Aggression is a common problem encountered in dogs. Animals virtually possess aggression while protecting themselves from the fear of any prey. Also, while protecting their offsprings and food, animals tend to show aggression. But this can be a serious problem if that persists and is mostly seen in untrained domestic dogs. An aggressive dog can be a danger to its owner and also to the people whom it does not possess any contact. The domestic dog owners can identify the aggression symptoms the dog is showing and can prevent it. Most of the times, an aggressive dog attacks within a very limited time before we sense the warning.
Aggression in dogs
Aggression in dogs can be a serious behavior problem that can lead to serious injuries because of the dog’s sharp teeth. Canine aggression in animals is the most dangerous aggression, where it becomes vulnerable due to some medical reasons like illness and reproductive status. Other reasons include self-defense and defending the people or pups they are close to, possessive aggression on their owners. Most of the time, owners face possessive aggression when the dog has not been trained adequately regarding social behavior. Eventually, this kind of aggression starts to become dangerous and may require medical attention.
Aggression in dogs can also be a common inter-dog type, which is apparent in most of the dogs that can not bear any familiar or unfamiliar presence. This is considered to be normal, but sometimes this can also be pretty dangerous when the dog, which is aggressive, shows signs. Most common signs like growling, biting, lip lifting, and lunging forward-facing another dog. We tend to observe inter-dog aggressions are mostly between the dogs of the same gender. Male dogs that are socially mature or at the period of puberty generally face this problem. Other symptoms one should observe are like:
- The dog starts to become stiff and rigid.
- Makes some fearful growling sounds, which can threaten a human being enough to run away from there.
- Lunging forward towards a person that it targets.
- Opening its mouth and growling (snarling)
- Mouthing, that is expressed as punching with its nose without biting.
- A bite that can cause a small scratch
- A bit that can cause a serious injury like ripping off the skin
Types of aggression and types of aggressive dogs
It is common for a dog to be aggressive towards unfamiliar people and strangers. Most of the dogs show aggression when they meet strangers. It is essential to know and understand that particular group with which your dog behaves strangely. All this behavior is the sign of growing aggression in dogs, and one should seek professional help to cure this kind. There are different types of aggressive behavior shown by dogs. They are discussed below.
It is a kind of aggression a dog shows when an unfamiliar dog or human tries to enter in their space. The dog tries to protect itself and its space and shows threatening sings to avoid others from entering its space. When a dog is trying to safeguard its territory shows territorial aggression. A wolf is mostly specified for such territorial aggressions. A dog can also show territorial aggression when some stranger enters it’s parent’s home.
Every dog is prone to possessive aggression because dogs have come from their wild ancestors. Many dogs show this kind of behavior in the process of protecting their valued things and their food. Dogs tend to growl and fight with other dogs that come near their food bowl. Many dogs are possessive about their toys, bed, and the place where they sit. They become aggressive when other dogs come and touch them or try to occupy them. The dog starts to attack and bite when they get very aggressive.
Dogs become protective in many cases. In cases of protecting their puppies, and a human child of its own family. Dogs protect their own family from strangers. When the dog is aggressive, they mistake any family friend or a relative to a stranger and start attacking them. Puppies do not exhibit protective aggression. A dog that was never aggressive before can also start behaving strangely to protect its puppies and family.
Dogs exhibit dominance aggression for their position in the family. Dogs will not tolerate any other person from the family or an outsider who takes its position. They show this kind of aggression due to the poor training of obedience. Another reason is the relationship between the owner and the dog.
Maternal aggression is somewhat similar to possessive aggression. They express this kind of aggression for their offsprings. Dogs show maternal aggression when they can not tolerate strangers passing by their place. Maternal aggression in dogs will slowly decrease with the growth of its offsprings, and they become normal.
Dogs commonly exhibit predatory aggression. These dogs attack smaller animals like cats, other dogs, and human beings also. Dogs may also kill the prey when they catch hold of it. Predatory aggression is unlike other aggression do not warn or show any symptoms of an attack. The attack is very sudden and unwarned. The distraction is easy.
