New Research found dogs showed reduced aggression towards humans after administration of CBD Oil for dogs. Learn more about CBD for dog aggression. Dealing with aggressive behavior can be difficult, even scary. Learn more about how to use CBD oil for dogs with anxiety and aggression issues. Take Barnaby, for example. A 15-year-old dog who has become reactive and fear aggressive as a result of old age. It only took a week of taking CBD for his owners to already notice a change in his mood, which made it easier to work on his behaviors.
CBD for Dog Aggression
Dog Aggression is a serious topic; finding an effective solution for this problem is imperative since euthanasia is often the unfortunate choice many dog owners have to make for this issue. Using CBD oil for dog aggression has been found to be a promising tool for this serious concern.
Table of Contents
Fear, Anxiety, and Aggression in Dogs
Most canine behaviorists agree that the majority of dog aggression is due to fear and anxiety. We already have many studies showing full spectrum hemp extract’s ability to ease mood disorders . By extrapolating these studies we can make a safe assumption that as more studies are conducted, this conclusion will be further solidified, that Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil is an effective option for aggressive behaviors in dogs.
Conventional Options For Dog Aggression
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil helps to achieve homeostasis throughout the body. Additionally, its ability to regulate stress hormones is done naturally and without side effects. This is in contrast to traditional veterinary pharmaceutical tools used to control dog aggression, such as Fluoxetine (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Clomipramine (Clomicalm), and Propanolol (Intensol). All of these conventional options come with a host of unpleasant side effects, short and long-term. In addition, as further studies are conducted on these conventional options, many are losing their favor among veterinary professionals.
Antidepressants like Fluoxetine work on specific receptors in the brain, while Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil works on those very same receptors in a much safer and more comprehensive way. Not to mention, FSHE does not come with any long-term side effects like liver and kidney damage, and can be discontinued without tapering.It also helps with far more than brain chemistry, due to its systemic benefits in the body, such as lowering inflammation and immune modulation.
Unsurprisingly, new research is being conducted investigating the Endocannabinoid System and finding anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs to interact with the ECB system. Despite cannabis’ continued demonization by the pharmaceutical industry, newer scientific research points to the ECB system’s power to help regulate just about any brain/mood disorder.
New Research on CBD for Dog Aggression
CBD has recently been studied as a possible tool for dog aggression, with promising results. A recent study conducted by The University of Western Australia has shown encouraging findings with using CBD oil for shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies. Twenty four (24) shelter dogs were blindly observed and analyzed for aggressive behaviors. The observers did not know who was given CBD and who was not. This study found a reduced amount of aggression towards humans after administration of CBD Oil. According to the researchers, “Our results clearly suggest that CBD might be effectively used to improve welfare in dogs housed in a shelter.”
CALM: CBD oil helps Linda, a very fearful rescue!
This is the first study of its kind to analyze CBD’s ability to help shelter dogs with stress. Any other research done on this subject has only been conducted on psychoactive medications, herbal remedies, and pheromones. More research is needed in this area of concern, with larger variation and classification of types of dogs, as well as the type of hemp extract used. However, with what we already know about hemp’s ability to change brain chemistry and influence behavior, we can make some inferences.
As the study states, “Stress is a mental, physiological, or emotional state characterized by a factor that is altering the homeostasis of a living organism. For mammals, the response to a stressor, which can be physical or emotional, as for example infections, burns or anger involves the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis reactivity, resulting in an increase of circulating glucocorticoids that could result in stress-related disorders.” This is an important cue to what we already know about CBD and stress. CBD (and its respective synergistic compounds) is an adaptogen, directly modulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. All adaptogens work to achieve homeostasis by regulating the HPA axis. CBD is no different in that respect, but CBD from a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract works to achieve homeostasis by regulating the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Other adaptogens don’t have the power that a Full Spectrum Hemp extract CBD Oil does to regulate this system to such a degree that all the body’s systems come into balance, not just the HPA axis. By utilizing the ECS, a wider effect can be achieved, and the damaging effects of chronic stress can be better managed. Taking that into consideration, using CBD for aggressive dogs can only be a good thing.
