One of the biggest reasons as to why your dog might be acting aggressive... 2. See What to Do When Your Dog Hates Your Significant Other for more insight into this problem. If no medical … They find their territory, and they will protect it against other dogs. You didn’t think you had a problem on your hands? If pain isn’t causing your dog’s aggression, then ruling out illness is extremely important. “This kid has been here a million times; she loves the dog and the dog loves her! That’s sad, because there is no such thing as “random aggression” in dogs. What happened before the aggression? Help the community out by answering them in our forum! Not all dogs are like Janice, though. No. There’s Something at Night Scaring Your Dog Although the reaction in this case would have been the same no matter who had approached the sleeping dog, it’s worth mentioning that there can be situations where a dog differentiates between “my kids” and “visiting kids.” A dog that is perfectly fine with his own family might perceive that his kids are being abused by kids that are not his, and react in a way that, to the dog, seems perfectly normal. … In this case, you might not be able to do much about the source of the frustration. No, it wasn’t. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO. Only then would we explore behavioral trends that peak at the end of the day or your evening routine that might be cause for your puppy getting aggressive only at night. Aging can affect your dog… Sometimes, it’s a “one-off” like the scenario I’ve described above, but equally often, something else is at work, and if the dog is acting aggressive, and that aggression is not dealt with, it will usually escalate. A bite, however, is most definitely not a warning,and should never be ignored or considered to be a “one-off.”. It’s very rare for a dog to become violent out of nowhere. We usually think of a “dog smile” as the lips being pulled back, and the teeth visible but not bared. It took me 45 minutes of “leash wrangling” to bring her under control, and the whole time, she was trying to get a piece of me. Has the dog been evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out brain tumors, Lyme disease or other conditions that could lead to aggression? Be the boss! In other words, it’s a physical problem that affects mental function, and requires medication to correct the imbalance. More on that in a bit. Some dogs might develop a sudden fear and restlessness at night. Why is My Dog Suddenly Scared at Night? There is always a reason, and dogs can have any number of reasons for displaying aggression. There is always a reason for aggression in dogs. Predatory instinct can be controlled to some extent with vigorous training, and often channeled through finding the dog a job, like agility training. At the same time you might find that your dog is aggressive because it believes itself to be the leader of the pack or the 'alpha male'. All dogs are predators. We now know that in humans, clinical depression and bipolar disorder, to name just a couple of conditions that affect the brain, are not due to lack of character or a failure to “pull up our socks” – they’re the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. If a dog that has never shown any sign of aggression suddenly begins growling, snapping, or biting, it may be caused by a disease or illness. As an example, some dogs “smile” differently than others. She immediately resumed sobbing, bordering on hysterical, and saying “Mommy, Gino didn’t mean to do it, you can’t mean for him to die, and if you do, then you’re just the most horrible, hatefulest, meanest mommy in the whole world! So the supposedly dominant or conflicted dog is much less dominant or conflicted when he first wakes up and much more irritable or less sure of himself as dinner time approaches. Finally, cooler heads prevailed. Sometimes growling is just growling, Many dogs growl when they’re playing, and some dogs even growl when they’re feeling particularly happy. In domestic dogs, this translates into guarding the food dish, and it’s why loving dogs will often react badly if you approach them while they’re eating. Sometimes, a perfectly loving dog can turn into a holy terror if she thinks she has to protect her little ones. If the aggression is being turned your way, this is not a case of random aggression in dogs – it’s a serious issue, and you could end up being hurt. In fact, play aggression actually helps dogs to learn when to pull back – a dog that is accidentally hurt during play will yelp, and the other dog will usually pull back. Of course prevention is always better than a cure, so if ticks are a problem where you live, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. Growling is another thing that doesn’t necessarily mean aggression. They are better tempered, less likely to be aggressive, in the morning. Even the most loving dog in the world can bite if he’s in pain. I think that dogs know the difference between going into full-on “kill mode” and playing. Don’t risk injury to yourself, other people, the dog, or … With dominance aggression, your dog wants to be the alpha. For example, many shih tzus will have back pain and it can be much worse at night time. If your typically loving dog suddenly displays aggression, your first course of action should be to see your veterinarian, because the first thing you need to do is rule out mental illness. The best advice I can offer here is, if your ordinarily loving dog doesn’t want you near her puppies, respect her wishes. Take the dog to a pro. Fears and phobias can result from a traumatic event or situation that your dog … Mental Illness. 