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The Most Common Dog Aggression Types and How to Deal with Them


Aggressive Dog showing his teeth
10 min read

how to Deal with dog aggression?🐶🐶

Dog Aggression is one of the most common issues that some dog owners experience and in a lot of cases it occurs due to bad habits or wrong training methods that negatively affect dogs psychologically, influence the dog to a react in an undesired way. In this article, we will be talking more about different dog aggression behaviors and how to deal with and fix these issues, as they might have really bad consequences if they weren’t controlled as soon as possible.

What does an aggressive dog mean?

Dog Aggression

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend and it is not normal for a dog to be aggressive towards their owner or other people if they were raised in a family that love and care for them, but sometimes aggression might be understood in a wrong way; as it is the way wild animals communicate with each other, for example, to establish boundaries within one another and also to protect their new-born puppies. Female dogs could be aggressive because they’re guarding their personal space against any outsiders, but this a normal behavior that’s been happening since the beginning of days, so keep reading to understand the difference between the aggression that is controllable and the ones that are inherited in their genes throughout the centuries.

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Dogs genetics and behaviors: –

Dog Aggression

Not all dogs have their fighting genes in their DNAs and it’s really uncommon to find any of these breeds; Chihuahua and Golden Retriever have any kind of aggressive behavior towards other dogs or human; they are known to be family dogs and not aggressive at all.

However, if any dog was treated in a wrong way without establishing boundaries and limits these family dogs could turn into a nightmare that will be really hard to control.

So, basically, a lot of dog aggression behaviors are due to bad training by their owners who didn’t establish boundaries and limits when they were little puppies. Sometimes praising what not should be praised, when puppies are little nipping might turn to be a huge bite when they grow old so, take care of what you are praising your dog.

It is highly recommended to get your first puppy a less aggressive dog as it will need minimum training towards not being aggressive and also it is easy to be controlled, other than high confident large strong breeds such as; Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Mastiffs because they require a firm hand not physically but a strong owner with high levels of patients that will show dominance by establishing their own rules of training. 

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So how do we know if a dog is aggressive or not?

There are several signs that show aggression in dogs based on their body language and you will know exactly when to be cautious when they show signs of aggression. Below, is a list of body movements that are indicators of different aggression phases

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Understand your dog’s aggression better and learn what is the main cause of this behavior: –

Stress Aggression: –

Dog Aggression

This type of aggression occurs usually when the dog is feeling stressed regarding anything probably towards human interactions with them as they weren’t socialized as much with humans when they were little, that’s why they consider them as a threat and they charge a stressed aggression, or it might be charged by a lot of noises or a lot of stomping that making them nervous which will allow them to be really uncomfortable and that will lead to anxiety and serious aggression.

Dog’s Body language that shows signs of stress that might lead to aggression: –

  • Tail down
  • Back lowered
  • Ears flattened to the back
  • More sclera shown in a dog’s eyes (the less the white in the eyes the more relaxed the dog)
  • Sweating paws pads
  • Panting heavily with the back side of the month

What to do with this type of aggression?

Dog Aggression

Understand your dog and know what exactly is stressing them out and try to minimize it; maybe it’s stomping on the floor, loud noises that are produced from a nearby construction area, a new puppy came to the house that is invading their territory. Basically, make your home a relaxing environment for your pooch as if he is stressed you will be stressed as well and that might lead to unwanted aggression, also keep in mind to seek a professional trainer’s help if the problem is not solved after eliminating everything that could lead to stress and frustration.

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Fear Aggression: –

The fearful aggressive dogs are the ones that are not showing dominance but at the same time they are not submissive; they are basically scared and do not want any conflict but if pushed or any individual got close to them, they will charge an attack out of fear. The fearful attack is basically a hit-and-run kind of attack that will be coming and coming until the dog’s personal space is clear for them to relax and not being invaded anymore. This type of aggression always happens with strangers that the dog is not familiar with or when feeling like there is a threat coming towards them from any direction.  

Dog’s Body language that shows signs of fear in dogs that might lead to aggression: –

  • Back Lowered
  • Piloerection (Hackles up in the front and the back)
  • More sclera shown in a dog’s eyes (the less the white in the eyes the more relaxed the dog)
  • Tail tucked between legs
  • Corner of the mouth pulled to the back some teeth might show from the side.
  • Mouth and nose curled and teeth might appear
  • Ears flattened to the back

What to do with this type of aggression?

