Types of Dog Aggression

Dog AggressionEvery pet owner must deal with dog aggression and it would be easy for the pet owner to control its aggression if he knows the factors which are influencing it, take a look to learn various types of dog aggression.

Fast nip : A quick nip will make contact, many times just latching onto loose clothing and letting go. Sadly, I have seen humans actually laugh at a dog that does this. Since it rarely results in injury, people don’t take it seriously. When a person doesn’t think a dog’s intent to bite is real, eventually there will be a rude awakening. Please do not take nips or bites lightly as it will progressively get worse. In fact, as people read this statement, many will be nodding their heads as they have likely already experienced this with their own aggressive dogs. If this is taking place in your home, ensure you’re finding ways to increase your dog’s confidence and its aggressions. Getting him involved in things like canine nose work, agility or tricks will help. Also, be sure your dog is looking to you for guidance; one of the best things for an insecure dog is a confident leader.

With the ability to understand some of the ways a dog may display aggression, let’s look at the various types of aggression. This may seem odd, as aggression is often bundled into one category, but by dissecting the behavior we can better manage, understand, and hopefully train it out of the dog. However, with something so serious, depending on the severity of aggression, it may be too hard to learn how to rectify via the Aggression article series alone. That’s why Myself, Ryan Matthews as a
dog trainer in Orange County, I have developed a lesson on aggression in the World Of Dog Training eCourse “Aggression.” With that being said, here is the spectrum of aggression types:

Territorial Aggression

Some dogs will attack and bite an intruder, whether the intruder is friend or foe. I feel it’s important to consider the dog’s breed. Although the breed does not define how a dog will always act; it is a good clue to assess their breed DNA tendencies. For example, a Chihuahua and GSD will be more likely to display territorial aggression since Chihuahuas were bred as guard dogs. I bet you find that funny, but it’s true. My point is, don’t be overly surprised when a dominant-type breed displays territorial aggression. This behavior is often prevalent when the dog doesn’t feel the owner is the leader. Think of it as a dog sensing the need to step up and address who is at the door.

One easy way to address some of this negative behavior is to give the dog a job when someone comes around your property. I advise most clients to put dogs on a “place” command, such as a dog bed at the top of a stairway or a dog cot. It’s a clear boundary, the dog knows what is expected, and will be more likely to behave with the handler taking charge. If this is not successful, try conditioning dogs to anticipate that when people come over, they will get something they like; use whatever the dog loves most: food or toy. Don’t worry if the dog develops a jumping up problem because that can be rectified by giving the thing of value with all four on the floor (all four paws). A simple way to help manage potential territorial aggressive dogs is to have guests ignore the dog upon entry of the property; often pets are greeted before humans, and that is just wrong in so many ways.

Protective Aggression

Dogs may show aggressive behavior when they think that one of their family members or friends is in distress. For example, if a couple is roughhousing, a dog may come rushing in trying to save the day, often using a muzzle punch or jumping up on the person they perceive is doing the harm. A dog that displays this type of behavior is likely either a dominant breed or does not view the owner as the leader. Since dogs live so much “in the moment,” even if that is how they once perceived their owner, they can form a new perception with the handler stepping up and establishing themselves in a fair and confident manner. I can’t count the number of times people have told me they want a protective dog that will guard the family when the man of the house is gone. I always refuse to train it because those individuals don’t realize what they are getting themselves into. First, to properly teach controlled aggression, i.e. a dog to bite a person and release on command, takes a lot of time and not all dogs or people are cut out for what it takes. We can’t always have our cake and eat it too with dogs; after all, they are living beings with their own mind and agendas.

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