Friday, December 5, 2008

Dog Aggression - Why Dog Becomes Aggressive

Most often I have seen dog owners – especially the new ones, look for the answers to their dogs' aggressive behaviors. They can understand well that its not desirable for their canine companions to develop such habits, but they can't understand what makes their dog aggressive! I am sure many of you guys, who're reading this post are gripped with a same problem – dog aggression... either aggression towards strangers or aggression towards other dogs or aggression toward bike or car that passes by. Many dog owners are are tired of seeing the sign of aggressive dogs, like scary growls, dreadful barks with bared teeth, and even sometimes attacking. You should know the underlying reasons why dogs sometimes become such harsh aggressive members. To have a good grasp in dogs' aggressive behaviors, just read out the type of aggression and you will find the reason behind such undesirable dog behavior.

Dominance Aggression
Dog – irrespective of breeds, tries to establish their dominance within it's pack. He sees the family as a pack and considers each member of the family as it's pack member and tries to be the Alpha member of the pack. This is one of the few major reason for dog aggression. This behavior is commonly exhibited towards other dogs of the pack but can also be shown towards the owners and his family! Understanding the hirarchical structure of a canine pack, you can easily bit this sort of situation. The secret of the success story lies in making the dog understand that none but the owner himself is only the Alpha member of the pack. Proper socialization during early age can help avoiding the dominance aggression towards other people and pets around him.

Territorial Aggression
Dogs are naturally territorial animals, although this nature is found more intensely in males than in females. They consider their home and family as their own possession or territory. They are natural protectors and protects their territory even at the cost of their lives. Now Territorial Aggression may be exhibited if your dog feels a strange intrusion into their territory or if he feels his pack threatened. While this is an undesirable behavior in our world, but it's quite natural and desirable for dogs trained for protection and guarding. I would always admire the right degree of territorial aggression in dogs... it's his natural instinct. Try not to destroy it.

Fear Aggression
In most cases the owners are responsible for this type of aggression. Why? You haven't socialize your dog during his early age. Fear for mob or unknown people can entirely change your dog's behavior. Fear is another very common reason for aggressive behavior in dogs. Understanding the sings of an afraid dog is an art that you need to master first. An afraid dog will usually show signals like growling with bared teeth, pulling his ears back and tail between his hind quarters. If thretened further the dog may instantly attack in the rage of fear, and this is usually mistaken for unreasonable aggression and acute psychological disorder. Wrong! Understand the reason of his fear and think of ways to put an end to this problem... not only for your benefits, but for your dog too!

Hereditary Nature
We can't deny science! Gene has a lot of role to play evoke certain behavioral tendencies in a dog, just like it does to show different color patters and structure within a same breed and for different breeds. Breeding without having a proper grasp in that science results in over aggression due to shyness and/or nervousness. But certain dog breeds are typically more aggressive than others.

Inappropriate Aggression
Inappropriate aggression is another undesirable canine behavior. Most of ten the type of aggressive behavior is misunderstood. Inappropriate Aggressive behavior occurs when the dog fails to take out his aggression on object that causes irritation or fear shows his aggression on something else. He might attack his onw ones in the rage of anger, which often makes owners misunderstand their dogs.

Aggression For Health Reason
Another salient reason for dog aggression is ill health. The underlying medical condition can make a dog behave in a way he shouldn't. Underlying pain always keeps a dog mentally disturbed and increase his aggression.

Maternal Protectiveness Aggression
Females usually have the tendency to become more aggressive during their pregnancy or at time of nursing. Aggression due to Maternal Protectiveness is one of the commonest reason of dog aggressions in females. I have seen good training during the early age can make her life easy... easier for you too!

Tail Docking and Ear Cropping
I often come across people saying tail docking makes dog agressive. True to some extent, but they have never been able to give a logical relationship between tail docking and aggression. Ear Cropping too is another reason. Wondering why?
According to researchers and scientists at the University of Victoria in Vancouver, Canada, dogs with docked tail are relative more aggressive than those with the complete ones. The scientists discovered that normal dogs approach a dog with docked tail more cautiously. Since tail is the most significant communicating tool for dogs, a normal dog gets confused when he come across a dog without tail, because he can't see him wagging, which happens to be the most important signal of friendship. The over cautious nature of the other dog sometimes irritates the dog with docked tail and he tends to show his aggression.

Tail docking means amputation of the ending part of the spines, which is a vital part of the body. Again when the ears are cropped and tails docked by an inexperienced person, they often cut off certain nerves, which is a reason for some permanent disorder, called Phantom Limb Pain or Phantom pain. This causes a constant irritating pain – though not intollerable. This is another major reason why dogs with cropped ears and docked tails sometimes behanve in the way they shouldn't.

I am against ear cropping and tail docking. I would like to hear from you about this.

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Dog Protection December 8, 2008 at 12:43 AM  

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ADA December 8, 2008 at 2:13 PM  

The surface of the dog's tail has supra-caudal scent glands (the hair is usually coarser and "discoloured" at this site. The glands are often removed in the length of tail cut off at docking). They are believed to exude pheromones so when tail wagging it would be a means of further dog communication. Most tail docking has been banned in the UK since April 2007 and dogs born after that date cannot be shown (breed standards now reflect this) - showing ear cropped dogs was prohibited a century ago by the UK Kennel Club.

Varun G December 9, 2008 at 9:47 PM  

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