10 Easy Ways to Deal with an Aggressive Dog – Smart Dog Mom

In our society, owning a dog is something many people enjoy. Whether it is for company, protection, or sheer adorableness of the animal itself, dogs are becoming an essential part of everyone’s daily lives.

However, any pet needs to be treated with respect and care properly so that they do not become aggressive; especially with strangers and other animals.

Training a pet and teaching them boundaries is important if you want to live in peace and harmony with them. Although some dogs are more aggressive than others.

It has been said that all dogs have the potential to become aggressive, even if they are currently not showing signs of it, therefore training is an essential part of owning a household pet.

how to Deal With an Aggressive Dog

In this article, I will be sharing with you my top 10 tips on how to deal with an aggressive dog. The most effective ways to do this, and how this can help prevent your dog from becoming aggressive in the future.

1. Understand why your dog is aggressive

Why does your dog attack people and other animals consistently? This is the first step before you begin to try and train your dog.

The first thing that you need to understand is why your dog feels aggressive towards certain situations or animals.

If you know this, it will help you to control their behavior better when its around strangers and other animals.

Not all dogs have aggressive tendencies that they can be trained out of, it depends on the individual dog to some extent, so having an understanding of this is beneficial, especially if the aggression is directed at a certain person in the household or animals. 

2. Train your dog

Teaching your pet that they need to obey you is essential if you want them to be controllable and not to be aggressive.

However, if you do not train your dog, it may lead to them becoming violent toward people and other animals.

Not only will they hurt another animal in the future, but they can also attack their owners as well.

When teaching your dog to obey, it is a good idea to make sure you are doing it consistently and also teaching them what commands/tricks they should know such as sit, stay and come, which is a command that most dogs know.

Instead of commanding your dog to do something by using your hands, what you can do instead is get close to your dog and make them sit or lay down, as making them do tricks will train their mind to obey commands.

3.  Use a choke chain 

Although it may seem cruel, using a choke chain on your dog is a great way to help your pet understand that what you want them to do is good for them.

A choke chain is essentially a chain that goes around the dog’s neck and you can get the dog to listen by pulling back on the leash of the dog.

Although this may sound cruel, it helps teach your dog that if they do not listen to your commands, it means that they will be choked.

This method is not for every dog and should only be used in extreme cases where the dog does not listen and needs to be trained.

4. Remember discipline works 

A lot of pet owners make the mistake of pampering their dogs too much, or letting them get away with bad behavior.

This is wrong as it shows your dog that they are in control and that they can get away with bad behavior and actions.

To help your dog learn from their mistakes and not repeat them, you will need to use discipline techniques such as taking away treats and toys if the pet misbehaves.

For example, if your dog is jumping on people, it may be a good idea to ask them politely to stop doing this and give them a warning by saying “Hands off!”

This will teach your dog that bad behavior is not acceptable and that you do not have to put up with it.

Related Post: How To Stop & Discipline a Dog in Your House

5. Harsh punishment 

Sometimes dogs can be a little too stubborn for their own good and therefore in these situations, you may need to give your dog an even harsher punishment such as scolding and yelling at them, which will show them what they are doing is wrong.

However, you should avoid harsh punishment if your dog is a younger pet or is not used to this kind of treatment otherwise it may cause your dog to become aggressive toward you and to show aggression.

Although scolding and yelling at your dog for bad behavior is a little shocking, it does help teach the dog that what they are doing is wrong.

Related Post: 15 Odd Dog Behaviors Explained

6. Understand when your dog is frustrated 

A lot of times, dogs will be aggressive because they are being frustrated. If your dog is locked up or is at home all the time, it can cause them to become angry and frustrated. Therefore, to release this anger, they can act out by becoming aggressive.

This can usually be solved by spending more time with your pet and making sure that they have enough exercise and playtime.

This will help reduce the amount of frustration that your dog may get due to a lack of exercise

7. Reward Good Behaviour

Make sure that you give your dog positive attention when it does something good.

If you have a dog that is aggressive, rewarding them when they are doing something positive will help to reinforce the behavior and get them to do it more often.

Everyone likes praise, so when your dog is behaving well, show them that they are doing something right.

This way they will be more inclined to do good things again and this behavior pattern will be reinforced through the use of rewards; you will be surprised how quickly this will start to work for you.

8. Set and Enforce Rules

You should always set rules and boundaries for your dog so that they know what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Once your dog understands these rules, you should enforce them by any means necessary; punishments of any kind can be used to deter bad behavior as long as there is consistency.

It may seem harsh but if you do not enforce these rules, your dog will think he can do as he pleases, especially if you are soft towards him all the time and give him a lot of leeway.

9. Improve Environmental Conditions

One of the most common reasons dogs are aggressive towards other dogs or animals is due to the environment they live in.

For example, if your dog lives in an area where it regularly interacts with other dogs, such as a park or a walkway through a public area with many other families that own pets, it is more likely to become more aggressive towards other dogs, especially if it is not taught how to behave around other dogs from a young age.

If you have a pet that lives in an area where it interacts with other dogs frequently, this could cause your pet to become more aggressive towards other species than it already has, if it currently is not.

Therefore, if you want to prevent your dog from becoming aggressive in the future; you should take steps to ensure that your dog only interacts with other animals or dogs.

10. Always remember to treat your dog with kindness

It’s important to show them affection whenever you can, even if they are being aggressive to you.

Always try to give them a little bit of attention whenever possible. You cannot discipline a dog when they are aggressive, so always make sure they know they no longer have control over the situation by rewarding them with treats or toys as soon as they stop being aggressive toward you.

Don’t react or show signs of fear as this will only encourage them and make them more aggressive toward you.


My experience with dogs has been that they can be very dangerous when they’re angry or when they’re protecting their territory. In both situations, they don’t care whether or not you’re their friend.

There’s a lot of information out there on how to deal with aggressive dogs. This article gives you a few options. But my advice is to avoid confrontation with these animals.

Instead, you should try to make them understand that you’re there to protect them. This can be a difficult task, but it’s worth the effort.

Enjoyed this important post, tell us in the comment how and what tip you’ve been able to use to deal with an aggressive dog we’d love to hear!

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Dog trainer, Author & Life coach at SmartDogMom.com

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