Sadie Sue Shagbottom is the sweetest dog I have ever owned. That said, once in a while the little turkey decides that she doesn’t like another animal (dog or cat) and let’s them know with a little growl, a flash of teeth. Sometimes, she snaps, and with my previous dog she even fought with him–food being the trigger in that case.
To understand why dogs behave this way, Psychology Today outlines some very vague information about male versus female. The article, however, if you’re critically thinking about the reading reveals the nugget of how to understand the situation: Triggers. If you know your dog, you know what drives them nuts. If you don’t know what drives them nuts, you need to make it your job. Owning a pet is a serious business, especially in dogs. They’re often large, but moreover, they have a hearty bite and can be dangerous to children as well as adults. And, just because you’re the owner, it doesn’t mean you’ve established a ‘no biting’ rule between you and your pet. Also, if you follow those unresearched advice columns that tell you to behave as alpha and use bullying to control your pet, you’re likely to raise the chances of aggression, out of fear.
When the incidents occurred in my own home, we made it abundantly clear that Max was the top dog. He was here first and that she was second to him and must respect that order. If you read the article below, you’ll find that this is less effective in addressing the issue, but using the alternative of putting the newer pet first can have other repercussions, such as the senior dog becoming aggressive over losing their place.The article failed to mention that.