Not All Dog Aggression Is The Same

One of the most feared bad dog behaviour is dog aggression. It is also the number one reason why pet owners seek the help of professionals.

Types of Dog Aggression

  • Dominant
  • Defensive
  • Possessive
  • Territorial
  • Parental
  • Plus others

A dog can exhibit more than one type of aggression.  So when dealing with dog aggression it is paramount to know what type of aggression you are dealing with.

dog aggression
dog showing aggression

What a pet owner wants to do is to prevent any aggression in their dog whatsoever and this would start when your dog is just a puppy. If your puppy is trained right from the beginning and knows his place in the pack then usually you will not have an issue with aggression. They may sometimes challenge for a higher position but as the pack leader you need to know how to control your pack.

Some dogs may challenge more than others so another aspect to look at when talking about dog aggression is you need to make sure you are getting the right dog for you.

If you are a mild laid back sort of person then a Rottweiler or even an Akita would not be a good fit for you and they would also not be a good fit for a person looking for a tough aggressive dog.

A breeder can certainly help to see what breed is right for you.

So now that you have your puppy the training beginnings. Whether your breed of choice has been a German Shepherd or a Yorkie how you bring them up could bring about aggressive tendencies.

Puppies are a lot of fun and sometimes they can get carried away when playing and we also can get carried away by rough housing with them. When they are small it all seems so innocent – a little fur ball growling, snapping and lunging at us and we in turn putting them down on their back maybe sliding them on the floor. Go ahead about 3 months and especially if you have a large breed puppy, this game may not be so fun and you will not be able to control your once small puppy.

Preventing Dog Aggression

Things you can do to prevent dog aggression down the road are play and handle your puppy gently, have all family members at one time hand feed making sure puppy does not snatch and run. Do not physically punish a puppy for aggressive behaviour. There are other ways to discipline the puppy. If your puppy becomes aggressive during play tell him no, turn your back on him and walk away.

There are many other things that you can do to help your puppy become a good canine citizen and not ever show any signs of aggression. It is much easier to deal with this issue now before it does become an issue.

If you have adopted an older dog and they do have aggression issues there are still things you can do to overcome them. The first thing you are going to need is the help of a professional. You need a professional who is going to use the least amount of force. Many so called dog trainers will use excessive force and punishment to correct aggressive dogs.

Although with the proper training an aggressive dog can be retrained many believe the dog can never be one hundred percent trustworthy and could attacked if provoked.  Check out my review on The Online Dog Trainer it may lead you to what you are looking for. Share This:
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    • NemiraB
    • November 2, 2015

    Hello, thanks for informative article. Dogs are my favourite animal after horses.
    As I know that aggressive behavior is common and serious behavior problem in dogs.
    Overall it is a scary behavior. Sometimes people are afraid of animals snapping at them. It leads to returning poor dog to shelter or passing from one owner to other.
    You explained perfectly in article how to prevent this problem from happening as this behavior.
    I saw many dogs who behave and do not express themselves with constant barking or growling. I think that owners need to take responsibility regarding this problem.
    When humans show dog their love but at the same time dog know who is in charge, animals feel safe and relaxed.
    I do not have at this time dog, but I visit shelter, where I can walk these furry friends.
    All the best, happy writing, Nemira.

      • Maureen
      • November 2, 2015

      Thanks for your comments Nemira. Horses eh – Do you have one now? I used to have one years ago he was a thoroughbred off the track trained to the english saddle. He was a great horse. I am glad to hear that you volunteer at the shelter. Shelter dogs definitely need our love and support even before they get adopted.

    • Ruth
    • November 2, 2015

    I have 3 young bulldogs all from the same litter. 1 of the 3 is definitely the alpha dog in the family. I am trying to figure out if they are just very playful versus being actually aggressive…they passed puppy obedience school with flying colors. My issue is that they don’t seem to play nice with other dogs.

