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How do you know if a dog is aggressive?

How do you know if a dog is aggressive? Aggressive dogs are rare. Dog Aggression is not. Aggression most often occurs due to poor handling, putting your dog in a situation you are not ready for, or not respecting your dog. Motley Dog Training handles these factors by teaching you “how to drive your dog.” This process deals with most dog aggression issues, leaving only the truly feral dogs, the legitimately aggressive dogs or the anxious dogs that are aggressive because they are afraid. So, what is fear aggression?

Aggressive dogs: What questions do we need to ask? – NCBI

Fear & Self Protection in dogs

The majority of persistent dog aggression problems are due to anxiety and fear. They are not the same thing. But, scaring or startling even a nice pooch can end in a dog bite. Confining a dog or corning a dog may result in fear and a nasty dog bite. If your dog is sick or injured you may be bitten due to a pain response or a perceived need for self-protection Beyond these occurrences of normal fear responses, you have anxiety.

Fear aggression in dogs

Fear aggression in dogs is an Anxiety Disorder, so please see also, Motley Dog How do you know if your dog is Anxious & Treatment for Anxious Dogs. Thank you. Here are some descriptions that may help you understand dog aggression and the body language of dogs that are aggressive.

How do you know if a dog is Aggressive?

Canines are masters of Non-verbal Communication: Good Video to watch. CLICK

Motley’s check list

  1. Environment : is this a relaxing place for your dog or not?
  2. Freedom and opportunity to escape or defend. Is your dog able to leave the situation or not
  3. Respect for the dog and listening to the dog. It is always the dog’s choice. This is why we do not offer good citizen certs. Listen to and respect what your dog it telling you and others.
  4. Get to know your dog. If your dog is not a lady socialite, give the parties and puppy day care a rest. Respect your dog. No, not all dogs are social butterflies.
  5. Medical status and current injuries

If all the items on the list are adhered to and your dog still becomes aggressive. Contact Motley for help.

The conclusion is that if your dog is not put in a situation where fear is a smart choice, or they feel a need to protect themselves and your dog does not have dog anxiety (fear aggression) you are the proud owner of a truly aggressive dog.

Wolves and wolf dogs are great examples, do not believe for a second that wolves fear you or that they are unpredictable. They are smart and use aggression and avoidance to their advantage. They seem unpredictable because we do not understand how they communicate as well as we should. Feral Dogs fit into this category. Hybrid or wolf dogs tend to get confused between their dog side and wolf side and therefore are unpredictable, more fearful and more likely to suffer anxiety.

No fear, Motley Dog was a feral dog, and we have experience with other feral dogs, wild dogs and even wolves. We even have experience with aggressive people, so, we’ve got this.

Frequently Asked Questions about dog aggression

What is the most common cause of aggression in dogs?

Fear and aggression are normal emotional responses that have evolved in all animals to improve survival. If your dog is acutely afraid, this is called anxiety. Anxiety in dogs and people is divided into two major types, generalized anxiety and specific anxiety.

Experience or lack of experience such as not socializing your dog, abusing or neglecting a dog will make anxiety worse but, your dog has to have the genetic potential to be “prone” to fear related disorders for your dog to suffer from anxiety. This is also true for dog aggression.

People confuse fear, anxiety and aggression all the time. The cause of most dog aggression is improper handling by you or the public at large. Forcing a dog to meet people or other dogs, startling the dog, jamming a body part like your hand into the dog’s face or my favorite trying to kiss a strange dog on the face. It is also ill advices to retrain a dog, corner a dog or run towards a dog. Fortunately, many see appropriate defense of one’s self as aggression, most dog bites are caused by poor handling that is the answer to this mystery.

Why do dogs bite?

Simply, improper handling, being in an environment you and your dog are not ready for, or injury and pain.

What causes a dog to randomly be aggressive?

Sometimes a dog that is normally not aggressive or fearful, can become aggressive. The short answer is, go see your Veterinarian. Dogs that are in pain or just not feeling right are “touchy” just like we are, so, any sudden behavioral change in your dog requires a trip to the vet.

What are aggressive dog behaviors?

Becoming still and rigid, growling, snarling, baring teeth, lunging, and nipping or biting. These are the overt signs, not all dogs are kind enough to send clear non=verbal comms. Or warnings. Keep an eye on your dog and what they are focused on. Before any act of aggression, the predator will stare at and focus on their target. Know your dog. Dogs seldom just react, like when you startle a dog. The “gear up” know your dog and pay attention. Two Motley Dog Basics, know your dog, and get in front of the behavior.

Minim How common is dog aggression?

It’s common for dogs to behave aggressively toward unfamiliar people. Some studies report that as many as 60 to 70% of all pet dogs bark threateningly at strangers and act unfriendly when around them. Aggression toward unfamiliar dogs is also widespread.

Dogs are predators so, poor handling, being in situations you are not ready for and expecting your dog to be the most social creature on the planet means that dogs have to assert themselves. You may not agree with their assessment or behavior but, it does not mean you have an aggressive dog. You need to work on learning how to drive your dog.

Is aggression genetic in dogs?


Just as with anxiety, experiences make your dog’s phenotype worse or better. That is up to you. We can help.

Researchers at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that dogs have a genetic predisposition to aggression directed towards an owner or a familiar dog; this fear and aggression is not the same as when those feelings are directed toward unfamiliar dogs and humans.Aug 26, 2016

Do you have questions about dog aggression?

Understanding Dog Language – Nervous to Aggressive Behaviour, Nigel Wood.

Understanding Dog Body Language – Learn how to read Kristin Crestejo

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