CBD oil is a safe and effective supplement that has helped many dogs with allergies, hyperactivity, and anxiety. Does CBD help with dog aggression, though? Below you will find out if CBD is an option when it comes to reducing and/or eliminating your dog’s aggressive behavior.
Does CBD Help with Dog Aggression?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has gained popularity for its potential therapeutic effects in humans and animals. When it comes to dog aggression, there is anecdotal evidence and some preliminary scientific research suggesting that CBD may help manage certain forms of aggressive behavior in dogs. However, it is essential to approach this topic with caution and consult with a veterinarian before using CBD or any other treatment for dog aggression.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, appetite, pain sensation, and emotional responses. The ECS is present in both humans and animals, including dogs. CBD is believed to influence the ECS by indirectly affecting the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are distributed throughout the body and the central nervous system.
Aggression in dogs can arise from various factors, including fear, anxiety, territorial behavior, or even underlying medical conditions. CBD is thought to have potential calming and anti-anxiety effects, which may help alleviate some of the underlying causes of aggressive behavior in dogs. By interacting with the ECS, CBD may modulate the dog’s response to stress and promote relaxation.
However, it is important to note that the scientific research on the effects of CBD specifically on dog aggression is limited. Most of the existing studies are small-scale or based on anecdotal evidence, so it is challenging to draw definitive conclusions. Additionally, dogs can display aggression for complex reasons, and CBD may not be effective in all cases. Understanding the underlying cause of aggression and implementing appropriate behavior modification techniques, in conjunction with professional guidance, is crucial.
If you are considering using CBD for dog aggression, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian who has knowledge and experience with CBD use in animals. They can help assess your dog’s specific situation, provide guidance on proper dosing, and monitor your dog’s response to the treatment. It is important to use high-quality CBD products specifically formulated for pets, as the safety and efficacy of human-grade CBD products for dogs have not been extensively studied.
Learn more about CBD oil and its effects on aggressive behavior in dogs below.
What is Dog Aggression?
The ASPCA defines aggression in dogs as a range of behaviors that start with a warning and then can result in an attack.
- Aggressive behavior can include a change in body language, such as becoming very still and stiff.
- Warnings can start with barking, growling, or showing teeth. If the threat persists, the dog may exhibit the next level of canine aggression, which is trying to move the person by using the mouth (mouthing) or nose (muzzle punch).
- The next stage of a dog’s aggression is action or attack. This can be a snap, nip, or bite with or with an injury.
A dog’s aggression does not start with an attack. It starts with the change in body language. Understanding what causes a dog to become aggressive is important in identifying a treatment for it.
Dog aggression doesn’t have to attack another person. It can be when a dog tears up bed or attacks the door when you leave. Understanding the different types of aggression is important.
Types of Aggression
Canine aggression can be sparked for many different reasons, and each dog can be different in what causes aggressive behavior. The following 10 types of aggression can help dog owners identify what types their pup may experience.
- Territorial Aggression
Territorial aggression is when dogs become aggressive when someone enters an area they perceive it as their territory.
- Protective Aggression
Dogs become aggressive when they believe one of their pack members (this includes their family members and friends) is being attacked.
- Possessive Aggression
Dogs have a fear that their possessions will be taken away. Possessive aggression can be with toys, food, and even people.
- Fear Aggression
Dogs who become fearful either run, hide or fight back. Those who fight back exhibit this type of dog aggression.
- Social Aggression
Canines who perceive themselves as the pack leader in their family may attack family members or other pets.
- Frustration Elicited Aggression
Some pups become angry when they get excited and are held back from acting on that excitement.
- Redirected Aggression
When a canine fights with another canine and a human interferes, the canine may attack the human. This is an example of redirected aggression.
- Pain-Elicited Aggression
Dogs who are physically abused may become aggressive.
- Sex-Related Aggression
Unneutered and unspayed dogs can often become aggressive when looking to mate.
- Predatory Aggression
The chase and capture of moving prey describe predatory dog aggression.
Dogs can have more than one type of dog aggression. The causes of each can be instinctual, learned, or due to past experiences. For instance, shelter dogs who have a history of abuse may have fear aggression, social aggression, and possessive aggression. While many people shy away from shelter dogs because of the possibility of them having a behavioral problem, it isn’t something that can’t be treated. Many aggressive dogs are rehabilitated and become some of the best dogs their owners have ever had.
Treatment Of Dog Aggression
The treatment of dog aggression takes time, patience, and perseverance. The work put into helping aggressive dogs is worth it, though. This is especially true when aggressive dogs go on to have wonderful, loving, and carefree lives with their families.
Behavior modification is the most effective form of treatment for dog aggression. This treatment involves changing a behavior problem with positive reinforcement. Learn more about behavior modification below.
Behavior Modification for Dog Aggression
Aggression is a behavior that follows a perceived threat. A dog sees, hears, or feels something and if there is evidence that it is a threat (whether presently or learned from the past), body language immediately changes, and the path to aggressive behavior begins.
