Aggression in Dogs

Aggression in Dogs


Dogs are our loyal companions, but dogs have their bad days too.  Sadly aggression is a common problem for pet parents making it the number one reason for seeing a professional trainer.  If your dog is demonstrating aggressive behavior, the first thing you should do is bring them to the vet to make sure there is not an underlying problem that is causing them pain.  Dogs may show aggressive behavior to guard their territory, protect themselves when they feel frightened or because they are stressed by changes to their environment.  Pay attention to your dog’s body language because you will usually be able to detect if your dog is upset before they act out.


Aggressive Body Language:

  • Intense stare
  • Bared teeth
  • Flattened ears
  • Hackles up
  • Tense muscles
  • Growling
  • Deep threatening bark


If your dog has aggressive tendencies, pay attention to what is going on to trigger the behavior.  Most dogs are not mean by nature so if you can determine what activities, noises or animals upset them you can manage their behavior.  Most cases of dog aggression are caused by a dog feeling fearful, threatened or territorial.  Some dogs get riled up from rough play and others simply need their space.  Talk to your veterinarian or a trusted animal behaviorist to find training techniques or medications that will help sooth your dog so we can all get along.






“Reactivity to stimuli” is a temperamental factor contributing to canine aggression.


Aggressive dogs: what questions do we need to ask?


Cerebral metabolism in dogs assessed by F-FDG PET: a pilot study to understand physiological changes in behavioral disorders in dogs.


Leadership and path characteristics during walks are linked to dominance order and individual traits in dogs.


Sequence comparison of prefrontal cortical brain transcriptome from a tame and an aggressive silver fox (vulpes vulpes).


Inhibitory control of the defense-aggression reaction including its cardiovascular components.


Injuries due to human and animal aggression in humans.