I was recently posed a question on how to correct dog aggression by one of my readers. So, here’s some Dog Aggression Help for those of you that are wondering how to break the cycle.
Types of Dog Aggression
Before you can start to work on the problem that you are having with your dog, you need to identify what sort of aggression you are seeing in your dog.
The most common forms fall into 3 categories, Protective Aggression, Fear Aggression and Deviant Behavior.
My owner needs to be protected is the thought pattern behind this one. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know what you are going to do so I’m going to back you off and keep my person safe.
Typically this one can be out of the blue, one second someone is coming toward you and the next there is a dog in the way. This can manifest as a growl, a bark or maybe just the dog putting itself between you and the person approaching. If the person persists in come toward you it can escalate very quickly.
If your dog has not been socialized well with other dogs, this may show up as dog to dog aggression and can become a dog fight in seconds.
Protective Aggression can also show up when a dog has a favorite toy or tries to protect its food either from another dog or even a child that toddles over to the dog while it is eating. Even the owner may be a target if the dog is very food protective.
The dog is actually quaking in its boots most of the time with this Aggressive posturing. While it looks to the outside world like the dog is aggressive, in actuality the dog feels that it is protecting itself.
Often this is a behavior that is seen in smaller breeds, and looks like the small dog is attacking the larger dog when in fact it is trying to drive the larger dog off so it can be comfortable again.
When you see this behavior the dog may be hiding behind you and suddenly come out fighting or it may run between your legs and attack from this position of safety. Typically the dog’s tail will be down and the ears will be back indicating shyness or fear.
Some dogs are just downright contrary, they have fighting in their blood and think that this is the way of things. These dogs are particularly hard to train away from this behavior. Often these are the dogs that end up at the pound or get put down by the authorities because they have repeatedly bitten people and actually have killed other dogs.
Several breeds are known for this type of behavior, they are aggressive by breeding and need a good trainer to rehabilitate them.
In my next installment I will look at ways that you can curb the aggressive behaviors.