Without a proper education of dogs, their physiology, and personality, it can sometimes be easy to misread them. We, after all, are not dogs, and sometimes when we assume how they’re feeling, we’re not always right.
This can be a problem, especially when it comes to aggressive behavior. At Lupa K9, behavior modification is one of my most sought-after services, and in the many years I’ve spent providing dog training to San Francisco clients, many owners have misunderstood their dogs’ behavior to mean the wrong things.
Sometimes, inherent aggression in a dog goes unnoticed, dismissed as cute or quirky behavior. In reality, an aggressive dog is often a stressed one, and there are many things you can do to help them. Here are some types of dog aggression, and the signs you’ll want to look for.
Dog to Dog Aggression
Dog aggression is when your canine buddy is aggressive toward other dogs. You’ve seen this before, whether it’s in your own dog or other people’s. While most dogs tend to get along, sometimes there’s just a dog that has a bone to pick with other pups. Dog to dog aggression is usually characterized by intense eye contact, exposing teeth, and aggressive attempts to provoke or attack the other dog. You can usually tell the difference between two dogs playing and two dogs that have actual beef with each other.
If your dog is timid, reclusive, or otherwise angry towards people, you’re probably dealing with human aggression. This is when a dog doesn’t like close human contact, and it’s a serious issue, both for your dog and the people who may be victims of a dog bite.
One common trait in dogs is the “fight or flight” response, where they’re generally predisposed to avoid danger, but if they feel like there is no other option, they will act out aggressively. If you encounter a dog who’s not keen on receiving human attention, they could be aggressive toward humans. It’s best not to try to touch dogs like this unless you feel invited — even if they don’t try to leave your immediate area, they might lash out with a sudden and unexpected bite if they feel threatened.
While most dogs are content to be led around on their leashes with their owner, there are exceptions. If you have a dog that is normally a happy, carefree dog but shows visible signs of stress and discomfort when wearing a collar, they may be considered leash aggressive.
If they heavily resist wearing a leash, pull against you, bark, bite, or lunge, your dog probably feels stressed out and restricted by the leash. One of the best ways to treat leash aggression is to enlist the aid of a quality, professional dog trainer.
Do you have a dog that’s especially protective of certain “possessions?” This occurs most often with food, where a dog will suddenly turn defensive and territorial when a dog or human gets in their space. However, it can also happen with toys, their bed, or any other object they’ve laid claim to.
In severe cases, the dog might not be afraid to lash out at the intruder, potentially provoking a dog bite. Fortunately, food aggression can be treated with holistic dog training and behavior modification.
Of all these types of dog aggression, there is one commonality — they can all be helped through holistic, quality dog training. At Lupa K9, I have an extensive knowledge of dog behavior and the wide variety of ways that aggressive behavior can be treated. The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” solution for dogs and that each one will require its own unique approach.
I have years of experience training dogs in the greater San Francisco area, from San Mateo, to Alameda, to Marin County, and I’d be more than happy to train your dog with my innovative and proven holistic methods. Contact us today!