An Integrative Approach to Dog Aggression
When it comes to canine aggression, a comprehensive, multimodal approach will yield the best results in the long term. This type of integrative approach is nearly always preferable to a single tool or, ‘silver bullet’ solution, regardless of their condition. Integrative means using both traditional/conventional tools and more holistic/natural options to achieve an ideal result. Consider combining plant medicines like hemp extract with conditioning tools like behavioral therapy.
For canine aggression, seeking the help of a canine behaviorist is a great idea. A behaviorist will help to determine where your dog’s aggression is coming from. Finding the cause will not only help you approach the problem with more precision but will achieve a better end result.
Diet is also another critical tool in maintaining better brain health and promoting a calmer state in dogs. A fresh, whole food diet low in processed carbohydrates and rich in omega 3 fatty acids is very important. Feeding processed kibble to a dog with aggressive tendencies will only hinder any progress you are trying to make therapeutically with other tools like FSHE and training. Studies have shown a link between low levels of fatty acids in dogs and aggressive tendencies (this applies to people as well).
Additionally, the environment plays an important role in your dog’s behavior. While we cannot control our outdoor environment much at all, we can control our home environment. It is important to use pet-safe chemicals throughout your home. Most of the cleaning and deodorizing products on the market today are not safe for humans or pets. They contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), endocrine disruptors, and flame retardants that seriously affect our pets’ health in a negative manner. Switching to safer, natural alternatives will greatly reduce the amount of VOCs and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your home and create a more balanced environment for everyone living in it. For a comprehensive guide of cleaners safe for the entire household, check out EWG’s list here .
CBD and Behavioral Training for Dog Aggression
Using Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil alongside a proper training program will offer the most benefits for your dog. For a full guide of how to administer a Full Spectrum Hemp CBD oil, and what dosage to consider for your dog, see our dosage guide here .
Consider dosing your dog with a calming Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, such as our CALM: CBD oil for dogs, 30 minutes before their behavioral training session. This can help to increase mental clarity and promote a calm, alert state of mind. Being consistent with dosage (2-3 times a day is ideal) and using a journal to monitor your progress are great ways to make your dog’s aggressive behavioral training more successful.
Keep in mind that each dog’s endocannabinoid system will vary in its sensitivity to FSHE. More aggressive dogs may need significantly higher doses at first, so logging your dog’s FSHE intake and training progress in a journal will help you to adjust your dog’s dosage accordingly. If you are unable to give your aggressive dog FSHE along the gum line, placing their dosage on a high value treat, or adding FSHE to their food is also an option.
Using Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD Oil for dog aggression is a promising tool, along with other important tools that can help aggression in dogs. This includes feeding a fresh, whole food diet low in carbohydrates, proper omega fatty acids, maintaining a low stress and chemical-free home environment, as well as managing your own stress in a healthy way.
Krysta Fox is an experienced Veterinary Technician, a career inspired by her own beloved pug’s medical issues. With her years of experience working in traditional, holistic, and integrative practices, working alongside some of the most gifted practitioners in the industry, her varied experiences have played a key part in expanding her knowledge of veterinary medicine. She has also previously taken on several roles within the industry, including the manufacture and sales of raw pet food as well as consulting on animal health and nutrition. With her combined veterinary and pet industry knowledge, she can effectively help almost anyone she comes across in some way regarding their pets’ health.
Can CBD Help Dog Aggression?
This article is not a substitute for veterinary diagnosis or treatment of any condition, symptom, or disease. Please consult with your veterinarian if your dog is suffering from any troubling symptoms.
Is your dog aggressive with other dogs and people, or around certain triggers such as food, toys, and places? This article will help you learn more about aggression in dogs. We’ll explore causes, training tips, and whether using CBD for dog aggression can help.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that dog aggression can be dangerous. You may need the help of a professional if the aggression is out of control. Many owners make aggression worse by misdiagnosing the root cause or using “common sense” training techniques that can make aggressive dogs more dangerous.
