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Dog aggression is a term used by dog owners and breeders to describe canine-to-canine antipathy. Aggression itself is usually defined by "the intent to do harm". Many dogs will show "displays of aggression" such as barking, growling, or snapping in the air, which are considered distance-increasing actions, those which intend to get the person or dog to move away from the dog. Some dog-aggressive dogs display aggression that is mainly defensive, and they will actually harm another dog only if they perceive that they have no other option. Yet other dogs may develop dog-aggressive behavior due to medical reasons, such as hormonal imbalances. Aggression is a common dog behavior, and can be seen in all breeds of dogs, although some breeds have a predisposition to display such aggression. The breed standard usually spells out whether dog aggression is common in the breed and to what degree it is allowed. Individual dogs may or may not display the level of aggression that their breed standard suggests.
A dog's experiences may affect his chance of developing dog aggression. A dog that is attacked as a puppy may develop fear-based dog aggression towards all dogs, or perhaps only towards dogs that resemble the dog that attacked him.It is important to note that dogs that display dog-aggressive behavior do not necessarily show aggressive behavior towards humans. The two types of aggression are not necessarily related, and do not always occur in the same animal.
Dog aggression manifests at the age of adolescence to social maturity (6 months to 4 years). Warning signs such as fear and/or nervousness around other dogs, displays of aggression only under certain circumstances (while on leash, in the presence of food, in the presence of the owner, etc.), or most commonly, over-the-top play behavior can be seen at any stage of the dog's development. Play behavior such as tackling, chasing, mouthing, nipping, pawing, and wrestling are all normal canine behaviors that serve the evolutionary function of preparing the young dog for later combat and hunting. Young dogs that engage in excessive amounts of these behaviors are much more likely to develop dog aggression as they age.
Dog-dog aggression should not be confused with dog-human aggression (also referred to as "dominance" aggression when directed at the owner). Many people commonly mistake fear and anxiety-related aggression as "dominance aggression", which is inaccurate. Dominance is rarely the cause of aggressive behaviors in dogs, with fear and anxiety being the greatest cause of both dog and human directed aggression.Lack of exercise is not a cause of aggressive behavior, although exercise boosts serotonin levels, which offset stress hormones such as cortisol, and can complement a behavior modification program. However, it is a common misbelief that aggressive dogs are "not exercised enough." Many aggressive dogs are exercised regularly.
The United States has the highest reported incidence of dog aggression problems of any country in the world, with an estimated 4.5 million dog attack victims each year. One of the major contributing factors to the development of dog aggression is living as part of a multi-dog household. More than a third of dogs in the United States live as part of multi-dog households.Another reason for this is that in America, a well developed country, people often shower their dogs with affection and toys; leading to the dog believing that it is dominant and the leader of the household. This could then lead to aggressive behavior.
Busy lifestyles are also a major contributing factor to the rising occurrences of aggression related attacks. As the American working week gets longer and longer, the responsibility of many Phoenix dog owners often slips, leading to mild and more extreme cases of neglect. This neglect can start with something as simple as missing a walk here and there because of business meetings or late nights, neglect that does eventually have an effect on the mental and/or physical well-being of the dog.
RDT works with aggressive dogs in Phoenix and the surrounding areas helping you to prevent the aggression from developing further. I can often eliminate or dramatically reduce the amount of occurrences and frequency of the incidents with proper training. You will learn how to deal with the issue using my training techniques; as well as, learning owner responsibility and awareness. Most aggression issues are owner created unless the aggression is caused by, or related to a medical condition. If you have an aggressive dog, I strongly recommend that you have your dog evaluated by a vet and checked for possible medical causes. Before you put your dog down please give me a call to see if I can help you save it.
Factors contributing to the likelihood of the development of dog aggression include:
Anxiety, fear or phobia
Lack of structure
Lack of proper exposure to other dogs during the critical socialization period
Early imprinting by an aggressive or nervous mother
A traumatic experience
Thyroid malfunction or other medical conditions
Abuse from previous owners
Medical or physical ailments
Breeding and genetic predisposition
(RDT Training works with Dog Aggression Issues)