We are all going stir-crazy! The kids are at home and so is the entire family. My youngest is crawling all over the dog with pent-up energy.
I think my dog is also going a little crazy since we are social distancing and keeping him away from other dogs and people that are walking in our neighborhood. Every time he sees dogs or people he has played with before on a leash, he practically pulls my arm out of the socket as he wants to get near them.
A few dogs we know have recently seemed a bit more aggressive. Is this possible? If my dog starts to show any signs of aggression what should I do?
My dog has always been good-natured and I would hate to see anything change in his behavior. He is a 5-year-old Lab and he’s still as sweet as he ever was.
These times are challenging to say the least and it also seems as if I have written the last few columns with regards to the new normal. This holds true for people and their pets. Pet adoptions across the country are way up during this pandemic time but foster care even more so. People are looking for companionship with limited human social interaction and are stepping up to give these pets more human exposure and reduce the need for personnel in shelters.
While it is always possible for any animal or human to change due to circumstances, it’s unlikely that many dogs will have suddenly become more aggressive by being cooped up or not socializing with other dogs as much. Last week was Dog Bite Prevention Week, as is the second week in April each year, and there are many good tips to prevent bites as well as canine aggression.
One successful way of curbing aggression or even the excitement your dog shows pulling on your arm is to redirect his attention when he sees another dog with treats that you are holding. As for preventing bites, it comes down to responsible ownership, supervision, socialization and good training. Neutering dogs is also helpful although elective surgeries are mostly on hold at present.
There really are no “bad breeds,” despite what some think, and behavior is primarily based on experience and environmental factors. With a good-natured mature Lab at home, I cannot foresee a behavioral change and hopefully it will not be too long before he gets to play with his four-legged friends again. The same will apply to us humans!