We often hear a lot of comments about dogs getting aggressive after they are fed a RAW diet. There is no element of truth in this and this stems from a lot of misconception around the subject. In fact, the contrary is true, wherein a study proved that raw food actually calms the dog.
Picture this: You’ve just transitioned your dog over to the BARF diet. One afternoon, he’s busy chewing his RAW Meaty Bones and another dog approaches him, sniffing. So he growls and snaps at the dog.
So you panic and instead of checking with other RAW feeders, move your pet back to his old diet of kibble.
What you’ve done in effect is, you’ve taken him off his healthy diet and reversed his steps towards achieving optimum health and a long life.
In my post titled ‘Reasons why raw is better than kibble,’
we’ve given our readers very valid reasons for why putting your pet on a raw food diet is more beneficial than having your pet feast on kibble.
One of the effects of putting your pet on a RAW food diet is a change and an increase in positive energy in your dog. Your pet will be happier and much better behaved.
So how could it be possible that RAW food will make your dog aggressive?
One of the theories is linked to the notion that once a lion tastes blood, he becomes ferocious and they apply it to a dog that eats RAW. Well, guess what?! That’s a cockeyed theory!
A lion is wild; he lives in the wild and therefore will behave like a wild animal. Plus, when he is hungry, he will go with the flow of nature and kill for survival.
This does not apply to your pet dog. He is domesticated, has a comfortable home with you and gets his meals regularly.
Let’s look at some factors that might actually make your dog aggressive:
: It could be that your dog is in pain. Maybe he has hurt himself and you haven’t noticed it. So if he’s suddenly growling or snapping or whining, please check for hurt body parts.
: Brain tumors or rabies might be causing him to become aggressive. Get your dog checked immediately if he shows signs of nasty behavior.
: Is your dog possessive of you or a toy or of someone in your family? Well then, he could be growling at anyone who approaches something or a person that he loves. Maybe he’s even possessive of his Raw Meaty Bone or his raw food. Consider that!
: A dog that has had an abusive past is very likely to snarl at you or bar his teeth if you try to pet him. It is highly possible that he thinks you’re going to hit him if you raise your hand to rub his head or pat his belly because he links that action to being hit like he was maybe in the past. So before you adopt a pet, it would be good to observe his original environment; was he tied up constantly, was the sleep and food deprived, what kind of food was he fed, behavioral traits of his former owner (if you can). So if he feels that he has to defend himself, snarling, biting, growling or snapping are the only reactions he knows.
The ‘man of the house’ reason for aggression
: There are some dogs who feel that they’re in charge of the house and its people. So they want to assert their dominance in the home. It happens! You may have seen wild animals like lions for example fight even amongst themselves because only one can be the leader. Your pet might have the misconception that he/she is the ‘leader’ and so if you command him, or give him an instruction, he might react in an aggressive manner. It has nothing to do with the raw diet
. All you need to do is correct him and show him that you are in charge. Make sure he’s not sick or in pain though, or you correcting him, will aggravate the situation.
It will also happen if you have more than one dog in the house. One of the dogs will try to prove he/she is the boss.
A sure shot way to ensure that your dog becomes
aggressive is to tie him up all day. It will irritate him to the point that he may even bite someone who approaches him. And it’s not dependent on what he eats.
Ensure that your dog gets plenty of sunlight and exercise so that he is able to utilize his energy positively. Play ball with him or just have him run behind you while you're exercising. It will be healthy for both of you.
So what can we do if our pets get aggressive?
If you cannot train your dog, hire a trainer or consult with an experienced dog owner
who will teach him how to obey commands, for example. Your dog has to be taught that you are providing him with the food and you can take the food away whenever you want if he misbehaves himself.
If you have multiple dogs, ensure that they are not in the same area while they’re being fed.
You don’t want them getting into a ‘fist fight’ over food.
Write to BARF India
and we will be glad to hear you out.