Great Danes are typically an affectionate and playful breed. However, sometimes they can act out and become aggressive depending on the situation they are in or their upbringing.
To stop Great Dane aggression, they need to be socialized as puppies, introduced to new dogs slowly, and shown confidence by their owners when they are afraid. They also need to be trained to not be aggressive around food and checked for medical conditions that can lead to behavioral changes.
Below we will go over the types of aggression experienced by Great Danes and some tips for overcoming these forms of aggression. Read More Below...
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Great Danes are considered to be affectionate and friendly dogs. They are great with children and loyal towards their owners.
However, Great Danes can be aggressive. This is a problem because of their massive size. A bite from a dog this large can result in some serious injuries.
Great Danes can become aggressive for several reasons. Listed below are the most common.
Great Dane puppies can act aggressively if they aren't socialized. Socialization is the process of exposing puppies to as many sounds, sights, smells, textures, people, and animals as possible.
Great Dane puppies also tend to bite
people during play. While biting starts
out as a non-aggressive act, it can become harmful if the behavior isn't
addressed. Below we will discuss Great Dane socialization and biting behaviors
Great Dane puppies may act aggressively because they are fearful. Puppies are new to the world, so everything around them is unfamiliar. New things can be frightening, which can make Great Dane puppies feel threatened.
To solve this problem, Great Dane owners need to socialize their puppies. Properly socializing Great Dane puppies can reduce their aggression and will make them less fearful in the future.
When first beginning the socialization process, start with short 15 minute outings. This prevents puppies from becoming overstimulated. They should be introduced to a few new things at a time, and every interaction should be short and sweet.
Listed below are some of the techniques on how to socialize your
Great Dane puppies.
Most dogs have areas on their bodies that are sensitive.
Typically puppies don't like it when people touch their face,
ears, paws, or tail. If puppies aren't
properly socialized, they can become aggressive when owners or veterinary
professionals try to touch these areas during grooming or check-ups.
To socialize Great Dane puppies to touch, begin with one area of
their body, such as the ears. Start by gently touching this location. Provide
them with treats and praise every time you touch the sensitive area. Once they
are comfortable with being touched in this location, move onto another spot. Do
this to their entire body until they are comfortable with having every body
Noises can be frightening for many dogs, especially loud noises. It's best to socialize puppies to a wide variety of sounds and volume levels so that they won't negatively react when they hear those sounds in the future.
One way to socialize Great Danes to new sounds
is by turning on the radio or
the TV. Both of these can expose dogs to numerous
songs, sound effects, and voices, and another way to socialize puppies to
sounds is by walking them down the street. On walks, they'll hear construction
sounds, cars honking, children playing, and more.
Great Dane puppies should be introduced to people of different ethnicities, heights, and ages. They should also be exposed to people wearing different things, such as hats and sunglasses, and people with other accessories such as canes, wheelchairs, and strollers.
If possible, Great Dane puppies should also be introduced to children. Children have a lot of energy and act differently than adults, which can scare dogs that were never socialized with them.
Just like with people, you want to introduce Great Danes to as many kinds of dogs as possible. Make sure they meet dogs of all sizes and ages, as younger dogs act differently than older dogs.
If you have the chance, you should also introduce them to other kinds of animals, such as birds, cats, cows, and horses. The more exposure to new animals, the better.
This article of ours has some additional great ideas for socializing your Dane.
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A specific form of aggression often exhibited by Great Dane puppies is biting.
Biting is a natural puppy behavior. Great Danes will bite other puppies during play and will try to do the same to their owners. Great Danes need to be taught from an early age that it is not appropriate to bite people. Otherwise, this behavior could carry over into adulthood.
A Pet Trainer from the pet walking service Wag has come up with a technique to stop Great Danes from biting people, denoted here as "The Yelp Method."
Follow the steps below to try out The Yelp Method.
More great tips on getting your Mastiff puppy to stop biting can be found on this page of our site.
Great Dane's are very territorial. Even extremely friendly and social, Great Danes can become hostile if a new pet enters their turf.
If Great Danes aren't introduced to other dogs properly,
aggression may ensue. Follow the tips below to reduce your Great Dane's aggression
towards other dogs.
The Pet Poison Helpline has laid out several steps you should take to make your Great Dane's first interaction with a new pet a positive one.
Great Danes need to be acquainted with new pets before they can enter the home. Once your Dane and the new pet have been introduced and are friendly towards each other, follow the steps below.
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Fear aggression occurs when Great Dane's are afraid of something and want it to go away. Typically, dogs prefer to leave the situation, but they'll act aggressively towards the frightening thing if that option isn't available.
When dogs act aggressively because they are afraid, their body language is different. Typically fearful dogs will have a scared posture and will look as though they want to run away.
A lot of fear aggression is removed through socialization. However, dogs can still become afraid even if they were properly socialized. Both puppies and adults exhibit fearful aggression.
To help your Great Dane overcome their fears, check out the
When your pets are afraid, don't try to pet them or comfort them. Comforting a fearful pet is bad for two reasons. The first reason is that they are scared, so they may act aggressively towards you. The second reason is that comforting them will reinforce their behavior and will make it more likely to reoccur in the future.
Great Danes are able to learn from their owners through imitation. So, if you act scared when they are scared, they will continue to be fearful. However, if you are calm and assertive in these situations, they will learn that they have nothing to be afraid of. Great Danes respond to strong, confident leadership. If you act like a leader and show them they shouldn't be afraid; they'll learn to remain calm in the previously frightening situation.
Many dogs still have an instinctive tendency to protect their food. Great Danes with food aggression may growl, snarl, or bite people who approach them while eating. Some dogs may also act aggressively while eating treats or chewing on bones. In rare cases, dogs may even be protective over their water bowl.
The ASPCA has come up with seven steps to help you get rid of your Great Dane's food aggression.
Follow the steps below to stop Great Danes from being aggressive
around their food. You must do each step for ten meals without aggression
before moving on to the next step.
When older Great Danes suddenly becomes aggressive, it may be caused by health problems. Great Danes are prone to certain age-related diseases that can make them feel bad or disoriented and lead to aggression.
Medical conditions such as hip dysplasia, thyroid disorders, and brain tumors can cause aggressive behaviors to arise in older Great Danes.
Great Danes' are generally friendly, but they can become aggressive. To stop Great Dane aggression, they should be socialized as puppies to expose them to new things.
They should also be introduced to new dogs slowly, shown confidence by their owners when they are afraid, trained not to be aggressive towards others while they are eating, and taken to the vet frequently so they can check for medical conditions that could cause aggression to arise.
I hope this article helps you get to the root of your Great Dane's aggression once and for all!