Dogs have developed an instinctual aggressive-it is a part of their very nature. They evolved as pack animals who used their aggressive instincts to hunt for their prey and to protect their den and pack mates from danger. Of course the evolution of dogs necessitated their aggressive instincts, but in today’s world a dog with aggression problems must be controlled. If you have a dog that is aggressive, you will need to know the reasons for his type of aggression before you can pick the proper training method to correct the problem.
I have written a list of the six most common reasons behind a dog’s aggression.
- Dominance Aggression: When 2 dogs first meet they have a little ritual to establish who is the dominant dog, and conversely, who is the submissive dog. This is a type of behavior that was developed due to being pack animals, and for the harmony of the pack each dog must understand its place in the pack’s hierarchy. Most of the time, this process is figured out quickly and without any friction or aggression between the dogs. If one of the dogs refuses to submit to the other dog it is possible for a dog fight to soon occur.
- Fear Aggression: Fear aggression is pretty much the opposite of dominance aggression. When a dog is suffering strongly from fear aggression it is common for it to lash out at whatever is close by. One example would be of a dog who has suffered previous abuse by a human will sometimes show his fear aggression by being afraid of certain people. You can recognize the familiar body language of a fearful dog:his lips will be curled up and showing his teeth; he may even lunge and snap his teeth in an effort to bite; his tail will be tucked between his legs and against his tummy; and he will make whining and groaning sounds. Because the dog might also snap its teeth and lunge at anything nearby, you want to avoid trying to comfort a dog in this state.
- Territorial Aggression: Many dogs display this type of common aggressive behavior to some degree or another. Territorial aggression is instinctive for a dog-he used it to protect his den and his pack, which today is your family and your home. However, if your dog is overly protective and becomes too aggressive, it is possible that he may even bite visitors (especially strangers) and attack other dogs or animals nearby. Be aware of territorial aggression problems, and correct them as soon as you notice them with your pet dog. Teach your dog to calm down before his aggressive barking becomes actual biting.
- Redirected Aggression: This type of dog aggression can often be confused with other aggressive behavior. For instance, somebody may be walking down the alley on the other side of your fence, and is doing something that is agitating your dogs-as sometimes happens-your dogs may become so over-excited that they turn on each other for a moment. Kind of like when sharks have a frenzy. The dogs aren’t normally enemies of each other, but momentarily lost control of their aggression and took it out on whoever was nearest.
- Predatory Aggression: Predatory aggression is also something that is instinctive with dogs. Even though many of our pet dogs do not display this aggression, it is not uncommon to see predatory aggression quite frequently. When you see your dog chasing a cat or a bird you are seeing signs of predatory aggression. Many times they are only chasing because they enjoy the thrill of the chase and not to kill. Sometimes the chasing really is predatory aggression and the dog is going to hurt whatever it is after-so you must get control of this aggression before it leads to any problems.
- Medical Reasons Causing Aggression: A very common example of a medical issue causing aggression is when a female dog is nursing or pregnant and becomes extra protective and bitchy. There may be times your dog is feeling bad from an injury or illness, something like this could cause him to act aggressively.It is a good idea to check with your vet if you think your dog may have some condition that is affecting his behavior and causing his aggression. There are those problem dogs that just are aggressive-period, and don’t need much of a reason to get all aggro. Unfortunately, just like some people I have met, that is just how it is with them.
If you understand how to recognize and diagnose the reasons for your dog’s aggression problem, you can figure out the right method for correcting his aggressive behavior problem, and making him a better behaved pet who is much less likely to create any problems because of his aggression.
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