This article isn’t a substitute for professional guidance. However, we do hope that it will provide you with a better understanding of this behavioral problem as well as some of the best tools to use as you help your canine companion find a calmer way of engaging with the world.
Types of Aggression in Dogs
According to the ASPCA , there are 11 common types of dog aggression. These are pictured in the image below. Helping your dog overcome aggression always starts by developing a clear picture of the problem and its causes.
The outdated “dominance” model of canine psychology assumes that most aggression problems are caused by excessive dominance or lack of submission. We now know, however, that dogs have complex social and emotional lives. Aggression is often triggered by fear, insecurity, and anxiety.
Take a look at the 11 types of dog aggression above and notice that almost all of them (with the exceptions of pain-induced and predatory) involve anxiety and aggression about a certain trigger. For example:
Territorial and Possessive: Anxiety about a place or a valued possession being threatened or lost.
Social: Anxiety about one’s place in the pack and the fear of losing status.
Defensive: Anxiety about an impending threat in response to a certain trigger such as being on a leash around other dogs or being approached by a person with a newspaper in their hands.
Recognizing the exact cause of your dog’s anxiety is usually the first step of a behavioral training program. Once that trigger gets identified, you can “reprogram” the anxiety response using positive reinforcement, reconditioning, and desensitization techniques developed from decades of research in animal behavior.
4 Behavior Modification Tips for Aggression
1. Never Punish the Signs of Aggression
The outdated “dominance” model suggests that all dog aggression is caused by dogs who think they are “alphas” and insist on dominating everything and everyone around them.
Unfortunately, these models of dog behavior are not only incorrect, they often do more harm than good. Trainers that use this theory often recommend “dominating” or punishing such dogs at the first signs of aggression ( e.g. raised hackles, growling, hard stance, baring teeth, licking lips, etc.)
The problem with this is that all it does is make an already insecure dog feel even more insecure by adding a real threat of harm. In addition, it trains them to stop giving warning signals when they’re feeling anxious and/or threatened. Such dogs become more dangerous because they will stop giving any warning of their fear.
Instead, they launch right into an attack when their fear becomes too much for them to handle.
2. Humane Use of Muzzles
While they look barbaric, muzzles can be an important safety precaution when dealing with dogs that have aggression issues. Make sure that you purchase basket-style muzzles rather than the cloth kind because they allow for better breathing.
In addition, take time to acclimate your dog to wearing a muzzle in calm and familiar environments where fear triggers are not present, using lots of positive reinforcement.
Never muzzle one dog and not the other if dog-dog aggression is a problem. It can make the fearful dog feel even more insecure and expose him to serious harm should a fight break out.
3. Desensitization and Reconditioning
A technique known as desensitization is at the heart of most dog aggression training programs. It’s a program that involves exposing the fearful dog to a trigger that is far away. So far that they are under the “reaction threshold.” Then, offer a dog treat all calm responses with praise and food rewards.
Slowly, keeping the dog under the reaction threshold, get closer and closer to the trigger while continuing to reward calm behavior. This is the “reconditioning” part of the training program. Over time, the trigger that was once associated with a threat becomes associated with a reward.
A dog that was once fearful of a trigger can learn to love it in good time with plenty of repetition and practice.
A well-meaning dog owner can go wrong with this technique by moving too fast. If a fear reaction happens, it can undo the progress made. It is better to stay well within your dog’s sense of safety for much longer than you think you need to than to go too fast and ruin the progress you have made.
4. Know When to Contact a Professional
Keep in mind that aggression in dogs can become a dangerous problem.
If you have a large and powerful dog or suspect that your dog may pose a danger to other people or pets, it is advisable to seek professional help.
Can You Use CBD Oil for Dog Aggression?
Many veterinarians, professional dog trainers, and pet owners alike have discovered that CBD can promote calm in dogs. While dog aggression remains a complex problem, the calming effect of CBD oil may be part of a successful and well-designed training program to address aggression in dogs.
