Aggression - What is Dog Aggression?

The definition of Aggression is any act that is meant to intimidate, scare or physically hurt another dog or person. The definition of a behavioral problem is any behavior the owner has a problem with.

Aggression Statistics

  • 76% of the fatal dog bite incidents in the US occur on the owner’s property
  • Many dogs involved in fatal attacks were chained.  Chaining a dog can reduce the dogs bite  threshold
  • Research has shown that many dogs involved in bite cases had been trained using traditional, compulsion and punitive,  methods

There have been up to 24 types of aggression documented. However for our purposes, The DogSmith,  we can reduce it down to one type - resource guarding.  When a dog guards its territory, mates, objects, toys, food, people etc. it is all about their resources. They all fall under resource guarding. Let’s also recognize that a dog that is aggressive and retreats has a goal to create space between them and the threat.  The dog that is aggressive and attacks has the same goal. They both have a goal to get away from, or push away the threat.

Preventing Aggression

  1. Select an appropriate dog for the lifestyle
  2. Choose a breed that matches the owners lifestyle
  3. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to poor dog behavior
  4. Socialize the dog at an early age
  5. Expose the dog to everything and anything so it grows up prepared to take on the world
  6. Teach the dog through exposure and training how to interact with other dogs
  7. Teach the puppy bite inhibition so if things go wrong in later years the damage is minimal

Manage the dog throughout its life

  • Ensure the dog is healthy and continually exercised and socialized
  • Manage the dogs environment and keep it under stimulus control

Where knowledge ends violence begins. You cannot resolve dog aggression using physical punishment or harsh treatment. Punishment only makes dog aggression worse. Contact your local DogSmith who can help you to teach your dog more appropriate behaviors to access the resources they would like.