Why Your Dog Is Suddenly Being Aggressive (and What to Do About It)

You love your dog. They’re your best friend, your sidekick, your furry child.

And then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, your pup is growling at the postman. Or lunging at the cat. Or snapping at your toddler.

What the heck happened?

Dogs are naturally carnivores and more prey-driven so it’s no surprise that they can be aggressive. It’s also not a surprise that it can be hard to understand what’s going on with your dog.

What causes aggression in dogs?

Aggression in dogs can be caused by a variety of things, from being a very young dog to feeling threatened or feeling the need to protect themselves. Many dog owners assume that their dog is acting aggressively because the dog is mad at them or some other person. While this is often the case, there are a number of reasons why your dog may be behaving aggressively including fear, territoriality, frustration, or instinct. The reasons are different and the aggression may be situational. Here are a few reasons why.

They could have been abused

If you have an adopted dog then this is a common reason. Dogs who underwent abuse as puppies often turn out to be aggressive later. Many were relinquished to animal shelters by their owners and, of course, adopted by families. Many times, the change in behavior will not arise until the canines reach adulthood.

They might be uncomfortable