To learn more, click here to read about one special rescue dog, Archie Barker, who had aggression problems after being neglected and abandoned. Many shelter dogs could tell a similar tale (or tail, depending on who you ask).
If you decide to give CBD oil a try, consider Lolahemp .
Our organic CBD products are made from full-spectrum hemp oil made just with dogs in mind. They’re safe for your pup’s endocannabinoid system and the effectiveness of CBD in dogs is well-known among pet owners. In addition, we donate one bottle for every four sold to a rescue dog in need – a purchase you can feel good about!
Joey is the founder of Lolahemp. In 2015 he and his mother launched Lolawawa’s Pet Boutique, an e-commerce store for pets and pet lovers that donates a portion of profits to animal rescue efforts. In 2018 the son and mother duo launched Lolahemp after the success their own rescue chihuahua, Lola, had with hemp products. Joey & Susan are the visionaries behind the brand, oversee day-to-day operations & marketing, and run all of the company’s philanthropic efforts.
CBD for Dogs With Aggression: Why and How It Works
CBD for dogs with aggression might be an unexpected remedy for a behavior problem that has plagued countless dogs (and their owners) over the past decades. Statistics show an increase in bite-related hospitalizations, even fatalities.
Being the owner of an aggressive dog is a very stressful experience because of the ever-present, lingering fear that your dog might seriously hurt another person or another dog. This, of course, does not mean that you love your dog any less. You want to help him become a safer member of society and gain a calmer state of mind.
As CBD oil is rising in popularity and taking the world by storm, the pet industry is welcoming a variety of CBD-based products on the market. Many dog owners are now wondering if this is just another hype or something that could actually help their sick, anxious, and aggressive dog. Can CBD truly be helpful for canine aggression?
Aggression in Dogs
How are fear and aggression connected?
Aggression is a strong violent reaction to a perceived external threat. Just like humans, dogs have three natural fear responses: fight, flight, and freeze. Aggression is a manifestation of the fight response. This is how we know that all aggression is essentially born out of fear.
There are many different threats a dog can perceive, such as other dogs, competitors, intruders, etc. Fearful and aggressive dogs cannot discern between an actual threat and a perceived threat. This is why many aggressive dogs are called unpredictable, as their owners struggle to understand their triggers.
Studies have shown that the majority of dog bites happen at home, where one would expect dogs to feel safe. Over half of all people who get bitten are children. Dogs with aggression are suffering from internal fear and opting for the fight response, ultimately making them very challenging to live with.
The idea of a supplement that could help these dogs feel calmer in their environment, not to mention in the world at large, comes as a saving grace to many dog owners who are struggling with fear in their own homes. Thankfully, more and more connections have been made between CBD oil and the improved moods of anxious dogs, giving hope to many owners that their aggressive dogs can be helped after all.
CBD Oil for Dogs
What is CBD? Can a dog get high?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and it comes from the cannabis plant. It can be used as an ingredient in a variety of products, such as edibles, ointments, tinctures, and oils. The CBD in these products is primarily derived from hemp (not marijuana), meaning it contains little to no THC and therefore does not have any psychoactive consequences. Your dog will not get high from CBD.
How does CBD work?
All mammals have a natural endocannabinoid system, known as the ECS. This is a system that regulates many functions in our body, most notable ones being sleep, inflammation, pain, memory, and moods. The way CBD works is by stimulating the ECS receptors, therefore impacting all functions regulated by this system.
Dogs with anxiety and aggression notably suffer from imbalanced moods, sometimes even as a result of physical pain or sickness. Since CBD oil impacts exactly the receptors that regulate moods and pain, it could ease several of these symptoms at once, resulting in a more balanced system and a calmer dog.
CBD Oil and Canine Aggression
Is there proof that CBD can help dogs with fear aggression?
