Aggressive behavior in dogs can have various causes. There is no such thing as a genetically predisposed dog breed. Sometimes, aggression can have its roots in health problems. However, there are a few types of aggression in dogs.
The so-called “dominant aggression” is the most frequent one and it is developed by the wish to dominate. When a dog thinks of itself a leader, every time its position is endangered, aggression may arise. This kind of behavior is reflected in its facial expression and body posture which they use to show off their dominance – protruding chest, raised and proudly held tail, eye contact and growling are the most usual reactions. This way a dog protects the place where it lives, relaxes, eats and keeps its personals things. What is specific about the dogs with the dominant form of aggression is the overprotection of their family members and not allowing anyone to approach them.
“Playing aggression” which is usually found among the younger dogs is directed towards people and other pets in the family. Scratching, pinching and biting or tearing people’s clothes is the most obvious symptom of this kind of aggression. Even though this doesn’t imply that similar behavior always includes aggression, should some serious injuries occur, you should treat it as such and get the help of a professional. This type of aggression might turn a young dog with similar symptoms into a dangerous grown up dog.
“Territory aggression” is frequent among the guardian dogs and is directed towards the people and animals approaching the place they are guarding. Their usual targets are unknown people and those family members they do not get along well. Every time it senses that its territory might be in danger, dog growls and barks to alarm everyone that an intruder is near. Those brave enough to approach it, should reconsider the idea.
Another well-known type of aggression is the “material aggression”. It is directed towards people and animals that wish to approach their young ones. A dog is very protective of its puppies and if it estimates that its own or the lives of its puppies are in danger, it often decides to attack.
Aggression that is directly human fault is called the “learned aggression”. It is about the learned aggression in dogs which are taught to react aggressively to commands in certain situations. It can be directed towards people, other animals or pets. Altering a dog’s problematic behavior is a complex and serious task. Using punishment as a method is a wrong way to go, and it can be especially dangerous if used on bigger dogs. Ignoring and rewarding usually show the best results.
However, dogs that show any form of aggression should be taken to a vet or a specialist. Unless you teach them how to behave from the earliest stage, you better not play this dangerous game all alone. Dog socialization is an excellent basis for aggression prevention. There are other important factors as well, such as – your own behavior.