What is Aggression?


Some people may consider a growl and/or a snap as aggression. Others would say it is not aggression until the dog bites. Whatever your definition, if your dog's behaviour is a problem to you then it is a problem that needs resolving. 

 

Firstly, it's important to understand the true meaning of the word 'Aggressive'.  It means 'to feel hostile'.  Note the word 'feel'.  There is a distinct difference between a dog feeling aggressive and a dog exhibiting aggression.  

 

Many dogs exhibit what can be interpreted as aggression but they may not be feeling aggressive.  Displays of aggression are usually a survival strategy for dogs who find themselves in a situation they cannot cope with. 

As an example, a dog may be barking, snarling, lunging and in some cases, even make contact with the other dog/person.  But in this moment they may not be feeling hostile towards them.

 

This is a learnt behaviour and not aggression. 

 

You need to understand and focus on the motivation behind the behaviour rather than the behaviour itself. Most dogs who exhibit aggression are fearful There are some dogs who are aggressive but they are few and far between.

 

Please visit out Problem Solving page for information on how we work and how we can help your dog.

The Dog Partnership 2011

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