The key is to modify the behavior that results from the perceived threat. Why modify the behavior vs. eliminate the threat? It can be impossible to eliminate every single threat. You also don’t want to live life always worried that your dog may come in contact with a threat.
How Behavior Modification for Dog Aggression Works
The goal of behavior modification for dog aggression is to teach your pup an appropriate way to behave when feeling threatened. This comes from presenting a threat and encouraging a different behavior. Presenting the threat is why it’s essential to know the root cause of your dog’s aggression.
For example, let’s say your dog’s root cause of aggression is possession. He feels he must defend what belongs to him – like his food. This defensive aggression has caused him to nip at a fellow canine and even growl at some family members.
Read More: Stop a Dog Growling Over Food
One way to correct defensive aggression is to present the threat (the food). When body language changes (staring, stiff, etc.), say NO in a firm voice and pick up the food bowl. Be sure you or someone has your pup on a leash to be able to pull back if an attack happens.
Always be safe when training your dog. If you do not feel safe, reach out for professional help from a dog trainer.
You will need to repeat the process of introducing the threat and saying NO multiple times over a few days. Once your dog catches on that the body language is not appropriate for when food is presented, you can move on to bringing in other threats, such as the fellow dog.
The same process should be followed. Present the fellow dog with the food on the floor. When body language changes or there’s a growl, say NO and pick up the food. Do this over and over again.
ALWAYS give your dog praise and even treats for good behavior. That’s how you solidify the good behaviors your dog exhibits.
Persistence Is Key to Successful Behavior Modification
Don’t give up even if the behavioral issues seem to persist. It can take some dogs several days of training to change their aggressive tendencies. It’s just like a human trying to change a behavior or get rid of a bad habit.
By the way, research says it takes humans an average of 28 days to form a new habit.
Behavior Modification Tips for Aggression
The following are some behavior modification tips for dogs with aggressive tendencies.
Never Punish the Signs of Aggression
Pain-elicited aggression often comes from physical punishment. Redirected aggression can also occur when a dog is punished.
Verbal commands like NO aren’t punishment. It is a corrective command. If you don’t feel right saying NO, consider using a clicker or putting pennies into a can and shaking it. The point is to have an undesirable sound break the train of thoughts your dog has that could lead to an attack.
Read More: How to Discipline a Dog After Fighting
Humane Use of Muzzles
Muzzles are not inhumane as long as they are used for training purposes. Inhumane use of muzzles is when dogs are kept in them for long periods of time.
Muzzles can keep training safe, so don’t swear them off. At the very least, have someone with you to hold onto a leash to prevent an attack.
Desensitization and Reconditioning
Behavioral modification is all about removing the perception of the threat. Keep that in mind as you’re training your dog. By presenting the threat and showing your dog repeatedly there is nothing to worry about, you will desensitize the feelings of that threat. Stopping the behavior that follows the threat reconditions your dog to behave differently when it is presented.
Professional Dog Trainer
A professional dog trainer can help immensely with the dog training process. Dog training doesn’t take you out of the process, though. The trainer will work with your dog and then teach you how to do some of the training yourself each day because the more that it’s done, the faster and better your dog will learn it. If you’re having a hard time getting your dog to cooperate, that’s a sign it’s time for professional help.
CBD Oil for Dog Aggression
The Role Anxiety Plays in Dog Aggression and How CBD Oil Helps
A common cause of aggression aside from the type of aggression is anxiety. A perceived threat causes anxiety inside a dog, and that anxiety intensifies as the threat persists. Physiologically, anxiety causes the body to react (muscles tense up, the heart beats faster, etc.) and then the attack happens.
Anxious dogs have had a lot of success with CBD. The calming effect of it can decrease the energy that results from a perceived threat, which then reduces the risk of attack.
CBD for dog aggression treatment (behavior modification) is very helpful. By calming your dog’s anxiety over the threat you’re presenting, you’ll have a much easier time gaining his/her attention to correct it.
It’s just like human interactions. When you’re confronting someone with high anxiety, it’s much harder to calm them down compared to someone who is already calm and able to think clearly.
CBD can calm down your dog, so you’re better able to communicate with him.
Using CBD For Dog Aggression
Pet owners give their animals CBD oil either on an as-needed basis or daily, depending on the goal of the CBD treatment. In addition to helping behavioral problems, CBD has had success in helping dogs with medical conditions, allergies, joint stiffness, mobility, gastrointestinal issues, hyperactivity, and much more.
CBD is a safe and effective way to improve the health of dogs and humans. Understanding how it works can help you feel more confident in its numerous health benefits.
How CBD Works for Dog Aggression
Dogs (and humans) have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for supporting the functioning of major organs of the body, such as the immune system, brain, nervous system, and gastrointestinal system.
The body naturally produces endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids activate when they bind with cannabinoid receptors. This is what gives the endocannabinoid system strength to do its job in supporting bodily functions.
When there isn’t an ample amount of endocannabinoids available, the endocannabinoids system can’t help the body function optimally. When bodily functions like the nervous system and brain can’t function optimally, issues occur, such as anxiety. That’s where CBD can help.
