Friday, December 2, 2011

6 Types of Dog Aggression

While we would all like to think we do the best at raising our canine pals, few of us are dog experts. You may inadvertently teach your pup bad habits, or perhaps a family member or roommate’s behavior has. Maybe your dog got an attitude problem because of how owners prior to your treated him. Regardless, aggression is often a problem in untrained dogs and can vary from just an annoyance to downright dangerous. Keep your eye out for these aggressive behaviors in your dog and if you do see them, be sure to correct them or contact a dog behaviorist to help you correct them.

Dominate Aggression

Dominate dogs like to be in charge. Perhaps they were not required to work for anything for their owners, but for some reason, they have it in their heads that they are in charge. This dog can be seen actively approaching other dogs with powerful body language- tail and head held high. If other dogs submit to his control, there will less than likely be a problem, but if a dog tries to stand up to him, watch out. This dog can be very dangerous and can often be seen causing fights in local dog parks.

Nervous Aggression
This dog is often afraid. Afraid of loud noises such as phones, doorbells, outside disturbances or other dogs or humans, this dog reacts negatively by barking, snarling, biting, baring its teeth and generally getting upset. This dog may not have been socialized properly at an early age and is often enabled by their coddling owners who are concerned for their scared dog. This dog can be violent if cornered and often responds poorly to anything they feel threatening when they are on a leash or lead. Many owners do not take this sort of aggression seriously, but it should be noted that this is a very serious behavior problem.

Territorial Aggression
A common kind of aggression, this dog is very protective of his space. He feels threatened by any humans or other dogs entering his home, yard, garden or personal space. His desire to keep his space his own may stem from either fear or a need for dominance. This dog can be very dangerous if you cross his boundaries and could easily bite someone for being in his home.
Possessive Aggression
This dog doesn’t know how to share well. This type of aggression in dogs is a need for possession of their things. They react violently if you play with their toys, try to get in their food or water bowl or are getting attention from their owner’s (who they may feel are their possessions). This dog was possibly poorly socialized as a puppy and can be dangerous if you are to get too close to his things.

Predatory Aggression
This type of aggression is triggered by the need to chase or the prey drive. This type of aggression is created in dogs by lack of basic training or socialization. This type of dog becomes aggressive by seeing something small that could be considered prey move quickly in his line of sight. It could be anything from something that could actually be prey such as a squirrel or rabbit to a small dog or even a passing car, bike or skateboard. There are varying degrees of this aggression and you should not be worried if your dog happens to go wild when you encounter a bunny on a walk. If your dog gets overly aggressive when he is set off by his prey drive (snarling, biting, growling), you may want to contact a behaviorist.
Misdirected Aggression
This type of aggression is often seen in dog parks when owners try to break up a fight. When a dog gets into fight mode, he is often so sharply focused on his opponent than any external forces he may consider his combatant as well. This is a tough one, because just about any dog who is in such an intense situation may succumb to misdirected aggression. The best key to avoiding misdirected aggression is to do preventative maintenance. Keep your dog out of fights to begin with. When at the dog park or on a walk, make sure to monitor your dog’s body language including the position of his tail, whether his coat is standing up or not and how he moves. If you do have to break up a dog fight, avoid using your hands or use a large blanket to pull your dog out.

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