Dog aggression is a great cause of concern for many dog owners. It is something that should always be dealt with and addressed immediately.
Dog aggression is defined as the threat of harm to other dogs or people. It involves growling, snarling, lunging, barking, and in some extreme circumstances, biting. Understanding the contributing factors in and reasons for dog aggression can often help in the treatment (and even prevention) of this.
One of the most common driving force of aggression is fear. Dogs who are fearing for their own safety and security are likely to act aggressively. Real threat does not have to be the only reason, perceived or imagined threat can also be a reason. As long as from the dog’s perspective, there is fear, then that may greatly contribute to aggression.
- Protective or territorial
Dogs may act aggressively when they protect their young puppies. Protective aggression frequently occurs when a mother protects her pups. Dogs who are also attempting to guard or defend their space or their home, they may lunge and loudly bark to shoo away foreign dogs, people and other individuals.
Dogs who are overly dominant may displace some aggressive behaviors. Dogs who think that they are the bosses – the masters – may feel that they can do anything, even inappropriate behaviors such as snarling, growling, lunging, excessive barking, and biting.
Like us humans, some dogs who are prevented from doing what they want or are forced to do something they do not want, may get frustrated. This frustration may be released through aggressive behaviors. For instance, a dog who want to go play outside but forced into a kennel, may get aggressive, and bark and growl aggressively.
- Lack of exercise
One probable contributing factor in dog aggression is the lack of adequate exercise. For dogs, exercise is a way to burn excess energy and to help maintain a healthy body and mind. Dogs who lack enough exercise have excess energy, and that may be unfortunately transformed into aggressive behaviors, just to expend the extra energy.
- Medical problems
Aggression can be a result of an underlying medical issue. For instance, damage to certain areas of the brain – diseases like tumors and thyroid issues – may result to aggression problems.
- Genetic predisposition
Some dogs are predisposition to aggression. Some breeds may be have a natural imbalance of some brain chemicals and hormones.