Aggressive Dog Training Program
Factors contributing to the likelihood of the development of dog aggression include:
Anxiety, fear or phobia
Lack of structure
Lack of socialization
A traumatic experience
Breeding and genetics
Intent to do harm
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. These are intended to get the perceived threat to move away.
Aggression is a common dog behavior
Aggression is a common dog behavior and can be seen in all breeds of dogs, although some breeds have are more likely to display such aggression. The breed standard usually spells out whether dog aggression is common in the breed. Individual dogs may or may not display the level of aggression that their breed standard suggests.
Some dog-aggressive dogs display aggression that is mainly defensive. These dogs will only harm another dog if they have no other options. Other dogs may, however, develop dog-aggressive behavior due to medical reasons.
A dog’s experiences
A dog’s experiences may affect his chance of developing dog aggression. For example, a dog attacked as a puppy it may develop fear-based dog aggression towards all dogs, or perhaps only towards dogs that look like the dog that attacked him.
Excessive amounts of these behaviors
Dog aggression signs can start as early as adolescence or develop when the dog reaches social maturity (6 months to 4 years). Warning signs such as fear and/or nervousness around other dogs, displays of aggression while on the leash, in the presence of food, in the presence of the owner, and over-the-top play behavior. 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.
Fear and anxiety
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 as “dominance aggression”, which is incorrect. 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
Lack of exercise is not a cause of aggressive behavior, although exercise complements all training programs. It is a common misbelief that aggressive dogs are “not exercised enough.” This, however, is not true, as many aggressive dogs are exercised regularly.
4.5 million dog attack victims each year
The United States has the highest reported incidence of dog aggression injurys of any country in the world, with an estimated 4.5 million dog attack victims each year. One of the major factors in 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.