Aggression is complicated and the reasons behind aggression in dogs is often misunderstood. The dog breed plays a huge role in how aggression is perceived as well. A barking Yorkshire Terrier will never be viewed the same as a barking Doberman Pincher. The Doberman will be viewed as aggressive regardless of circumstance and the Yorkshire as a non threatening purse pet.
The truth is often times the reason for the display is the same in both breeds. There are different reasons for types of dog aggression and different reasons for the displays the dogs exhibit. Knowing these reasons, and the when’s and whys will better help is identify when a dog acting aggressively is appropriate and inappropriate.
The Types of Dog Aggression
Often times bad behavior is reenforced by naive pet owners who think that a barking dog will prevent a would be criminal from targeting them, or their property. They encourage a young unsure pup to bark, or growl when the owner perceives a threat. That threat may be a stranger knocking at a door, or a stranger walking down the street. They will encourage the dog to bark and puff at at sights and sounds that the owner is uncertain of.
If these situations are actual threats then the threat displays made by the dog is appropriate. However, the reason for the dogs display is often not the same as the owners desire to see the threat display. A dog, especially a young dog, often barks due to being unsure of itself. The dog lacks confidence and its barking, or growling is to convince itself that it can handle the threat rather than to protect it’s owner .
The owner does not recognize the lack of confidence, and continues to push the unsure, frightened dog into the bad behavior. The underlying issue for this type of dog aggression lies in the fact that the unsure dog eventually begins to believe in it’s bark and will continue to scare off individuals that fall afraid from the barking. The barking can lead to biting, however, and a dog that does not understand a true threat, may bite a child, or elderly person, this aggression can end up on the news at eleven and can be the final nail in the coffin for a lot of breeds facing death by public opinion.
Another type of aggression that happens is aggression over territory or possessions. Early on this aggression is notable at a food dish, or over a favorite toy. Most owners will correct this behavior in regards to them touching, or grabbing a favorite play thing and correcting the growling, snapping puppy. This is great, but doesn’t always correct the underlying issue.
The issue behind this and other types of dog aggression is that the dog feels a level of ownership over items, or spaces. This usually translates to aggressive behavior in cars and yards. The dog that runs alongside a fence, barking and growling at strangers, or the dog that barks insanely in a parked vehicle. The reason this is often overlooked and viewed as a possible negative, is because many owners want their dog to protect their home.
The fence and car, ate an extension of property and therefore the owner never corrects the behavior. The enforcement of the behavior, like the stranger that is barked at on the street, is definitely teaching the wrong behavior, which is seen as one of the many types of dog aggression! This is the same dog that may somehow get out if it’s yard then attack a neighbor.
In the case of a Yorkie it may be a laughing matter, but in a case of a breed that is more intimidating and covered by the media the results can be the result of bans and massive euthanasia victims of its particular breed for more types of dog aggression.
More Types Of Dog Aggression
Another type of aggression is the type that is hereditary and truly the result of breeding. A truly human aggressive dog is a deadly thing. This is a dog that is completely confident in it’s position as alpha dog. This dog is not about bluffs, or pretending to be tough. This dog is about truly defending it’s family, territory, and it’s own position.
These few and far between dogs, are truly dangerous regardless of breed. The experienced owner can often correct this behavior and get the best out of the animal. The problem is these dogs fall too often into the hands of the novice owner and due to this fact alone these type of individual dogs have led to the legislation that has cost entire breeds their freedoms and lives.
Types of dog aggression are not hard to decipher, but even deciphering aggression between human and animal aggression is difficult at times. A dog that loathes other dogs, may never show aggression to humans. The aggression towards humans, does not always coincide with aggression towards animals.
The key is to be able to identify the aggression you are dealing with and finding an expert that can nip the behavior in the bud, at the onset of the behavior. Is there a place for a protective dog, the answer of course is yes. A dog that protects his or her family is a phenomenal pet! However, we always want to make sure that the dog is protecting the family for the right reasons, and only in the right circumstance, otherwise an entire breed could suffer from many types of aggression!