Pets & Animal Dog Breeds

What Are the Warning Signs of an Aggressive Dog?

    Types

    • There are several types of aggressive behavior that can occur in dogs. Three common types are dominance aggression, fear aggression, and territorial or possessive aggression.

    Dominance Aggression

    • Dogs exhibiting dominance issues are often seeking to be the alpha dog. In a family hierarchy, your dog may feel you are not taking control of the house and may try to establish dominance over you. Signs include lunging, blocking your path or mounting.

    Fear Aggression

    • Most dogs who are afraid will pull their ears down, look away, put their tail between their legs or run away. Dogs who are cornered may bite, snarl or growl.

    Possessive or Territorial Aggression

    • Dogs may feel that people, toys, food and space are their possessions. Aggression can occur when your dog feels that their territory is being encroached upon. Exhibit your dominance as the alpha dog and discourage behavior such as possessiveness of the food bowl or toys, or attacking others who approach a certain individual.

    Warning

    • Aggression is not necessarily breed-specific. In most cases, an aggressive dog was raised to be aggressive by the owner.

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