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are many kinds of aggressive behavior among dogs. The simple chart
below may help you understand just how complicated this subject
really is and the fact that when any dog snarls or growls and bares
its teeth regardless of breed, size, age and sex, this conduct should
be taken seriously. Such behavior can mean a variety of things from a medical condition that is causing your dog pain and requires medical attention -- to a threat that can mean eventual harm to a person or other animal.
Aggressive temperaments that appear in puppyhood should be dealt with early on
or suffer more serious consequences later on.
aggression were not a problem, insurance companies would not be
refusing to insure homeowners and renters with dogs. There would
be no deaths due to aggressive canines. Hundreds of thousands of
people would not be seeking medical attention because of dog attacks.
And endless numbers of families would not be living in fear of the
unpredictable family pet.
The good news is that many types of aggressive behavior can be controlled or modified.
on each "type" for more information.
dangerous, unpredictable bully that may intimidate some
or all family members. Often only one person in a family
may have control over the dog. He has a problem with strangers
and does not discriminate. He may be friendly sometimes
and sometimes not. "He doesn't do it all the time,"
is a frequent comment made by owners of dominant aggressive
dogs in an attempt to justify the unacceptable behavior.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this aggressive temperament
is protective. The dog is downright dangerous.
dog that is nervous, insecure and frightened a great deal
of the time. He usually reacts to almost any disturbance
from ringing doorbells and telephones to approaching people
and animals. Reactions range from aggressive barking,
growling, baring teeth, snapping, biting or a combination
of any of these. May bite when cornered or when feeling
threatened. More likely to get bolder as he gets older.
Owners often feel protective of fearful dogs and fail
to recognize the serious nature of this kind of aggression.
Thinking your dog will outgrow this is a big mistake.
a danger to anyone entering his domain and may growl,
lunge or bite. He may consider certain noises intrusive,
like the doorbell. When walking with his owner he may
claim the territory they are walking or standing in and
therefore can be aggressive toward any approaching person
or animal. He is a threat to any person or animal violating
his space -- the house, yard, car and even the bed he
sleeps on, which may be yours.
dangerous Jekyll and Hyde. Will bark, growl, bare his
teeth, snap or bite when any person or another pet goes
near anything the dog considers his. Approaching the dog
or getting close to things he has in his possession like
food, toys and your book, shoe or whatever, will trigger
aggression. Dog can be any age, breed or sex. If this
is your dog's problem, you may have encouraged it by allowing
it to continue in puppyhood. If your dog is still a puppy,
it is important to modify the behavior now.
cause this form of aggression by being abusive and overly
dominant in trying to correct or punish their dogs. How
else is a dog to respond if you yell at, point a threatening
finger or newspaper at the dog, or worse than that, hitting
your dog? This includes wrapping the dog on the nose or
under the chin, chasing or cornering them with anger,
standing over them in a threatening manner, or frightening
them with angry reprimands. Dogs at the wrong end of this
people behavior will respond aggressively sooner or later.
like people, dogs have varying degrees of pain tolerance.
Some dogs are genetically pain sensitive in specific areas
of their bodies. This can cause a problem during grooming.
And some aggressive behaviors are involuntary reactions
to injuries or illness like hip dysplasia, arthritis,
skin disorders and ear problems. A dog can't say, "Hey
I'm in pain," so he may snap or bite to try to stop
you or someone else from touching him. Medical attention
is called for.
animals and things in motion trigger this behavior. It
is associated with the hunting and stalking prey drive.
They tend to attack with the victim or object moves away.
This dog will chase joggers, children, cats, bikes, cars
-- anything that moves, including someone just strolling
by. It's a mistake to think that the chasing dog will
not deliver on his threat.
most often in a female that is nursing or raising a litter
of puppies. This instinctive reaction usually occurs when
a person or animal approaches her whelping area or he
puppies. The dog may nark, growl or snap. Usually diminishes
when the puppies are weaned and almost always stops completely
when the litter is gone or on its own.
often occurs between dogs of the same sex with some exceptions.
Dogs that fight are competitive and territorial and are
focused on dominance versus subordination. Fear and territory
are other influences. The barking, chasing, growling,
lunging and biting that is evident in mature dogs are
generally seen in puppies during learning and playing.
Modifying the behavior while the dog is young is doable.
Waiting until the behavior is habitual creates a dangerous
and serious problem.
dog may bark, snap or bite a person or animal that interrupts
aggressive behavior. A combination of adrenaline and a
sharp focus when a dog fights makes interrupting the fight
Now that you have a little more insight into the complicated subject
of types-of-aggression, don't stop here. Other pages in this section
of unclematty.com will help you make some responsible and thoughtful
decisions about aggressive dog problems in your home.