Rescue Dog Suddenly Acting Aggressive – Top 3 Reasons Why

Here are a few common reasons why a rescue dog may suddenly become aggressive after acting fine for the first weeks or months of being at home.

1. Lack of socialization

Generally speaking, rescue dogs are more prone to developing sudden aggression because they may lack the experience of being properly socialized with humans and other animals. Rescue dogs may suddenly become aggressive because they are overwhelmed and stressed by certain social situations, such as when strangers enter the house or when they are greeted by other dogs during a walk.

Patience is important. It can take many weeks or even months for a rescue dog to acclimatize to his or her new environment. Look into counter-conditioning, which could be one of several great methods for reducing aggressive behaviors in rescue dogs.

2. Aggressive towards certain individuals

Some rescue dogs may only be aggressive to certain individuals. For example, they may have already warmed up to all the females in the household but are still aggressive to the males. This may happen if the rescue dog comes from an abusive background. The demeanor of certain individuals may resemble people the rescue dog was abused by in the past. Ask the animal rescue (where the rescue dog came from) and see if they know of any information of the dog’s past.

3. Sudden aggression due to pain

Rescue dogs may suddenly act aggressive if they are in pain. They may be suffering from an underlying health condition. We recommend having the rescue dog checked by the vet if you notice any other concerning symptoms aside from the sudden aggression. The rescue dogs could be acting this way because they are trying to warn or protect themselves from potential threats.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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