While the image of a menacing pack of pit bulls may be what comes to mind when it’s about aggressive dogs, our smaller dogs are no exception. Understanding why your small dog is aggressive can help you train and enjoy your pet better. No judgment here from the team at Alexander Animal Hospital; we are here to assist.
When are Small Dogs Aggressive?
Mostly, small dogs bite for many of the exact reasons that large dogs do. In fact, cocker spaniel and chihuahuas are most likely to bite, just like pits and bulldogs. In addition, your small dog is aggressive due to many reasons:
- Protecting food or important items
- Territorial behavior over a location or person
- Reaction to a stimuli
- True dominance
As pet owners or humans, we tend to neglect these behaviors in smaller dogs. And many times, these behaviors are not acknowledged or corrected. Moreover, you may be glad to see your Yorkie barking and growling at strangers, but positive attention for this behavior is reinforcing, which is the opposite of what you want. Even though your small aggressive dog might not trigger much harm as a bigger dog, their behaviors can restrict your ability to enjoy and share them with others.
How Do You Prevent Ankle Biters?
Furthermore, preventing and treating behavioral issues in your small aggressive dog is essential for pet wellness care. Also, it helps to nourish the bond between you and your pet. If your small dog is aggressive, stop its behavior by:
- Taking your small dog to behavioral training classes to learn basic manners and socialization skills.
- Utilizing positive reinforcement to reward good behavior (not barking at house guests, growling at strangers).
- Promoting self-confidence in your aggressive pet by not carrying or coddling.
- Addressing your dog’s unwanted behaviors rather than ignoring them.
- Avoiding putting your pet in possible hard situations like crowded events or a busy dog park.
- Using a well-fitted collar or harness to avoid problems and instill confidence.
Ultimately, understanding why your small dog is aggressive is primary to fixing it. A small aggressive dog can be a real problem, and we are here to assist pet owners. Make sure to contact us for an appointment if your pet displays aggression. We want to rule out illness, pain, or other treatable health conditions and help you to solve the problem.
We Would Love the Opportunity to Care for Your Furry Friends!
Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.
We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of
Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.
Please take a look around our website and then give us a call at 410-777-8678 to set up an appointment.