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Comprehending Dog Aggression

Updated on January 26, 2010

There are many problems you might want to look into when your dog starts getting older, but none are more important or vital to deal with than dog aggression.

There are numerous reasons why your dog might display bouts of aggression, whether it's simple stress or actual behavioral problems. Either way, it's something you'll likely feel compelled to deal with and it's important to understand right off why your dog is so distressed.

Causes Of Dog Aggression

Hopefully you have access to the family history of your dog and can look into his or her past and see what might be the problem behind their behavioral problems. Many dog breeds have a greater propensity for dog aggression, while others are less so but might be bred from aggressive sires or dams. You're unlikely to see a Poodle more aggressive than a Doberman, but if that Poodle happens to have aggressive ancestry it's possible to have a poodle displaying abnormal dog aggression.

It's equally important to prepare your dog for adulthood by giving them the right amount of socialization. For many dogs without the proper exposure to other dogs or people display more dog aggression than is normal simply because they are not used to dealing with other animals. For that reason it's best to give your puppy as many chances to socialize with other puppies as possible while still young.

Types of Dog Aggression

Dominant - Dog aggression that is manifest when a dog's status is threatened within a pack or out and about in the community. If a new person enters a household or if a dog is attacked, the dog might display aggression toward those sources.

Fear - Dog aggression manifest from a dog's fear of outside sources occurs whenever a physical threat is made against them or something happens that they don't understand. Loud noises, dog attacks, or violence by a human can lead to this type of aggression.

Protection - Dog aggression manifest from the desire to protect is often the most acceptable form of dog aggression and is often trained into some breeds. Naturally trying to protect their territory, a dog will display aggressive tendencies toward intruders or unwarranted attention within their personal space.

Redirection - Dog aggression manifest from the anger and attention of a person other than the person receiving that aggressive attitude. If a neighbor's child enters your yard and pelts your dog with rocks for example it might be that another neighbor enters the yard and is attacked by your dog. This type of redirection, resultant from the anger boiled up in a dog from the initial attack is often not foreseeable.

Comprehending Dog Aggression

Understanding dog aggression is hard in many instances because of the nature in which the aggression might manifest. It's important to try and not only understand the instances in which the aggression appears but the manner in which it manifests. Whatever the reason though, it's probably worthy of your attention and might very well require your immediate attention as the last thing you want is your dog displaying aggression that might injure a neighbor or friend.


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      8 years ago

      Hal, this is so helpful. My dog is just maturing and getting quite physical and demanding. It's comporting to know it's common. Great Hub Thanks


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