Dog Aggression TipsMeet Kid. He’s a lovable 12-year-old Lab/Whippet. However, he’s started to become protective/aggressive when his dad is around.


The first thing we had to do is make sure that he’s physically OK. When older dogs change behavior (suddenly), we need to make sure they’re healthy.


For instance, my 8.5-year-old dog was starting to lose his appetite and have trouble keeping down food. But he wasn’t acting too bad otherwise, so I was waiting it out a bit. But when he suddenly acted like he was going to bite me during a bath, I knew something was very, very wrong.


It turned out that he had liver cancer and only survived another 10 days.


Of course, this is an extreme example. Sometimes, it’s just aches and pains of getting older. For instance, arthritis is especially common in dogs over 10 years old. When dogs do not feel well, they try to mask it, but it will often come out as aggression as they try to protect themselves because they feel so weak and vulnerable.


Kid checked out at the vet’s, so we’re on a training and behavior modification adventure. I still believe some of his behavior is occurring because he is feeling vulnerable due to diminished eyesight and hearing along with possibly some slowing down in brain function.


But, no one is too old to learn, and it’s wonderful of his parents to care so much and take the time to get to the bottom of what is troubling him and help him get better!