Many new dog owners worry that their puppy is too aggressive, but in a lot of cases, it’s just normal puppy behavior. Dogs use play to learn a lot of survival behavior, and this can sometimes come across as aggressive. But if your puppy is chasing other dogs, jumping up at them, chewing on their ears and muzzle, and barking, this is all normal play behavior.
However, if you notice that your puppy is jumping up at you and snarling, biting the air, or biting your hands and feet, this is worrying behavior and it is not normal play aggression. So, how can you manage this aggressive behavior in a puppy?
Consider Professional Training
Often, puppies are aggressive because you have not set the right boundaries for them when they are young. A lack of training is one of the most common reasons for aggression and if you cannot manage this behavior, you should contact some local dog trainers and take your puppy in. They will be able to give you some great advice on how to improve your puppy’s behavior and they can handle very badly behaved dogs and make them more manageable. Sometimes, it’s important to admit that you are out of your depth and call in some professional help. But before you do that, try some of these simple methods.
Redirect Their Attention
When your puppy starts biting, it’s important that you use replacement behaviors instead of simply telling them off. Remember that some level of aggression is a normal part of play, so when they start biting, remove them and give them a chew toy to bite on instead. This shows them that biting is ok, but it’s not ok to bite people.
Socialize Them Properly
Puppies that have not spent much time around other dogs are more likely to be aggressive. Older dogs teach them how to play safely, and if you don’t socialize them properly from a young age, they miss out on that learning opportunity. As soon as they have had all of their vaccinations, you should start taking them out to the local park and letting them run around with other dogs, so they can learn how to play responsibly without being too aggressive.
Use A Long Training Leash
When you take your puppy for walks or let them have play sessions with other dogs, you should always use a long training leash to start with. This is a great tool for showing them when their behavior is too aggressive. Allow them to play and then if you notice that they are biting a lot or snarling, you can gently pull them away from the situation. Over time, this will set clear boundaries for your puppy and they will gradually learn what acceptable play behavior is and what is too aggressive.
Dealing with an aggressive puppy can be difficult but if you persevere and redirect their biting, you should notice a difference in their behavior. If you are struggling, always seek help from a professional dog trainer.