Aggressive Dog, each of us has ever seen a dog tearing off a leash, defending its bowl, or barking fiercely. Did you judge then that this Dog is aggressive? There is a high probability that this was the case.
Today I would like to present you with a slightly different point of view. In the following situation, you will analyze, among other things, what emotions are felt by the Dog, the source of his fear, and how to help him get out of his uncomfortable situation.
Let’s start with the phrase “aggressive dog” is a sack word, and we can throw everything we want into it. If we add to it the lack of knowledge about dog communication, and sometimes also limited amounts of empathy, it is a simple way to create wrong thoughts and prejudices.
If we want to understand this issue, let’s start with the appropriate phrase – “dog presents aggressive behavior,” and not “He is aggressive.” Why is this such a big difference?
There are two very eloquent arguments in favor of this. First of all, if the situation forces it to do so, each Dog may show aggression to defend itself or something valuable to it. All dogs can show charge, regardless of personality. A situational context is a key to understanding the underlying behavior, not only aggressive behavior.
Secondly, Dogg wants to avoid conflict by growling and asking for more distance, so it attempts to prevent actual aggression, not to lead to it.
If we have a dog from a puppy and conduct the socialization process well, fewer situations will make our pet feel uncomfortable, increasing his social competencies. Thanks to this, we will reduce the likelihood of undesirable behaviors, i.e., biting, running to foreign dogs, or defending the bowl. However, it is worth noting that animals are like humans with different strategies. One of these strategies is aggressive behavior.
What causes aggression in dogs?
Most aggressive behavior results from fear, hunting, or competitive – social aggression, which can be observed if we have at least two dogs at home, is much less common.
The basis of working with anxiety aggression is to increase your sense of feeling dog safety. In this case, the basis that we can implement is, among others, the routine of the day – meal walks and training at the same time as possible, rules at home that are clear to the Dogg, which will be followed by all household members and meet basic needs find out more about one of them here.
It happens that undesirable behavior increases over months or even years. Still, the handler notices the problem only when it is impossible to walk or pass another dog without being aggressive. This may be because the stress signals your Dog sends us are not read or misread.
The dog aggression ladder (The Canine ‚Ladder of Aggression) diagram shows how the Dog develops tension and discomfort. At the first level, we see signals such as gasping, licking the nose, or turning the head. If we catch these subtle signals and take the Dog out of a situation where he feels threatened, we will avoid escalation of behavior.
How to work with an aggressive dog?
Definitely with an experienced behaviorist. Each case is different, and training should be carried out under the supervision of a specialist who will create a comprehensive behavioral therapy plan. Therefore, I would like to point out that this post is not intended to advise what to do when we have a problem with aggression in our Dogg, but only to outline the topic and help the owners understand their dogs a little better.
Let’s look for behaviorists/zoopsychologists who work with dogs with positive methods and have experience working with a specific problem. If we have such an opportunity, check the opinions and ask for references.
The topic of dog aggression is extensive, and I did not exhaust it in this short entry, but I hope that I encouraged you to deepen your knowledge about dog emotions, and I convinced you that dogs are not by nature “bad” because they growl or grasp their teeth.
I leave you with this thought and let me know if you are responding to already these delicate stress signals!