Aggressive, Overprotected Dogs

Aggressive, Overprotected Dogs
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

Being dedicated and showing love to your pet is essential to providing healthy and happy parenting. However, treating your pet too much like a human can cause your pet to become overprotected and aggressive. Aggressive, overprotected dogs are dangerous to other animals and to people.

Aggression caused by overprotectiveness: the dangers of humanizing pets

First, you should understand that when you humanize a pet, you stop respecting the animal’s nature. If you force or encourage a pet to behave like a human being, you can cause the animal to develop behavioral disorders.

Nowadays, it’s not hard to find examples of people who treat their dogs like humans. One of the most obvious examples is food.

When you share your food with your pet, you will end up harming the animal. Best case scenario, you’re only causing negative behavioral habits by feeding your dog people food from under the table. Even worse, by doing this, you could be causing your pet severe digestive diseases or conditions. 

Clothes and accessories

One clear example of humanizing a pet is putting shoes on your dog. Although you might think they look adorable, they can a negative effect on your dog’s health. Among other things, it prevents your dog’s feet from developing naturally and walking normally due to not having contact with the ground.

Clothes can humanize your pet.

Treating your dog like a person also causes behavior or personality issues. The worst part about it is that later on the owners themselves regret and dislike this behavior.

Aggressive, overprotected dogs or severe possessiveness is a serious problem. These problems are almost always associated with over-humanizing the animal. Normally, they are due to insufficient discipline. This can be caused by the owner not knowing how to set boundaries for their pet.

Why are people overprotective of their pets?

Overprotection starts when we project the image of an innocent baby onto our pet. We begin to believe that the animal needs us to defend it and keep it away from any external threat.

Even though showing your pet that you love and care for them might seem like good parenting, excessive care marks the beginning of humanization. Overprotecting your pet will not allow them to mature properly. Instead, the opposite will happen. By not allowing the animal to develop their natural instincts, you actually make them become more vulnerable.

Why is it so hard to treat animals like animals and humans like humans?

Most psychologists say that this difficulty is a clear sign of the transformation of the concept of family. While this could represent a move towards individualism, it also shows that many people view their pet as a part of the family.

However, individualism also demonstrates that many people feel it has become more difficult to communicate and to express their feelings to their peers. Instead, they turn to their dog. As usual, people distrust other humans and consider dogs to be “a man’s best friend.”

There are many psychoanalytic studies that indicate that this devaluation of other people ends up damaging our self-esteem and social skills.

How do you avoid aggression in overprotected dogs?

The pet owner must be the one to take the first step to preventing aggression. If you are overprotective of your dog and are seeing signs of aggression, take a look at your behavior and try to find the cause of your overprotectiveness. Therefore, you should focus on not treating your dog like a human, and establishing clear rules and limits between what’s appropriate for a human and what’s appropriate for a dog.

Overprotected dogs can become aggressive

Start small

Consequently, the animal will learn to respect what areas and activities are reserved for humans. Everything starts by taking baby steps. For example, you can start by teaching your dog not to jump up on the bed or not to beg for food at the table.

Animals are different from us

You also need to keep in mind that animals have their own needs, feelings, and way of understanding the world. Their bodies are not the same as ours, nor are their language or ways of expressing themselves. By understanding this, you will be more capable of respecting your furry friend and teaching them appropriate behavior.

Next, it’s important that the dog understands they are members of the family, but not the pack leader. A dog that takes on the role of alpha in the family is more likely to develop aggressive behavior. An alpha dog is always trying to “protect the pack.” Therefore, they will usually display possessiveness towards strangers or other animals.

Learn how to say no

To make a dog’s role in the house clear, it’s important to learn how to say “no.” Like it or not, learning to reject certain behaviors of your dog is necessary to train them and teach them to live peacefully.

Because of this, many specialists insist on the importance of teaching basic commands and having the animal take obedience training. It’s also important to begin socializing your dog within the first 20 weeks of life.

To optimize your dog’s training process, it’s essential to focus on positive reinforcement. This means you should always reward and praise your dog’s good behavior. You should correct and punish violent behavior as well.

Finally, it should be emphasized that aggression in overprotected dogs can happen in dogs of all races and ages. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to their behavior and educate them as of the first weeks of their life.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.