Dog Aggression

In order to resolve this type of aggression, just introduce slowly, with the help a professional trainer, the thing that your dog fears and make them face it, and most important showing them the thing they fear in a relaxed environment, with a lot of praise when they come close to it so they understand there’s nothing to fear, one step forward equals a praise until they can sit calmly next to that thing that fears them the most, either a train passing by, a stranger petting them or the mailman.

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Dominance aggression: –

A new dog came to the neighborhood and your dog’s high confidence wants to show dominance over that dog, a dogfight will occur if the other dog won’t show submission, it might lead to major injuries on both sides and might affect the owners as well, this is a really bad behavior and might turn to aggression towards human it wasn’t controlled correctly and quickly.

This type of aggression is not hard to control as it is how dogs in the wild act towards one another to show dominance to establish their position in the pack until one dog overcomes all of the challenges and becomes the pack leader, but for house dogs, dog on dog aggression behavior is not acceptable and your dog should not attack any other dogs or human what so ever.

Dog’s Body language that shows signs of dominance that might lead to aggression: –

  • Stiff body little to no movement at all.
  • Really focusing on the object waiting for a challenge.
  • Teeth and gum are shown from curled lips
  • Growls at the target, which is a behavior of showing dominance and challenging the opponent.
  • Wrinkles on the face and head
  • Ears up and stiff
  • Body leaning forward, which means ready to charge if challenged.

What to do with this type of aggression?

Dog Aggression Dog barking

This kind of aggression is the most famous in dogs, as this is the way they communicate and establish boundaries to each one another in the wild and to show who is stronger and maintain the position in the pack.

So, in order to resolve this issue, a professional trainer will have to overcome and challenge the dog until they are in a totally submissive position which only professional dog trainers will know the signs of total submission.

Once they have control over the dog they will introduce them to other dogs and by the strong dominant energy the trainer has, he can control how the dog reacts towards other dogs and step by step this behavior will not occur as the dog will understand that there is no need for challenges and everyone can live normally at their own personal space with minimum threats.

challenge the dog until they are in a totally submissive position which only professional dog trainers will know the signs of total submission.

Once they have control over the dog they will introduce them to other dogs and by the strong dominant energy the trainer has, he can control how the dog reacts towards other dogs and step by step this behavior will not occur as the dog will understand that there is no need for challenges and everyone can live normally at their own personal space with minimum threats.

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So, How to stop dog aggression?

The best way to stop dog aggression of any kind will require some effort and dedication from the owner, the solution might be easier than you thought.

Probably your dog is not getting the required amount of exercise so bad behaviors to start to occur, so try to focus on the daily walks to make the dog relaxed after getting home basically pretty tired to do anything bad; as bad behavior requires more energy than a trained to do good behavior, also focus on what you’re feeding your dog and establish a routine while feeding either by giving a signal to your dog to stay in front of the plate until you give them the okay signal to eat.

Keep the feeding time on fixed hours not randomly, also focus on feeding your dog healthy nutrition your vet should help with establishing a great diet for your pooch. If your dog is aggressive towards other people, you should ask a professional trainer how to socialize aggressive dogs, he or she will give you a proper guide to socialize your dog and make them understand that humans are not a threat.

If you want to learn in more details, check out our in-depth post about dealing with aggressive dogs here.

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How to calm a dog in a stressful situation?

In order to have a really calm dog, you should be calm yourself, your dog can smell your adrenaline that is produced while being stressed and as we all know there is a special connection between a dog and its owner.

Basically is kind of a mirror to their owners if you are stressed they will be stressed as well and works the same with most of the feelings we normally have e.g. (fear, worrying and sorrow).

So, trust and calm yourself down and believe that everything will be okay and that you will have a normal walk with your dog free of issues and that will happen indeed.

Dog Aggression

Overall, having an aggressive dog is not the end of the world and it is a well-known issue among dogs, just seek an immediate help from a professional trainer to train your dog to be more friendly and less stressed and once you fully understand your dog and know what is causing this unwanted behavior, you will enjoy every moment with your furry best friend.

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Make sure you share this article with all of your friends and family of dog owners so they can gain more knowledge regarding aggression in dogs.

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