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Dog Aggression Out Of Control?
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Most people have seen the signs of aggressive dogs like bared teeth, growling, and biting, yet often people do not understand the reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs. Getting a good grasp of the underlying reasons for this aggressive behavior is the first step to learning to curb them in your own dog. A well-behaved dog is often a happier dog, so getting the root of aggressive behavior in dogs is important to you as well as your dog.
One of the reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs is that they want to establish dominance. This behavior can be exhibited toward humans, but it is more commonly shown against other dogs or animals. Canines are pack animals, and there is a certain hierarchy within that pack. Sometimes dogs think of the people in their family as their pack, and they will try to establish themselves as alpha dog, so aggressive behavior may occur when there are a lot of people or pets around.
Along with dominance as one of the reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs, the dog's territorial nature is also common. Dogs often consider their home and family as a possession, and they will protect them all fiercely. Aggressive behavior may occur when a dog feels that someone has intruded on its space or is threatening its family. While it may be one of the admirable reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs, it is still undesirable and unacceptable in the world of human beings.
Fear is another one of the reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs. There are some specific signals that a dog is afraid, and those signs need to be taken seriously, because fear is one of the most misunderstood reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs. A dog in a state of fear will usually lash out because it feels cornered. The dog will usually show signs like growling, ears pulled back, and the tail between the legs. When a dog lashes out because it is afraid, the behavior is often mistaken for direct aggression rather than a reaction to the stimulus.
While some dogs may be afraid, others have strong instincts, so predatory behavior is another reason for aggressive behavior. Certain dogs love to hunt and chase down game. Sometimes cats, smaller dogs, or children can be mistaken by a dog as food.
Another reason for aggressive behavior in dogs is redirected aggression, and it is very much misunderstood. This behavior occurs when a dog cannot take out its aggression on the actual object causing the fear, anger, or territorial thoughts. For instance, if your dogs are in the backyard and a person they perceive as an intruder enters the house, the dogs may turn on one another. However, some people do not understand the displaced aggression, because they do not know what started the aggressive behavior.
Finally, there may be medical reasons for aggression in dogs that have not been diagnosed. While most dogs can be trained to not be aggressive if the aggression is behavioral, sometimes there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated. Also, some females are very aggressive when they are pregnant or nursing, and though maternal protectiveness is common in many nursing females aggression can be curbed through good training early on in the dog's life.
Taking a step back to look at the reasons for aggression in dogs and seeing where your dogs fits can be the first step in curbing the behavior. There are some different training methods you can use to curb the different types of aggression, so learning the reasons behind your dog's aggressive behavior can help you determine what training methods to use to be more effective.
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