What causes aggression in dogs? Well there are many factors.
But first let’s discuss what anger means. The correct term would be Agonistic Behavior meaning to wrestle in Greek.
Aggression indicates attack and defending behaviour. Defensive behaviour can be many things, from camouflage, hiding, fight or flight and even capitulation. This means that a dog can be in defense mode and can turn to many states to defend himself. Some will run away or hide away others will fight back.
Recently I have witnessed my own to females getting into a fight.
First off we need to understand that a dog that is aggressive will bite to rip skin open and cause serious damage.
Dogs fighting with only mild little puncture wounds have an unwanted behaviour, they are not aggressive dogs but it still needs to be addressed. The trick is to figure out what is triggering the behaviour and replacing that with an excepted behaviour.
Growling is good, this indicates to you that your dog is feeling unsettled. Growling and the time before growling (body language) is the time to use to teach your dog something new. Never ask your dog to lie down though as this is a very submissive behaviour.
Also don't shout at your dog to stop growling, this is the only sign that tells you what you need to know. Other wise your dog will go over in biting immediately.
What to do when they fight...bang pots and pans, shout in a Husky voice and make loud noises to distract them. Never put your hands in between and don't smack them as this can make it worse.
To read more about aggression triggers in dogs go to this e-zine that I wrote...
Aggression triggers in dogs
Hope that all will have the best 2009.
Louise and the fur balls.
I am busy with a course in dog behaviour, so for any questions on this subject do not hesitate to contact me, by clicking on the reply button of this mail.
I also would like to encourage those of you who are mushers, Husky lovers, Lance Mackey or Ididirot fans to watch Discovery channel every Saturday at 22:00 and follow Lance and the rest racing the Alaskan race called the Ididirot. It's a sledding race that stretches over 1800km.