Dog Aggression

Are Pregnant Dogs Aggressive


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If your pup is pregnant, congratulations! This is such an exciting time for everyone involved. While it’s not exactly the same as a human pregnancy, there are a lot of similarities that you should know about as you go through the pregnancy with your precious pup. In this article, we will tackle one of the most common questions pet parents have about dog pregnancy: Are pregnant dogs aggressive?

Changes in Female Dogs During Pregnancy

Pregnancy in dogs, just like in humans, brings about a host of physical and hormonal changes that can lead to behavioral changes. One of the most common behavioral changes seen in pregnant dogs is maternal aggression. This can manifest in various ways, such as growling, snapping, or biting when approached or touched in certain areas of the body.

The aggression may be directed towards people or other animals, including other dogs in the household. It is important to understand the causes of this aggression and how to manage it to ensure the safety of both the pregnant dog and those around her.

pregnant dog

Are Pregnant Dogs Aggressive?

Dog behavior changes during pregnancy along with physical changes. For some dogs, that means becoming aggressive.

During pregnancy, a female dog’s hormone levels fluctuate, leading to changes in her behavior. The hormonal changes that occur during the early stages of pregnancy can sometimes lead to false pregnancy or phantom pregnancy, where a dog will display signs of pregnancy without actually being pregnant. These signs include weight gain, morning sickness, and even lactation or milk production. In domestic dogs, this is known as a “phantom pregnancy” and can also result in aggressive behavior.

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Why Do Mother Dogs Get Aggressive?

Maternal aggression in dogs is a natural process that occurs as a result of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. As the dog approaches the end of her gestation period, her hormone levels, specifically progesterone and estrogen, will rise. These hormonal changes can cause the dog to become more protective of her whelping area and her newborn puppies, and may also cause her to become more aggressive towards other family members and other animals. This is normal behavior that is seen in all mammals, including humans, during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

How to Decrease Aggression in Pregnant Dogs

While maternal aggression is normal behavior, it is important to manage it in order to ensure the safety of the pregnant dog and those around her. One of the best ways to decrease aggression in pregnant dogs is to provide them with a safe and comfortable space, such as a dog bed, where they can rest and relax. It is also important to avoid sensitive areas, such as the dog’s belly or mammary glands, as this can trigger aggressive behavior. Providing exercise and mental stimulation, such as training and playtime, can also help to decrease aggression in pregnant dogs. Additionally, it is a good idea to give the pregnant dog extra attention and affection during this time.

how to decrease aggression in pregnant dog

Research on Aggression and Dog Pregnancy

Research on dog pregnancy and aggression is limited, but it is known that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can lead to changes in a dog’s behavior. Studies have shown that progesterone levels are higher in pregnant dogs compared to non-pregnant dogs and that these levels continue to rise as the dog approaches the end of her pregnancy.

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Research has also shown that estrogen levels increase during the second half of a dog’s pregnancy. These hormone changes are thought to be the cause of the increased aggression seen in pregnant dogs.

It is important to note that every dog is different and may respond differently to pregnancy and motherhood. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian and observing your dog’s aggressive behavior can help to ensure the well-being of both the mother and her puppies.

Frequently Asked Questions

[saswp_tiny_multiple_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Does a dog’s temperament change when pregnant?” answer-0=”Yes, a dog’s temperament can change when pregnant as a result of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”How long does maternal aggression last in dogs?” answer-1=”Maternal aggression in dogs typically begins in the late stages of pregnancy and can continue for several weeks after the birth of the puppies.” image-1=”” count=”2″ html=”true”]

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