Puppy behavioral patterns can be confusing! Sometimes actions that we interpret as aggressive behavior, such as growling and biting, are actually just playful behavior. It’s really important to know the difference!
Here are some warning signs to watch out for during puppy play:
- Stiffness or shaking
- Deep, steady growling
- Prolonged gaze
- Situational aggression (usually, puppy play should be spontaneous)
If you notice any of these indicators, have no fear! We have listed some tips and tricks to avoiding puppy aggression below:
Distract your puppy from bad behavior. Offer your pup a toy or cuddles in order to get them to stop malicious play. It will be easier to avoid problems in the future if they are not allowed to engage in that behavior in the first place.
Don’t wrestle or play aggressively with your dog. Avoiding intense play with your pup will keep them from developing biting habits.
Exercise, exercise, exercise! Puppies are loaded with energy! Engaging them in physical activity will allow them to be calmer at home.
Teach them commands.Teaching your puppy commands will teach them that you are in charge so that they will listen to you. If you have trouble getting your puppy to listen, you may want to employ the use of a trainer. Learning how to teach your puppy is key to healthy development.
Positive reinforcement! Studies show that puppies respond best to positive reinforcement. Sometimes the best way to keep your puppy away from aggressive play is to teach them what good play is.
Provide lots of socialization opportunities.For puppies, just like humans, to become healthy adults, they need to have lots of positive interactions with other dogs. Puppy school can be a great resource that is often overlooked!
Even experienced dog owners may run into issues with a new pup. If you ever feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to fix your puppy's issues, consider working with a trainer to show you the ropes!
Have an aggressive puppy and looking to find the right trainer? Check out Puppy Love Pet Care.