Aggressive behaviors in dogs are natural and normal. Experts in dog behavior acknowledge that some types and breeds of dogs do show an inclination towards aggression, but they also agree this is NOT ONLY due to an interplay of genetics, but also due to the environment of the animal and the animal’s upbringing including it’s health and training.
Irrespective of the age old nature Vs nurture debate, it goes without saying that certain dogs are moody based on genetics that acts as a switch board for their mood swings from time to time especially for German shepherd and Labrador that are generally hotheaded in nature so if you want a good article for explanation, you can very well try here.
The genetics of mean and agressive dogs are not completely understood by most experts…but we do know that centuries ago while in the wild, dogs needed to be aggressive to hunt, to shield themselves from other creatures, and to protect their food and sleeping quarters. Selective breeding over the decades has changed the nature of certain breeds drastically and minimized aggression in these breeds. Of all the animals we humans have domesticated, the dog is the only one who has has allowed itself to acknowledge the authority of humans without question. Our dogs depend on us for survival.
When matched with owners who deliberately abuse and neglect them, the ultimate result is a mean dog with aggressive dog behavior including aggression towards family members, strangers, and dog on dog aggression. Some owners even unintentionally encourage aggressive behavior through rough play such as tug of war or encouraging their dogs when they growl at strangers and other animals. Growling should never be encouraged or tolerated. A growling dog is always a threat and this type of behavior should never be tolerated.
The recent Michael Vick Dog Fighting scandal has brought much light to the fact that bad dogs can become good dogs with the proper dog behavior training, and I’d like you to visit further down this lens for more information on that and what has become of Michael Vick’s dogs today (23 months and $1 million dollars was not enough punishment for this type of dog cruelty). This is a case where indeed the owners and organizers should have been prosecuted for manslaughter to take responsibility for the dangerous behavior of these dogs and for promoting dog on dog aggression and dog on dog fighting.
As dog lovers and companions, there is a lot we can do to prevent aggression through dog behavior training. There are many steps as “man’s best friend” we can take to effectively recognize and deal with aggressive dog behavior efficiently.
SOCIALIZATION…SOCIALIZATION…SOCIALIZATION It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to introduce your dog to different places and people. Your dog relies 100% on you to broaden his/her horizons through consistent and positive experiences. With socialization you are teaching your pets that new experiences don’t have to be scary experiences…and with lots of consistent socialization, aggressive dog behavior can lead to happy dogs that integrate well into society.
Spend lots of time with your dogs. Show them lots of love and affection and play with them. Love them as you would any other member of your family. They are looking to you for guidance and boundaries. Boundaries and rules make things clear to your dog, and frequent dog training and obedience work is essential to a happy and loving pet.