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Aggressive Pets Can Usually Be Tamed

While most pet threats involve illness or other environmental issues, another concern is different, sometimes originating within your pet itself.

Aggressive pets are a problem. They may be a dog that constantly tries to bite the mailman or a cat that suddenly bites while being petted. And these are a problem for the pet, for everyone and sometimes everything around.

New Pet

One common scenario involves a new cat or dog that quickly shows aggression to its new surroundings. Like most aggression in pets, there is a reason and in this case it’s probably obvious. Something about the new environment, maybe even you, is causing a reaction. It’s probably fear, but there are other emotions that may be involved.

In this case, the strategy is pretty is simple. Give the pet his or her “space.” Feed, talk and otherwise care for the pet, but don’t force close interaction. If the pet approaches, make sure he or she has an easy and obvious escape route. Barring an underlying health issue or something else that’s causing the pet pain or anxiety, he or she will eventually begin associating you with positives.

Time Is On Your Side

This process can take months or even years to be fully successful. In some cases, a dog or cat that’s been abused or suffered extensively, may never be completely free of its demons. But with patience and persistence, you can do it. With that, and maybe a little luck, you may be rewarded with an incredible companion.

This is only one example of an aggressive pet, but it illustrates some issues you’re liable to face in many aggressive pet situations. One difference is that some causes are not as easily determined. A dog or cat that’s upset about a new pet joining the household may show its fear or anger in indirect ways, meaning you may need to become a detective or psychoanalyst.

Not Always Logical

Some situations can be especially hard to understand and deal with effectively and humanely. A dog that chases a bicyclist or becomes aggressive around someone in a wheelchair may defy logic -- to a human. Likewise a cat that scratches or bites a child “out of nowhere” can be especially problematic, even scary.

The cat is a good example. Chances are, the cat may have thought the child was a threat and quite probably gave plenty of warning signs: ears laid back, hissing and even a swipe with a front paw. Children, especially young children, don’t recognize those warning signs or think it’s a new game. They usually learn this particular game can be painful. If you see signs of such behavior, it’s best to avoid it until the pet is more socialized and the child is a little older.

Much, Much More

All of this is but an overview to what is often a complex problem that may require some research, patience and even creativity to solve. Fortunately, today’s internet offers easy ways to research and a good place to start is often www.aspca.org, which has lot of easily accessible information on a wide range of pet issues, including aggression.

Winning the trust of an aggressive animal can be rewarding. While no one should underestimate the challenge, the results can be worthwhile, especially if you can identify a solution that fits your particular pet.