Dog Aggression

The Different Types Of Dog Aggression

There are many different types of dog aggression and the first step in getting a handle on addressing the issue is to identify and understand what kind of aggression it is and the triggers involved for your dog. Below you will find a list of the most common types of aggression.

  • Barrier Frustration
  • Redirected Aggression
  • Possession Aggression
  • Inter-dog Aggression
  • Territorial Aggression
  • Maternal Aggression
  • Pain-induced Aggression
  • Fear Aggression
  • Predatory Aggression
  • Medically Based Aggression

Barrier Frustration

Barrier frustration occurs when a dog is stimulated by either people or other dogs or animals but is restricted from investigating these stimulants. For example, if your dog is behind an electric fence but is in full vision of constant passers-by but gets shocked each time it tries to go and greet the new people, this can quickly turn into aggression. Your dog may be perfectly fine with other dogs and people while they are free to roam and investigate on their own but they may display reactive behaviors such as barking, lunging and growling when restricted by a leash.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression happens when your dog is held back from the object of his aggression. Since the dog cannot get to whatever it is that is setting them off, they may redirect that aggression toward a nearby person or another animal.

Possession Aggression

Possession aggression often described as food aggression in dogs, is a natural behavior in not only dogs but any animal species, including humans. Some dogs get very touchy when they are eating and do not want to share with others. This is a natural resource guarding instinct that allows animals in the wild to survive. It can be very overwhelming if you have a dog with a strong food possession aggression.

Inter-dog Aggression

Inter-dog aggression happens when dogs don’t play well with others. It usually is a result of inadequate socialization or traumatic experiences involving other dogs or sometimes a combination of both.

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is usually a mix of resource guarding with barrier frustration aggression. This can happen when your dog either cannot get close enough or far enough away from some stimulant. If they are behind a fence or on a chain with no place to go, they may resort to aggression to protect their personal space.

Maternal Aggression

Maternal aggression is self-explanatory as this is just a mother who has a very strong and natural desire to protect her puppies from potential threats. Usually, this is hormonal but if not addressed properly, it can quickly develop into a learned behavior that may not leave once the puppies are weaned.

Pain Aggression

Even the gentlest and most docile dog can unexpectedly get aggression if they are in severe pain. The best thing you can do to prevent an accidental and misguided dog bite to you or anyone else is to keep a muzzle in your home or vehicle in case your dog unexpected gets injured. This way you can take a precaution while you are trying to help your dog.

If your dog starts displaying aggressive behaviors out of the blue, get him/her a vet checkup to make sure that the aggression isn’t due to some medical issue. This is a sure way to avoid pain-induced aggression.

Predatory Aggression

Another very common aggression is predatory aggression. Dogs naturally want to chase smaller animals and can be triggered by fast moving people or objects such as bicycles, cars, people on rollerblades or joggers. Having a properly trained dog can help you avoid this kind of aggressive behavior.

Fear Aggression

Fear is an underlying cause of most types of aggression. Teaching your dog to be confident and to overcome any fears he/she may possess will help him/her be more stress-free and less likely to act out in aggression due to fear.

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Canine Tutors is committed to you and your dog. Dog aggression is frustrating and frightening not only for you as the owner, but for your canine companion as well. You don’t have to go it alone, Contact Ashley Starling at Canine Tutors today to set up a consultation with you and your dog.


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