May 15, 2009, Newsletter Issue #287: Sudden Aggression

Tip of the Week

If your normally gentle pooch suddenly exhibits aggression towards other dogs, don't automatically call a trainer. Veterinarians suggest that you rule out all medical causes of aggression first since these are often culprits. Dogs in pain can exhibit aggressive behavior; dog joint pain, problems with teeth, and changes in eyesight are all common causes. More severe causes can stem from brain injury or changes in brain chemicals, conditions that are often manageable with medication.
Many times it is relatively simple things to discover and modify - look for the triggers that cause this and then remove them.   It requires you to become somewhat of a detective, but unaddressed aggression can escalate to bites and harm to all involved, both human and canine.

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