3 Reasons Why Your Dog is Acting Aggressive at Night 1. Random aggression in dogs doesn’t happen, and when it appears to happen, it’s still not random. Also, if your dog is suspected of having come into contact with a rabid animal, he can be seized and euthanized, and you will have absolutely no recourse. When a dog growls, he’s delivering a message. Most dog owners are not usually well-equipped to solve this sort of problem on their own, so it’s generally best to consult a dog trainer or an animal behaviorist. Her maternal instinct could be even stronger than her love for you. This is another disorder that can affect both humans and dogs, and that in both species, can result in sudden aggression. Predatory instinct becomes a problem when you don’t control your dog, and when you can’t handle his aggression. Dogs will normally demonstrate signs of aggression … Some breeds are more aggressive than others. When it’s time to put the toy down, make sure that your dog cooperates. What to do when my puppy is too aggressive? How to handle a dog which is super agressive towards other dogs in the house? Again, this isn’t “random aggression” on the part of a dog that is normally loving – it’s an example of a dog being very protective. If your typically loving dog suddenly displays aggression, your first course of action … Because I do this, I’ve never had to worry about a loving dog suddenly showing aggression over food or property. This long digression is simply by way of pointing out, again, the fact that a loving dog does not generally “turn,” and that there is no such thing as random aggression in dogs. Dogs want to have their needs met, and if they can have those needs met without resorting to aggression, that’s the course of action they’ll pick. The potential for “fear biting” is much more easily prevented than cured. I once experienced something like this with a young dog that I was training for a friend. To be able to truly understand how to stop dog aggression, you’ll need to find out what makes your dog aggressive in the first place. Even if you have more than one dog at home, this doesn’t guarantee theywon’t display aggression toward unfamiliar dogs. Our great Pyrenees has become extremely aggressive at night, especially bedtime. Most of the time you won’t see these behaviors from your own dog, toward you. How do I train my small rescue dogs not to be overly excited? Just make sure that the game is over when you decide it’s over – don’t let the dog decide. Just please, don’t make me have to.” Another thing that you should keep in mind is that a dog who is about to bite might not necessarily growl beforehand. If it’s your own dog, avoid putting him in situations where he feels threatened. I would submit, though, that if your dog is around other people, it would probably be a good idea to train him to the point where food and property are not issues. Your dog may be exhibiting aggression at night due to various conditions. I recently had a phone call from a woman who had adopted a puppy out of the first litter from Janice and Leroy. You have aggression issues that might not be directed at you, but if they’re not corrected, the outcome could be very bad indeed for someone else. These conditions can also lead to random acts of aggression on the part of the dog, but again, there’s a reason for that aggression. One possible reason would be if she was experiencing some pain. Janice’s perspective is that everybody is a friend, and it would never occur to her that anyone might want to harm her babies. If you would like to engage in a discussion, please instead post a comment under the question or an answer that you would like to discuss. In the final analysis, I think that all I can say is that it’s reasonable to assume that your dog loves you and trusts you. Make sure you don't reward your dog with a treat when it's acting aggressive, as this will only serve to perpetuate the pattern. Your dog is far less likely to be aggressive if you allow him to play with other dogs. And again, the aggression isn’t “random” or “sudden” – it’s just a wolf being a wolf. To know whether a dog is being aggressive, or simply smiling, you need to look at the rest of the body language. 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