No matter where you live, you may run into dog aggression, and it may be caused by your dog. Sometimes it is between two dogs, whether neighbors or dogs in the same household. Sometimes it involves a dog attacking or biting a human, all too often a child. This article will give you three things you can do if you are dealing with an aggressive dog in your family. It will also provide you with a link to a resource that has much more information on this stressful situation. The first step is to organize your dog's living situation so that he can't attack anyone.
You'll need to be protecting yourself, your family members, all other pets you have, and of course the dog himself. Everyone needs to be safe. You can do this partly by crating the dog at times. If he is not used to being put into a crate, you will have to coax him in with treats and monitor his being in the crate to be sure he doesn't hurt himself (or the crate) trying to get out.
Never leave a dog in a crate for an extremely long time. Another way of handling your dog's whereabouts is by choosing his location in your home, which might be in a dog yard, an extra bedroom, or whatever you can put into service this way. You could do this in addition to using a crate or instead of it. If you have to keep two dogs apart because they have been fighting, then try to create something where two doors are between them.
That way, you will be able to go between them much more easily than if you only have them one door apart. Second, get your dog to your veterinarian for a thorough check-up. Many times, the cause of aggression in a dog is pain. Veterinarians can find many possible causes that you might never think of, such as dental pain. If this is the case, once the pain is gone, the dog will be a much happier camper and the aggression may go away completely. Third, keep some sort of written record of the aggressive incidents.
This is specially helpful later, because it is natural for us to forget whether the dog bit Mary before or after it growled at Bob, especially when the topic is plenty stressful. A handy notebook, or even just some paper, is recommended for this little project. These notes will be used as you begin to consider your longer-term options for dealing with the situation. Longer-term planning is the next step, or actually several steps. It may not be easy, but there have been studies done which show that when people who have an aggressive dog are diligent about care and training, the future is much rosier for the dog and all around him.
See Rosana Hart's longer page on aggressive dogs, Nine Tips If Your Dog Becomes Aggressive. Also visit the section on her site on dog aggression for more.