CBD (or cannabinoids) act just like the endocannabinoids the body produces. This ensures the endocannabinoid system functions at its best. This balances out the functions of the body, which can lead to less pain, more movement and you guessed it: reduced anxiety.
Reduced anxiety can lead to a lower level of the perceived threat and then a reduced risk of aggression. It can also make it easier to distract a dog because he/she is much less uptight over the threat.
New Research on CBD for Dog Aggression
In a white paper from Okoa Pet, a questionnaire-based study included reports from dog owners and veterinarians about the beneficial effects on canine anxiety.
In a study published on the National Library of Medicine website, CBD was found to reduce aggressive behavior towards humans in shelter dogs. The study had observers watch the shelter dogs’ aggressive tendencies. After CBD administration to some of the 24 dogs and not others, the observers identified a reduced amount of aggression towards humans for those that received the CBD oil.
Learn more: CBD Dog Studies
Best CBD Products For Dog Aggression
With the knowledge that CBD administration can reduce aggression and is safe, the next step in using it is understanding the need to choose high-quality CBD pet products.
CBD is derived from the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa) or hemp plant. How the plants are grown is important to the quality of CBD. That’s why it’s always important to research the manufacturer of the CBD pet products you decide to purchase.
Since it can be difficult to choose the best CBD oil for your furry friend, we have identified our recommendations for CBD products.
CBD Oil for Dog Aggression
About KING KALM™
KING KALM™ has a high-quality blend of Broad Spectrum CBD with hemp oil and krill oil. Not only does your pooch receive the added benefits of hemp oil and krill oil, but the krill oil increases the efficiency of CBD oil in the body.
KING KALM™ 75mg CBD
The KING KALM™ 75mg CBD blend is the perfect dose for small and toy dogs. For larger dogs, more than one dose may be needed to achieve maximum effectiveness.
KING KALM™ 150mg
The 150 mg tincture from KING KALM is perfect for medium size dogs. Again, larger dogs can benefit from this product, but more than one dose may be required.
KING KALM™ CBD 300mg
King Kalm™ CBD 300 mg is best for large dogs. This should not be used for small to medium size dogs because dosing tincture down is difficult.
KING KALM™ CBD 600 MG with Copaiba & Krill Oil and DHA
This 600 mg KING KALM™ product is made out of a proprietary Broad Spectrum CBD oil mixed with Capaiba, krill oil, and DHA.
CBD Calming Chews For Dogs
Lolahemp for dogs is a CBD brand for pets made from hemp. Their tagline is “Plant-Powered Pet Health” since their CBD is made from a plant – the hemp plant. Learn all you need to about Lolahemp for dogs to help you decide if it’s right for you and your pup.
Lolahemp’s soft chews are great for picky eaters because they come in very yummy flavors. Each chew has all of the benefits of CBD and is made with all-natural ingredients. They are perfect for overall wellness for healthy joints, and relaxation and reduce the risk of seasonal skin allergies.
CBD Capsules for Dogs
HolistaPet has CBD capsules for dogs that have no THC and is made with CBD and Hemp Seed Powder. It’s easy to hide the capsule in a treat or open it to mix the contents into food. CBD dosages include 150 mg, 300 mg, 600 mg, 1200 mg, or 3000 mg.
CBD Dog Treats for Anxiety
There is a wide variety of CBD dog treats for anxiety. Dog Ownership Guide recommends Diamond CBD, HolistaPet, and LolaHemp.
Diamond CBD designed its line of full-spectrum CBD dog treats to be nutrient-rich, organic, and hemp plant-derived. All their dog products are made in the USA and contain THC or synthetics.
Diamond CBD’s brand of dog treats – Medipets – are made with real beef, chicken fat, and cheese bits.
Dosages range from 100 mg to 600 mg for small dogs, medium dogs, and large dogs. Treats can be easily broken up for small dogs. Dog owners should speak to their vet for dosage recommendations.
Medipets’ CBD treats for dogs come in many tasty flavors, such as meaty steak treats, wavy bacon, and more.
HolistaPet CBD Dog Treats
HolistaPet, a well-known CBD pet brand, makes dog treats from hemp seed powder and natural ingredients.
All of HolistaPet’s products are:
- 100% Natural
- Superfoods Enhanced
- Tested and Verified by a Certified Lab
- Broad Spectrum
Pet owners can feel good about choosing this product for their pups.
Each bag of CBD dog treats contains 30 treats with each treat having 10 mg of CBD. The treats are perfect for small and large dogs because dosing is easy. Treats can even be halved to provide doses of 5 mg or 150 mg with one and a half treats.
Does CBD Help with Dog Aggression?
Yes, CBD can help with dog aggression by reducing the level of aggression and anxiety associated with it. Dog parents can administer CBD before training sessions or daily to manage their dog’s behavior much more easily.
If you’re dealing with aggressive or anxious dogs, consider pet CBD oil. CBD treatment can make it easier to manage aggression and anxiety, and the training involved to modify undesirable related behaviors.
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