Aggression In Cats And Dogs

August 5, 2009

in Cats

Aggression occurs in cats and dogs for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the aggression is based on fear and the pets instinctual need to protect itself.

Aggression in cats and dogs can begin with an accident that scares the pet. This accident could be objects falling on the animal when the pet was young. Littermates that engage in aggressive play can cause fear in other, more passive littermates.

Abuse of the cat or dog can cause aggression. Abuse makes an animal distrust and be fearful of people. If a pet has been abused, the pet may develop aggression towards people who remind the pet if its abuser or the pet may be aggressive towards everyone.

Events that cause fear in the animal when it is very young can leave a lasting impression on the pets personality. Some pet aggression is due to things that happened to the pet when it was five to twelve weeks old.

Proper training can sometimes correct problems with pet aggression. For example, a cat that is aggressive during play can be taught that aggression is not acceptable if at any time the cat becomes aggressive during play, the play stops.

Training a pet with physical punishment like hitting the pet can make aggression worse. If a dog is hit for growling, the dogs fear of people is reinforced. Training pets should only be done by rewarding good behavior or through clicker training.

Dogs are pack animals that associate a hierarchy of power within the family. If a dog asserts itself above a family member, the dog may become aggressive towards that family member as a way of maintaining its position in the pack. This is often corrected with training, especially with the person who the dog is trying to dominate.

A professional animal behaviorist can help the family train the aggressive pet. The aggressive pet may not be able to be helped. The animal behavior expert may be able to determine if the pet can be trained.

Aggression from abuse is difficult to correct with training. It is an unfortunate truth that if the pet poses a threat to the safety of people, the pet will need to be euthanized.

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