Most of the feedback on successful CBD help for aggressive dogs has come directly from the owners that have reported seeing changes in their dogs’ state of mind. CBD oil can be used as a regular treatment or as extra help on special occasions, such as the New Year’s Eve fireworks, welcoming a new family member, taking a trip to the vet, etc.
Take Barnaby, for example. A 15-year-old dog who has become reactive and fear aggressive as a result of old age. It only took a week of taking CBD for his owners to already notice a change in his mood, which made it easier to work on his behaviors. Stories like these are an inspiration to struggling owners, but they can also be an encouragement to those who work in rescue and daily encounter anxious and aggressive dogs.
One foster dog mom has noticed how much calmer her PTSD fosters are, after giving them CBD treats. She notes that the visible shift in their mood opened the doors to easier socialization and further behavior modification.
While there is much research still to be done on this topic specifically (the first veterinary studies have mainly been focusing on the physical ailments), there are two notable studies that give us a good insight into the value of CBD for aggression in dogs.
In the first study, researchers studied mice who exhibited territorial aggression and found that CBD reduced their aggressive reactions and behaviors. In the cases where aggressive attacks still happened, they were much shorter in duration.
The second study exposed rats to a snake, their predator, with the intent to observe the panic-induced reactions. When faced with the threat, the rats dosed with CBD had significantly diminished fear responses. In both cases, the researchers concluded that CBD could help prevent or reduce fear-born behaviors, such as panic and aggression.
While the research on this topic is still at the beginning, it is evident that the starting point is already more than promising, indicating that there is massive potential for helping fear aggressive dogs with CBD.
Are there any dangers to using CBD for dogs with aggression?
While CBD is generally considered safe, there are still some things you should keep in mind before giving it to your anxious and aggressive dog. Always consult your holistic vet before making any significant changes in your dog’s diet, which includes adding a supplement such as CBD. It is also important to find a good product of high quality, so please do your research before deciding on a final purchase.
The most important thing with CBD is the dosage, which is why you should always carefully read and follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Some possible side effects may include lower blood pressure, drowsiness, and an increased notion of thirst. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to check-in with your vet and readjust the dosage.
Finally, it is crucial to understand that CBD can help dogs with anxiety and aggression, but it cannot cure them or take away the cause. It is a very valuable asset for managing aggression in dogs but should not be considered a replacement for consistent training.
Fear is always present in the life of aggressive dogs. It controls their responses, putting their owners in a state of anxiety as well. Many owners are now finding comfort in recognizing the value of CBD oil for dogs with fear and aggression. It can be used alongside their regular training and rehabilitation. CBD oil stimulates the natural system that regulates the dog’s moods, resulting in a calmer dog with a more relaxed state of mind.
While there is still much research to be done, the first studies have been very promising. They indicate that there is an optimistic future ahead for dogs with aggression. This comes as a relief to the owners who are walking this challenging path with them every single day. Since living with an anxious dog often feels like a dead-end street, there is strong hope in knowing the promising effects of CBD for dogs with aggression.
Kriss, Randa. “CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know.” American Kennel Club, 05/02/2019.
Hartmann, Alice. Lisboa, Sabrina Francesca. Buzolin Sonego, Andreza. Coutinho, Débora. Villela Gomes, Felipe. Silveira Guimarães, Francisco. “Cannabidiol attenuates aggressive behavior induced by social isolation in mice: Involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors.” Science Direct, 02/05/2019.
De Mello Schier, Alexandre Rafael. Pinho de Oliveira Ribeiro, Natalia. Cardoso de Oliveira e Silva, Adriana. Cecílio Hallak, Jaime Eduardo. S. Crippa, José Alexandre. E. Nardi, Antonio. Waldo Zuardi, Antonio. “Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug.” Brazilian Journal for Psychiatry, June 2012.
Luna’s passion for learning about canine psychology and behavior began when she adopted a severely reactive puppy from a local shelter. She is now a big advocate for positive reinforcement and compassionate training. As a writer, she strives to spotlight the topics that fly under the radar and be the voice for all who cannot speak for themselves.