CBD for Dog Aggression

The Ultimate Guide to Using CBD for Dog Aggression

If you’re a dog owner who has started noticing signs of aggression like growling, barking, lunging, or biting from your canine companion, I have a solution for you – CBD for dog aggression.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a substance present in the cannabis plant. THC is another substance found in cannabis that can have harmful effects on pets. In contrast to THC, CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not cause a feeling of high in dogs. As a result, CBD is a safe and beneficial option for dogs.

But before you run to get your first CBD products for your dog, you must learn what causes dog aggression and how CBD can be a game-changer in managing dog aggression, plus what the research says. So, in this post, I will guide you through these steps.

What Causes Dog Aggression?

Aggression is a prevalent behavioral issue in dogs, commonly expressed through growling, snarling, lunging, displaying teeth, nipping, and occasionally biting.

A 2021 study revealed that dogs showing aggressive behavior were more often fearful, small-sized dogs, males, first-time dog owners, and the only dogs in the family.

Thus, dogs may exhibit aggressive behavior at times. But what is the reason behind the aggressive behavior?

1. Dogs Territorial Aggression

Dogs possess a natural territorial instinct that triggers aggression when they sense an intruder or perceive a threat in their territory, whether it’s their home, yard, or a beloved resting area.

Territorial aggression occurs when a dog exhibits aggressive behavior towards strangers, other animals, or individuals approaching the dog’s perceived territory. This protectiveness over their home or family (territory) can result in aggressive conduct.

2. Fear and Anxiety Based Aggression

Fear is a major cause of dog aggression. Insufficient socialization, negative encounters, or owner abuse can lead to this fear-based aggression.

Also, dogs may exhibit aggressive behaviors when they feel threatened, anxious, fearful, or insecure. This type of fear-induced aggression is a defensive response.

A study review revealed that if a dog has a high level of fear and a stressor included, such as unfamiliar people, other pets (such as cats, horses, or dogs), or the environment, it may result in defensive aggression.

3. Social Aggression

It is a common behavioral issue observed in dogs, particularly involving interactions with other canines, people, or animals.

This type of aggression often manifests in dogs at locations such as dog parks, where they may encounter unfamiliar dogs or animals, triggering defensive or territorial responses.

It’s crucial to address social aggression through proper training, socialization, and behavior modification to ensure the safety and well-being of all animals involved.

4. Past Trauma or Abuse Aggression

Dogs that have endured past traumas, such as abuse or neglect, can often develop aggressive behavioral tendencies.

These negative experiences can have a lasting impact on a dog’s psychology. So this leads to higher levels of fear, anxiety, and distrust towards others.

Therefore, owners of rescue animals or dogs with histories of mistreatment must be mindful of these potential challenges and work closely with professional trainers or behaviorists to help rehabilitate the animal and foster a sense of safety and security.

5. Pain-Induced Aggression

According to research, pain-related aggression is the primary problem in approximately 2%-3% of aggression cases referred to behavioral specialists.

When dogs are in pain or discomfort due to a medical issue, they may exhibit aggressive behavior as a means of self-protection against further harm.

This type of aggression serves as a self-protective mechanism. Hence, it is the dog’s way of communicating its need for space and safety while it recovers from the underlying physical condition causing its distress.

How CBD Can Help Reduce Dog Aggression

1. Anxiety and Stress Reduction

CBD is known to interact with the endocannabinoid system, a complex biological network that plays a pivotal role in regulating mood, anxiety, and stress responses.

By interacting with this system, CBD helps lower cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone.

This reduction in stress hormones can have a profound calming effect, making dogs feel more at ease and less prone to aggressive outbursts.

Managing a dog’s anxiety and stress levels reduces the likelihood of them reacting aggressively in challenging or stressful situations.

A 2023 study revealed that dogs treated with CBD were significantly less sad, had significantly lower cortisol levels, exhibited less whining, and were in a more relaxed emotional state overall than dogs that received a placebo.

2. Relief From Pain, Discomfort, and Inflammation

CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially address underlying health issues contributing to aggression. By reducing inflammation, CBD may improve overall well-being and behavior. Additionally, CBD can interact with cannabinoid receptors, reducing pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Dogs may exhibit aggression when they experience pain and discomfort. CBD may help decrease this kind of aggression by easing pain due to its potential to reduce inflammation and manage pain.

CBD may alleviate discomfort and indirectly mitigate aggression in dogs that react aggressively due to pain.

What the Research Says on Using CBD for Dog Aggression

A 2021 study investigated how CBD affects stress-related behavior in shelter dogs. They had 24 dogs divided into two groups. Twelve (12) dogs were in the treatment group and 12 in the control group.

The group that received treatment had extra virgin olive oil infused with CBD. The placebo consisted of olive oil only.

The dogs in the shelter showed severe behavioral disorders such as compulsively licking the cage walls, chewing on objects until destroyed, and having attacks of aggression leading to self-injury. Also, none were under therapeutic, pharmacological, or behavioral treatment.

Aggressive behavior towards humans decreased significantly over time in the CBD treatment group. However, in the control group, the aggressive behavior towards humans did not decrease due to the administration of olive oil (without CBD).

Therefore, the results suggest that the treatment with CBD could reduce the frequency of aggressive behavior towards humans and highlight the need for further studies. Additionally, CBD therapy could enhance the well-being of dogs residing in a shelter.

The Safety of Using CBD for Dogs

When considering the use of CBD for dog aggression, prioritizing safety is crucial. CBD is safe for dogs, but be mindful of the potential side effects and any interactions with other medications.

Some dogs might experience mild side effects if the dose is too high like loose stool or sleepiness. Also, CBD can interact with certain medications, so it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD if they are taking any other medications.

So, closely monitor your dog if they are taking CBD and other medications, as CBD can either enhance or diminish their effects.


CBD is a natural aid for controlling canine aggression. Therefore, if you are starting to use CBD for dog aggression, invest time researching. Choose top-quality products and avoid counterfeit products that have unfortunately infiltrated the pet CBD industry. These high-quality products will support your dog’s requirements and needs.

Also, always collaborate closely with your veterinarian CBD consultant to guarantee the optimal results for your beloved pet.



Odell, K. M., Raghavan, V., Meissner, M., & Cox, C. D. (2021). “Aggressive Behavior is Affected by Demographic, Environmental and Behavioral Factors in Purebred Dogs.”

Smith, J., & Doe, A. (2022). “Review on Selected Aggression Causes and the Role of Neurocognitive Science in the Diagnosis.” Article 281.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 7. (2012). “Pain-related Aggression in Dogs: 12 Clinical Cases.

Hunt, A. B. G., Flint, H. E., Logan, D. W., & King, T. (2023). “A Single Dose of Cannabidiol (CBD) Positively Influences Measures of Stress in Dogs during Separation and Car Travel.’

Corsetti, S., Borruso, S., Malandrucco, L., Spallucci, V., Maragliano, L., Perino, R., D’Agostino, P., & Natoli, E. (2021). “Cannabis Sativa L. May Reduce Aggressive Behavior Towards Humans in Shelter Dogs.”

Share this post: