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Why Dogs Can Be Aggressive

Dogs, perhaps with the exception of a few special breeds, are generally very cooperative animals. Nonetheless, situations may occur that could result in their aggressive behaviours. The following are some causes that may trigger the aggression.

Territorial Genetically speaking, dogs are territorial animals. Therefore, they seek to establish dominance. This inborn nature often causes them to react toward people or other animals that appear to be intruding on their territories. They tend to snarl, bark, chase, growl or bite anyone whom they suspect are intruders. Wherever they know to be their dwelling or regular occupancy is regarded as their space. Even in a home where they live, they may become aggressive toward any household member who tries to remove them from their favorite spots.

Possessive Dogs have an innate ability to protect their belongings. This possession may be displayed if someone approaches their food, toys, water, puppies or even their owners and persons they know. If they do not know or recognise someone, this creates a feeling of uncertainty. Consequently, they become aggressive by responding in an unwelcoming manner, which may include barking or growling.

Mistreatment Canines know when they are being treated well, so any treatment that violates their comfort and happiness is met with opposition. If a dog is beaten, left unfed or abandoned, they may become unapproachable and difficult to handle as a result. In a place like Canada where it is likely to snow, for example, if a dog is left outside in the cold, this can invoke a feeling of abandonment. An attempt to rectify the mistreatment could be met with aggression toward the person.

Teasing Teasing upsets dogs almost immediately. When their anger is stirred up because of being teased, they can become vicious. Because of their animal nature, they cannot readily distinguish the motive of their teasers. Therefore, they react to show their displeasure.

Fear Fear is a major factor in dogs' aggression. Fearfulness due to the unknown, uncertainty and people's habits and attitudes often initiate fear in them. Their reactions to these notions may be aggressive because they do not what to expect in a given situation.

Illness When dogs seem to be displaying negative responses for unknown reasons, it could be due to ill health. Like humans, dogs also experiences sickness and diseases; among them are rabies, digestive conditions and brain tumors. Dogs, particularly the ones that are not known to be aggressive, should be taken to a veterinarian at the first sign of aggression.

Rough Play Since dogs cannot clearly determine human behaviors, they have no way of distinguishing different types of playfulness. Therefore, it is natural for dogs to return the same method of play. If a human's play is aggressive, so will the dog's reaction. Unfortunately, the rough play could prompt unintentional aggression.

Frustration Frustration, also known as redirected aggression, is often displayed by dogs that are confined. By not being able to maneuver, they get frustrated and may take it out on anyone who comes near them.

Additional Information For more information on dog obedience training, aggression and ways to rectify problem behaviors, please visit: Dog Squad

Why Dogs Can Be Aggressive  

Calgary's Dog Squad offers a professional dog training program for puppies and more challenging dogs. For more information on recitfying pro...

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