Do you have a Pug puppy who is aggressive? You may be wondering why your puppy is so aggressive or if they are playing. Aggressive behaviors in puppies can be confusing, but there are ways to tell the difference. This article will teach you how to tell if your dog is playing or showing signs of aggression and what to do about it.
Why Is My Pug Puppy So Aggressive?
If your Pug puppy is showing signs of aggression, it may have to do with the following:
- They have learned the aggressive behavior helps them get what they want.
- Have been punished incorrectly or too harshly.
- Haven’t been supervised enough
- Their environment causes them to become aggressive
- Lack of socialization
- Hormonal changes
Pugs are NOT normally known for aggressive behaviors, which is what makes them popular for families with kids.
That said, every puppy or dog can be pushed into aggressive behavior depending on their circumstances, environment, upbringing, etc.
We’ll take a closer look at what can trigger aggressive behavior in Pugs or any puppy.
But first, it’s important to understand how a puppy behaves. Some people, especially first-time dog owners have a hard time differentiating play vs aggression.
Playing Vs. Aggression
Puppies in general are very active and hyper. They are constantly on the move and you can see them exploring their environment.
Their goal is to learn more about everything around them, mostly through play.
Puppies love to wrestle with each other or chase toys for fun because they enjoy moving fast while playing. They may even growl or nip at you when you try taking their toys away.
Playful behavior in Pug puppies is different from aggressive behavior.
• Playful behavior includes light chasing, mild biting, and pawing you.
• Aggressive behaviors include an intense stare and barking.
Pugs typically like to play with you and chase you around the house, but you’ll notice a difference between playful and aggressive behavior if you see any of these signs:
- Bites that break the skin (teach your Pug puppy not to bite)
- Painful bites with too much pressure
- Intense barking or growling
Aggressive behaviors require immediate discipline to prevent it from becoming worse. As mentioned above, Pugs are not known for aggressive behaviors, so it’s likely your puppy is overly active and just wants to play.
That said, as a dog owner, it’s still essential to understand the signs and what causes aggression in Pug puppies.
What Causes Aggression In Pug Puppies?
Pugs may learn to act aggressively by watching you act aggressively towards them or others, or you may discipline them with aggressive actions (shouting, growling, pushing).
A Pug owner needs to maintain an even temper and avoid using any sort of forceful or violent punishment so you do not teach your pup to act aggressively. Aggression can also be learned if you ignore the dog’s tone of voice when they are trying to communicate with you.
Think of it as having a child. Children learn and imitate behaviors by watching and listening to others, known as ‘observational learning.’ There have been several studies that show that dogs can learn a lot by observing and listening to human interactions.
This is why your puppy knows you’re both going for a drive when they see you reach for your car keys. Or their ears will perk up when they hear words like “treat”, “dinner”, or “park”.
Punished too Harshly
Punishing a puppy too harshly can cause aggression. First of all, you don’t want to hit your pup because you’re not trying to create a fearful dog. This may scare your pup and make him want to strike out at you, which you don’t want to happen.
You also don’t want to be too harsh with scruffing or that type of thing because it will make your pup scared of you and even more likely to attack you in the future.
If you’ve been punishing your puppy too harshly and you see aggression coming out, you might need to do some behavioral modification for him.
This article will show you how to discipline your Pug puppy using positive reinforcement, which works best.
Not Supervised Enough
When you’re not spending enough time with your pup, you might find that they start to get a bit more aggressive. You can avoid this by finding a way to spend more time with your pup.
Pugs love being around their humans and too much neglect can cause behavioral problems.
The Environment They Live In
The environment you live in can affect your puppy’s behavior. A puppy raised in a household with other animals is more likely to be well-adjusted than one who lives in an apartment or house where he or she is the only pet.
A puppy that grows up with children that are not taught how to handle, play, or interact with a puppy can cause aggression. Especially, if the children are allowed to pull on the dog’s tail, ears, or handle the puppy too rough.
It will cause the puppy to become aggressive as a way to defend itself from the children. It’s important to teach children how to play with, interact, respect the puppy’s personal space.
Lack of Socialization
We hear about the importance of socializing our children with others their age. Doing so teaches them how to interact, behave, and play with others.
Puppies, like our human children, need to be exposed to other canines so they can learn appropriate behavior. Puppies learn about aggression and playfulness by playing with other dogs.
If your puppy is not properly socialized, they won’t know how they are supposed to behave.
This is why you need to take them out for walks with you, especially when you’re in high traffic areas where there are lots of people and other dogs.
They’ll start getting used to the noises, smells, sights around him or her. They will learn how they should behave in these situations by observing you as you react during these situations.
Puppies experience a dramatic change in hormone levels at the time of puberty. Such as you see with teenagers in your home, these changes can lead to physical and behavioral problems.
Your puppy’s hormones are changing also known as dog puberty and you may see some changes in behavior.
The hormonal change can cause aggression in both dogs and humans at this time. If your puppy is experiencing growing pains, it’s likely a phase that will pass when they reach maturity which is at 1-2 years of age.
During adolescence, many dogs may bark more often, or show sudden signs of aggression. So it’s important to monitor your Pug’s behavior during this time and ensure it is just a phase that passes.
Aggressive Pug Puppy Warning Signs
Now that you know what can cause aggression in any breed, how do you spot the signs early?
After all, the sooner you spot the signs, the easier it will stop the behavior before it escalates. Early signs of aggression in puppies include being possessive over food and toys.
Is your Pup protective over their food bowl? Does he or she growl, snarl, or snap at you when you walk by as they eat? Do they get mad or try to bite you when you reach for their bowl or pet them as they eat?
What To Do With Pug Aggression?
Now that you know the signs, you may be asking how to deal with the aggressive behavior? If you’re concerned about your Pug’s temperament, it’s best to get them examined by your veterinarian.
They’ll be able to do a complete examination to ensure your puppy hasn’t inherited any health or neurological problems that can be triggering the aggression.
If your puppy doesn’t have any health issues, then it’s possible to modify your pup’s inappropriate behavior. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may want to consult with a professional dog trainer.
They will provide you with the knowledge you need to implement positive reinforcement training, that doesn’t involve punishment. Reinforcement training works best for aggressive dogs, especially, if you have rescued your dog from a bad living situation.
If you can’t afford a dog trainer, consider reading dog training books to help you train your own puppy. Many online books and dog training courses will show you how to properly use treats to reward good behavior.
Pugs are not known for being aggressive, but you should still be able to identify the difference between playful and aggressive behavior. After all, any dog regardless of breed can develop signs of aggression.
If you notice any signs of aggression, don’t ignore them. Like children, need stability and discipline in their life. The best way of teaching your Pug puppy how to behave is through positive reinforcement training methods that avoid punishment.
This will ensure you teach them what you want without making it worse by adding on extra aggression problems.
It’s important to note the signs early before they escalate into a bigger problem because once this happens, you’ll need professional help or veterinary assistance- which can be costly if you’re not prepared!
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