Remember that dogs are predators and descendants of the wolf and still show posses' instincts, and behavior traits that is normal for the dog pile. Thus, growling, snarling, baring teeth, snapping and biting is a part of dog communication. Although aggressive dog behavior is normal for a dog, it is unacceptable toward humans.
For a dog, there is always a reason for aggressive behavior. Because humans and dogs have different communication systems, misunderstandings can occur between them.
A person may intend to be friendly, but a dog may perceive that persons behavior as threatening or intimidating.
Your dog is not psychotic, crazy, or vicious when displaying aggressive behavior. The most common reason for aggressive dog behavior is instability in the dominance hierarchy of the dog pack, your family.
Dominant Aggressive Dog Behavior:
Dominant aggressive behavior is motivated by a challenge to a dogs social status in the pack, or to control a social interaction.
Dominant aggressive dogs defend their food, dog toys, or other valued objects. Whatever the reason, and whatever the object, the point is that the guarded object is of significance to the dog, and he is willing to fight for it. Even toward you, his owner.
Fear Aggressive Dog Behavior:
Fear-aggressive dog behavior is a defensive reaction and occurs when a dog believes he is in danger of being harmed. It is your dogs perception of the situation, not your actual intent, which determines your dogs response. For example, you may raise your arm to throw a toy, but your dog distinguishes this as a threat and may bite you, because the dog wants to protect himself from being hurt.
Protective and Territorial Aggressive Dog Behavior:
Territorial aggressive dog behavior is usually associated with defense of property.
Protective aggressive behavior usually is directed toward people or animals that a dog perceives as threats to his pack. Territorial aggressive dog behavior includes territorial investigation, territorial marking (urine, scratch marks, etc.), and defensive and offensive territorial aggression.
Redirected Aggressive Dog Behavior:
A common example occurs when two family dogs become excited, bark, and growl in response to another dog passing by outside their place. (outside the car, outside the restaurant...) The two dogs, confined behind a "wall", may turn and attack each other because they cannot attack the intruder. Predation is usually considered as a unique kind of aggressive dog behavior, because it is motivated by the intent to obtain food, and not primarily by the intent to harm or intimidate.
Pain Induced Aggressive Behavior:
This is a natural form of aggressive dog behavior in the pack that occurs when a dog experiences or is threatened with pain, or physical punishment, for defending itself from being hurt or attacked.
Aggressive dog behavior is very complex and potential consequences are serious.
Punishment will not help - it makes the problem worse
Punishing a Fear-Biter will make him more fearful, and therefore a more aggressive dog. Attempting to punish a dominant aggressive dog is likely to cause him to escalate his behavior in order to retain his dominant position. This might result in a severe attack. Punishing a territorial, possessive, or protective aggressive dog is likely to elicit additional defensive aggression.
Seek professional help. An aggression problem will not go away by itself. Working with aggressive dogs requires an animal behavior specialist who understands animal learning theory and behavior.
You may contact our Dog Behavior Center at 0361-736440 for more information.