Aggressive behavior is usually caused by a dog's fear, stress and anxiety in a particular context. It can also be influenced by early socialization deficits as well as a dog’s genetic tendencies. Aggression is a normal evolutionary behavior in dogs that becomes a problem when dogs begin using it as an habitual way to resolve conflicts, protect access to resources or defend territory within their domestic sphere. Using aggressive behavior does not make a dog "mean" or "vicious." A dog's use of aggressive behavior is also not a permanent character flaw. Remember that aggression is a category of behaviors such as growling, lunging, biting,tooth displays and so on; it is not a mental state. The best way to look at aggressive behavior is as a series of actions, not the emotional values that are often imposed on those actions.
Aggressive behavior in dogs is most frequently caused by:
1. Lack of proper and early socialization
2. Lack of training
3. Unskilled use of aversive and punishment-based training methods
4. Traumatic experience
5. Genetic predisposition (poor breeding)
What are NOT causes of aggression:
If your dog is showing any signs of aggressive behavior, please contact me as soon as possible. I work with all forms of canine aggression, from resource guarding to dog-dog and dog-human biting behavior.
Most issues with aggressive behavior are motivated by fear, stress & anxiety. This is one reason why punishment is never a good response if your dog is barking, lunging or growling at other dogs.