behaviors look like?
Here are some aggressive puppy signs you mi