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11 Triggers That May Cause Dog Aggression

by Dog Training Advice Tips


Dog aggression is a common problem with dog owners when dealing with their canine companions. The problem is, most dog owners are doing it wrong when it comes to their dogs. Understanding dog aggression first is what you should do. By knowing what are the causes and reasons that make your dog exhibit aggressive behavior, you would be aware of his triggers. With this additional information, you would also feel more capable in determining how to handle this aggression problem. There are various reasons for your dog’s aggression, which could be easily noticed at times. The top dog aggression triggers are listed below. These are the most common reasons why your dog is exhibiting aggressive tendencies. You should learn how to deal with these triggers in the future if you are concerned with the repercussions of dog aggression.


1. Protective


Dogs are animals with a high understanding and they are also full of wisdom. The familial love that they exhibit is a natural instinct that dog have. Sometimes, they become overprotective of their families, which includes you or any other family members. Also, they could be protective to another dog member of the household. This over-protection could trigger their aggressive behavior especially if they are going to defend a family member from possible threats.


2. Possessive

Dogs can also become protective with their possessions, such as his favorite toy that you gift to him. They can be protective to the point that they become aggressive to other dogs if they try to get close to it. They would snarl and bark at other individuals who have the interest in getting their toys away from them. This also applies to food, as dogs usually don’t want other dogs near them when they are feeding. It’s best to keep dogs apart when they eat.


3. Defensive

Fear causes dogs to be more defensive. This defensive action causes the rise in dog’s aggressiveness. They are thinking that this aggressiveness will make the potential threat go away before it becomes true. But being defensive may not always mean that they are afraid of something. Sometimes, they just have to be defensive because of an event that occurred before that they have observed. One could say that if a member of his pack once observed that he was bitten by another bigger dog, he might be act defensive against that dog.


4. Territorial


Most animals are more likely to mark their own territories and exhibit territorial behaviors. They mark their so-called territories by spraying urine into the area. If another dog approaches your dog’s territory, he might see this dog as a potential threat and get aggressive to this dog. Your dog surely doesn’t want any other dog to enter his territory, thus he gets aggressive.



5. Competition

Usually, male dogs fight over females. When females are in heat, male dogs compete and fight for her attention to win the privilege of being able to mate with her. If your male dog has not been neutered, he is more likely to exhibit these mating behaviors. But keep in mind that not all neutered dogs are not excited to mating. Sometimes when it’s too late to neuter a dog, he has already matured and will exhibit mating behaviors.


6. Un-Socialized

At a young age, dogs should be socialized properly. Socialization is a very important part when training a dog or a puppy. He should be exposed to people and other dogs during his puppy ages, otherwise, it could cause problems in adaptation to various events as a mature, adult dog. Improper socialization in dogs may result to aggressive behaviors to other people or dogs.


7. Redirection of Aggression

Sometimes dogs that are afraid or threatened by something may possibly redirect his aggression to others such as people, or even fellow dogs. This usually happens especially if he cannot focus on the threat itself, so it is directed to the nearest animal or person instead.


8. Becoming a leader

Dogs, just like humans, live in hierarchy even in households. Usually, the older dog are the ones closer to the owner and thus crowned as head of the pack. When another ‘subordinate’ dog does something that should not be done, the top dog might show aggressiveness in order to assert his rule and remind others to not be a bad dog.


9. Pain

Dogs, unlike humans, cannot tell if they are in pain or is feeling pain at the moment. As an owner, it may be difficult to figure out if your dog is in a pain or not. Sometimes, when a dog is feeling pain, he tends to exhibit aggressive behaviors to avoid people and other dogs from approaching him.


10. Excited or Frustrated

Dogs are just simple beings with a very emotional heart. They have a tendency to be frustrated or excessively excited in some situations. If your dog is overly excited about something, like playing with the ball, but doesn’t get it, he might get frustrated and be aggressive.


11. Afraid

One idea that is built up around dog aggression is the fact that they are aggressive because they perceive something as a threat. This might indicate that they are afraid of something. If they get aggressive to another dog, it could indicate that they are afraid towards that dog. This is just an instinctual and behavioral mechanism which is natural to dogs.



These are just some of the reasons why dogs exhibit aggressive behavior. Of course, different times and different situations could cause your dog to get aggressive. One thing is, you have to observe what gets your dog’s nerves all the time. This allows you to properly deal and manage his aggression. Once you have identified that certain trigger, take time to adjust accordingly. You might as well get a safe distance between your dog and the potential trigger, so your dog would not feel threatened anymore.

Source: https://www.dogtrainingadvicetips.com/top-11-dog-aggression-triggers

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