Dogs exhibit this kind of aggression when they are in pain. Pain may include an injury or any internal illness. Hence, sensitive behavior is important while treating an injured dog. Both puppies and dogs show this kind of aggression. Dogs in pain bite without little warning when you touch it while treating. It is essential to take care of dogs with a painful orthopedic condition. Both male and female dogs exhibit this aggression.
Fear motivated aggression
A fearful situation motivates anyone to escape from there. Dogs also try to escape from any person or animal by whom they sense harm. The dog starts to attack when they get fear motivated aggression. They do not show any signs of warning or aggression. They directly attack the person and runs away. When you try to go near a dog with a good intention, a fearful dog might react aggressively. Fear motivated aggression does not have postures similar to other aggression. Both males, females, and puppies exhibit this kind of aggression.
Socially aggressive dogs are the most dominant pets in the family. Those dogs will not let anyone touch their possessions. They will remind other pets at home that they are always higher and important. Socially aggressive dogs think that they are always the leader.
Dog Aggression in Tabular Form
|Types of aggression||Behavior of dogs|
|Territorial aggression ||Dogs show this kind of aggression when an unfamiliar animal or human tries to enter their space.|
|Possessive aggression||Many dogs show this kind of aggression. They try to protect their possessions and food.|
|Protective aggression||Dogs show this kind of aggression when they become protective. Dogs protect their parent’s families and become aggressive if they sense any harm.|
|Maternal aggression||Dogs possess this kind of aggression while protecting their puppies. Maternal aggression is not considered a serious problem. Maternal aggression reduces with the growth of puppies.|
|Predatory aggression||This is the most dangerous aggression. A dog exhibits this kind of aggression commonly. The dog aggressively chases its prey. It kills the prey if caught. Dogs also show predatory aggression with humans and human babies.|
|Pain–elicit aggression/pain-induced aggression||Dogs exhibit this kind of aggression when they are in pain. This aggression can be dangerous and a dog can bite. It bites when the intensity of the pain or infection is more. the dong can not understand the intention of your touch to treat it. Careful and sensible handling helps to avoid aggression.|
|Dominance aggression||Dogs exhibit dominance aggression for gaining importance in the family. These dogs can not tolerate any other person or animal in their place and act aggressively. Dominance aggression is a result of poor obedience training.|
|Fear-motivated aggression||Dogs usually tend to escape a fearful situation. Dogs attack or escape either when they are trapped or cornered. If the dog can not escape the situation, it starts to attack. Fearful postures of the dog are different than aggressive posters.|
|Social aggression||Most dominant pets in the family are socially aggressive. They always want to prove their position by threatening other smaller pets or animals in the family.|
Types of aggressive dogs and dog breeds
There are several types of dog breeds that exhibit aggressive behavior. Many fatalities took place by the attack of these breeds. We are discussing some of them here.
The dog is trained to guard sheep. It develops a close bond with its family. It is one of the most aggressive dog breeds. When strange things happen, the dog becomes possessive and protects the family.
American pit bull terrier
These dogs are fighter breeds. Most of the pit bulls behave aggressively with other dogs. Due to its powerful jaw, and the aggression it shows, serious injuries can happen.
Rottweiler is a German farm dog. Police chose them as guard dogs because of their guardian instincts. The highest number of fatalities hold this dog breed responsible. Training the dog for social life is much necessary to safeguard its surroundings.
Chow Chow is an ancient Chinese breed. The dog attacks the people it does not know, and it is responsible for several deaths. The most aggressive dog breeds list also contains Chow Chow.
The oldest dog breed in America. Chihuahua weighs about 2-6 pounds. It is not a child-friendly dog. Chihuahua is loyal to its owner. It becomes aggressive when it sees a second person. Chihuahua mercilessly bites if another person interacts or comes close to its owner.
Aggressive dog behavior training and some tips to train your dog
During aggressive dog behavior training, one should take steps carefully. The solution does not lie in punishing the dog for its aggression. It lies in analyzing the problem. Once the dog starts behaving aggressively, notice, and do not ignore it, a sweet and calm dog can also become aggressive for some unknown reasons. Try to analyze the problem and seek professional help. Your dog’s aggression can also depend on its internal illness. Aggression can also be because of the underlying illness.