      • Maureen
      • November 2, 2015

      Some trainers will recommend that you do not take on siblings as they can become so focused on each other and you get left out of the pack. I am curious as to what the trainer at puppy obedience felt about the interaction among the three bulldogs. I would try and socialize them around others dogs as much as possible and try to establish yourself as the alpha.

    • Dylan
    • November 2, 2015

    This is a really interesting website you have here and it is very nice to look at and use. You can navigate so easy and jump from article to article.

    I can definitely say having a dog be aggressive towards you is one of the scariest thing you can experience. this sheds light on those stressful moments when a dog si barking or growling at you.

    Next time i can prevent the situation now that i know the different reasons why a dog can be aggressive towards you.

      • Maureen
      • November 2, 2015

      Hi Dylan thanks for the comment. An aggressive dog can be a very scary looking animal. Knowing what triggers their aggression certainly helps in preventing any aggressive outbreaks.

    • Don
    • November 2, 2015

    Hey there,

    It’s so true that dogs have different kinds of aggressions and it’s important to know them in order to know what to do when a dog gets aggressive. Many people are scared of dogs because the barking is just so loud, but they never question why the dog barks. Sometimes the aggression is not directed to yourself but to another person.

    Thanks for your very helpful advices. How many dogs do you have?


      • Maureen
      • November 2, 2015

      Hi Don right now we have one dog that we adopted from the shelter 2 years ago. We had a female doberman which we lost the end of April. She was almost 12 years old which is a good age for a doberman. We are thinking of getting another doberman in the near future – hopefully a rescue. This is the first time in over 30 years that I have not a a dobie. There is just something about them that I really love.

    • anxiousyogi
    • November 2, 2015

    Hey there! Excellent info! I can really tell that you truly care about animals. I hope that you can reach someone out there that is battling with an aggressive companion and show them that they don’t have to give the dog up just because his behavior isn’t ideal! Patience is key here! Thanks for the informative article!

      • Maureen
      • November 2, 2015

      Thanks for the comment and you are so right patience is the key. Too many people become overwhelmed when they get a puppy or dog and instead of getting help they will ignore the dog which only makes the situation worse.

    • Kerry
    • May 19, 2016

    Hi, what a great topic, I really enjoyed reading your article. My oldest daughter had a mixed breed dog but I think it had pit bull in it, they had it from a puppy and she was a beautiful dog. My daughters husband from the time it was very little used to ruff it up, he thought it was funny especially when the dog got a little older and used to fight back. One night they had a gathering at their house so had the dog chained up so she wouldn’t annoy anyone, one guy decided to go and pat the dog, she lashed out and grabbed the guys arm and was going to rip him to pieces, my daughters husband got the dog off, the guy had to have stitches but is ok. My daughter decided to have the dog put down as she has children and after that incident was a little concerned that it might happen again. I just wonder if that poor dog hadn’t been ruffed up so much, would it still have happened. A lesson learned, the hard way. I hope more people get to read your article, all the best, Kerry

      • Maureen
      • May 23, 2016

      I am sorry to hear that the dog was put down for something that was totally not his fault. Too many people think it is funny roughhousing with a dog and even more so when it fights back. Most dogs are not born aggressive they are taught to be that way. As far as playing rough with the dog I think this definitely was part of the problem. The dog needs to learn boundaries as a pup and if owner roughhouses with the dog they are not teaching them any boundaries when it comes to play biting and actually biting. The dog was just doing what he was taught and it unfortunately cost him his life. Hopefully they will not get another dog and ruin its life also!

    • SanShar
    • January 9, 2017


    Training your dog to exhibit the behavior you desire is really an ongoing process. To think once the dog is seemingly trained you don’t have concern yourself with anymore is a mistake. Training and positive reinforce in continual

    Training your dog early on is best. The training process should begin as soon as you the new pup home. Older/adult dogs can be trained, but it’s going to take longer, so you have to extra patient.

    Training a pup is like taking a piece of clay and shaping it into the type dog want it to be. Training and adult dog, however, involves modifying behavior. And, modifying behavior is always a more time consuming and requires more effort on your part.

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