Even the most friendly dogs can suddenly become aggressive. When you loving dog attacks another dog or bites a child or even you, this can be a terrifying and shocking. When you see signs that your dog is becoming aggressive, you want to address this behavior immediately. While you may not be able to identify the exact reason for the behavior, there are things you should understand about your dog suddenly aggressive behavior for dealing with it better.

Why Does Your Dog Become Aggressive Suddenly?



Being sick can cause anyone to become more anger and your dog will react the same way when it is sick. While there are a number of illnesses that can bring out aggression in dogs, it is more common for dogs that are in pain to be more aggressive. Rabies is the number one illness that people will be concerned about when their dog becomes aggressive, but brain tumors and thyroid diseases can also cause a dog to growl, snap or bite without notice. You'll want to talk to your veterinarian to rule out any health problems that can be causing your dog to be more aggressive.


Being scared or afraid

Often times if you look at the situation carefully, you can determine what may have caused your dog to bite or snap at another dog or person. If your dog was in a threatening environment or backed into a corner, they may have attacked out of fear. When a dog feels threatened or that they have no escape, they will become aggressive as a way to defend themselves or escape from what they consider to be a dangerous situation. So your dog suddenly aggressive behavior could just be a result of the situation you dog was or is in.


Possessive behavior

There are many items that your dog can be possessive over. Food, toys, where they sleep, and your dog can even show possessiveness over you or another family member. One of the most common signs of possessive aggressive behavior is when your dog begins to growl anytime a person or animal goes near any of these things. The extent of how aggressive your dog can be in these instances can vary from object to object and can be mild such as low growling to more severe such as attacking or biting.


Exhibiting dominance

While it is more common for dogs to become aggressive towards other dogs to show dominance, they can also do this with humans as well. When your dog feels as though they are being challenged, they can growl, bite or snap at other dogs or people. This can occur when you try to get your dog to move off your favorite chair or when you go to put him on a leash. Showing signs of dominance aggression can also be the same signs as fear aggression, so be sure to double check the surroundings to rule out any other causes for your dog suddenly aggressive behavior.



When your dog becomes agitated about not getting its way or getting what it wants, much like a toddler, your dog will become aggressive at others. This redirected or barrier frustration occurs more frequently in dogs who spend a majority of their time tied up or restrained.

What Can You Do Then?


Know aggressive triggers

Being aware of what can trigger aggressive behavior in your dog should be the first step to reduce the aggression. If they are aggressive when other people come to your home, then keep them locked in another room. If they are aggressive towards other animals, keep them separated.


Talk to your veterinarian

You want to see a veterinarian as soon as possible when your dog suddenly becomes aggressive. You want to be able to rule out any health issues that can be the cause of the aggression and get them the medical treatment they might need to help manage pain or treat additional symptoms. Also, see a veterinarian when your dog's behavior has suddenly changed.


Get your dog a professional trainer

If there are no medical issues that are the cause for your dog's aggression, then you want to consider finding a professional dog trainer to rid your dog of the aggressive behavior. When your dog suddenly aggressive behavior has caused them to bite someone already, then you will first need to get help from a professional veterinarian behaviorist and then hiring a dog trainer that specializes in aggressive behavior.


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