There are steps to follow during aggressive dog behavior training.
- Notice the situation that makes your dog aggressive.
- Notice the aggression of your dog, if it is because of any person or animal.
- A usually calm dog can also become aggressive when it is in pain.
- Notice the pain, contact your vet, and let him check your dog. The vet can confirm any underlying illness of the dog, which makes him aggressive.
- Do not punish the dog. The dogs can not understand punishments.
Punishing Dogs Will Not Solve the Problem
Most people think that beating a dog can reduce its aggression. The situation reinforces if you hit your dog. It is a very big risk to hand over your dog to an unprofessional trainer. They can physically abuse the dog and torture it, to reduce its aggression. Once you get your pet back, there will be a lot of behavioral changes. They might have reduced the aggression, but deep inside, it increases the fear of getting attacked again.
Your dog will start to stay calm and hate people around it. These types of solutions are not recommended.
Instead, treat the dog as your kid and know the reason behind its aggression. If the dog aggressively catches hold of a substance and runs, don’t run behind him. Wait, wait for him to get back and settle. Help your dog learn impulse control. Teach the dog to be composed when he desperately wants something. Note down all the possible situations for the aggression in your dog’s behavior.
Once you note down the situations carefully. Try to attempt them one after the other. Out of some intense reasons which trigger the aggression in your dog, start cutting them down one by one. Start observing the behavior of your dog once you stand by it. Check the situations of aggression mode in your dog. Try to alter the next day and observe. This might help in some cases.
A video is attached below for the reference on how to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
The aggression of dogs towards people
Nowadays, dogs are an essential member of the family. People adopt dogs out of love and affection towards animals. The adopted dogs are not trained. They stay at home and roam around. Stress and anxiety are born out of being in a closed environment. Therefore stress and anxiety are the main reasons behind the aggressive behavior of dogs. This is one of the reasons why some dogs are intolerant with people.
Humans and dogs are two species that convey expressions and wants in two different ways. The dog does not react the way you want it to, but it reacts and tells you what it wants at that moment. When the dog does not want people around, it conveys them in its language. Stay away if the dog does these.
- Stiffening itself
- Raising its ears
- Maintaining eye contact
- Growling and showing its teeth
Solution for an aggressive dog that bites
Aggressive dogs sometimes fight rigorously with other dogs. One should follow some steps to be safe from an aggressive dog that bites.
- An owner should let the dog mouth him for some time. Mouthing relieves the frustration of the dog.
- If you want to go near a familiar dog, make sure the dog is OK. Slowly, approach the dog and stretch your hand. If the dog sniffs and lowers its head, it means that the dog is OK.
- If the dog is aggressive, it will stand stiff. It will not let you near and starts growling. In that case, ignore going near the dog.
- Confine the dog inside the home for some days, until it becomes normal. It takes time. A lot of time, to retrain your dog from the days of aggression.
- If the dog you come across is an unfamiliar one. If that unfamiliar dog is being aggressive upon you. Simply get out of that place. Its owner must analyze the reason behind that aggression.
Cure for an aggressive dog
Even after all the trails of treating an aggressive dog, some puppies which experienced abuse will remain the same and can not change. Drugs are available to calm the anxiety and stress in the dogs.
Scullcap: This is a herb that helps in calming down the anxiety and stress levels in dogs.
Chamomile: This drug is used to reduce the symptoms of stress.
Belladonna and passionflower: This is a drug used for dogs that attack aggressively for no reason. Passionflower is used as a relaxation drug. Flavonoids present in it promote relaxation.
Tryptophan: Tryptophan is used to trigger the sleep-inducing hormone.
Thiamine (vitamin B1): this is an antistress vitamin.
Products like Hemp Calming Chews from Amazon can help in stress relief and relaxation. Relaxivet is another calming collar product from amazon that helps your dog improve with their unwanted behavior. Aggression in dogs is a behavior triggered by so many unknown reasons. If the dog treated in the right manner by understanding the situation, it is in can help you get through this.