Even normal aggression should still be corrected. Dogs usually show the first signs of aggressive behavior when they go through puberty (around 6 to 14 months). Signs of aggression include barking at strangers, growling and guarding their food dish, mounting people’s legs and pushing adults and children aside when running by. Dogs may also challenge human commands at this time to try to establish the alpha position. Signs include ignoring commands, growling when physically removed from the couch or made to sit and staring down a human. This behavior is normal for an adolescent dog but must be corrected immediately to discourage further aggressive behavior.

Signs Of Major Aggression:

  • Excessive barking that won’t respond to command
  • Acting overly possessive of objects (toys, food dishes) by barking, growling and snapping
  • Attacking other animals and humans
  • Barking and chasing after other animals, humans or vehicles
  • Snarling and snapping when touched

Types Of Aggression:

  • Dominant-aggressive dogs look constantly alert. They stand high on their toes, perk their ears and keep their tails high and stiff. They may stare down humans and other animals and growl with their teeth exposed when approached. Males often lift their legs on furniture.
  • Defensive-aggressive dogs appear submissive with ears back, little or no eye contact and low body position. But they’re fear-biters and will bite if approached, cornered or ignored. Aggressive dogs can be extremely dangerous to humans and other animals if their behavior is not corrected. They’ll bite, bark, growl, fight with other animals, challenge your authority — and tragically, they may eventually attack a child or adult. A professional trainer should handle serious cases of aggression because a dog that is aggressive will not get better on his own. If your dog bites a person or injures or kills another dog, you may not have a choice — the case may end up in court.

Dogs Act Aggressively For Several Reasons:

  • They’re afraid, either innately afraid or they’ve been mistreated. Your dog will sometimes lash out if he’s forced to confront another dog or person that he’s afraid of. Basic obedience training — teaching him to “come,” “sit” and “stay” — will give your dog more confidence.
  • They’re overly protective of their territory.

Posted in: Dog FAQs