What makes Dogs Aggressive

It is not uncommon to hear people arguing about how aggressive one race is over another. However, this is an injustice, as well as being a false myth fueled by media such as caricatures or cinema. Unfortunately, the bad reputation acquired by some breeds leads them to be in some cases prohibited in certain regions, determines a low adoption rate and can lead to the sacrifice of those animals categorized as “violent”. Here we ask ourselves, therefore, are there aggressive dogs or are they just dangerous owners?

To clarify this aspect it is necessary to start from the assumption that no dog is born aggressive. There is a clear element and it is the tendency to develop aggressive personalities due to a gene of territoriality or dominance present as a characteristic of the breed. Nonetheless, it is only an inclination, and it can be easily avoided through a proper education process.

Even breeds with a lower territoriality index could develop aggressive attitudes if not trained well, and the worst thing is that this phenomenon is quite common. The aggression of dogs is linked to two very important factors that we will explain below.

The lack of socialization

Just as human beings raised in situations of extreme isolation develop unusual attitudes that can result in resistance to life in society, even a dog that has not been allowed to share life with other animals or living beings will develop personality disorders that they will lead to aggression.

Usually in these cases the dog is not removed from its environment, a factor that makes it even more attached to the territory and protective towards it, and consequently will not allow access to any stranger, whether it is man or animal.

Socialization should be done as soon as the puppy has completed their vaccination plan (as he would be vulnerable to bacteria and viruses from other animals before), and should be carried out both inside and outside the home.

It is good for dogs to develop bonds with other animals, as they are creatures belonging to hierarchical and complex social structures.

Mistreatment and abuse

A physically abused, abandoned or isolated dog will be an animal with a low level of trust, which will lead to them developing a nervous and distrustful personality of strangers. Nervous dogs should be treated with the respect with which an animal at risk is treated, as if they feel encircled they can react aggressively as a defensive measure.

Abuse causes profound psychological damage in dogs, which will hardly ever lead them to have trusting relationships with other animals, especially if they have been linked for a long time or away from everyone.

The category of abused animals includes those that have been trained to attack others, as in the case of fighting dogs, which will necessarily need to undergo therapy in order to overcome the traumas of a life spent fighting and to be able to establish social bonds with other animals.

A dog that has not received affection is unlikely to take a path other than violence, and this will lead them to react negatively. Much of the problem is due to a lack or excess of discipline towards dogs, as well as a lack of knowledge of the characteristics and needs of a particular breed.

Attentions and care

To prevent a dog from developing antisocial characteristics, it must be grown by trying to reinforce their trust in others. It will also need to be fed properly so that it does not feel the need to fight for food. It will have to be disciplined without violence, take them for walks so that it comes into contact with other living beings and has different experiences.

It must be taken into account that a sick or injured dog may come to aggression as a response to the pain it is suffering. For example, if your dog has been injured in a certain place and you touch them there, the most likely thing is that it will grunt at you and bite you to tell you to leave them and not cause them pain. The best way to avoid aggression is to understand what it is generated from.

Breeds considered dangerous

Unfortunately often, due to the bad habits of many people in the face of the education of their animals, as well as due to the false myths that have remained etched in the minds of many, it has come to the sanction of laws condemning the possession of some dog breeds. Among them we find:

  • The Dobermann
  • The Rottweiler
  • The Pitbulls in all their variations
  • The Bull Terrier
  • The Tosa Inu
  • The Neapolitan Mastiff
  • The Fila Brasileiro
  • The Dogo in its different variants

Depending on the country, more or less breeds may appear on the black lists, and are often accompanied by parameters of coexistence such as taking them for a walk with a muzzle, while in other countries the possession of those dogs is categorically prohibited.

However, as specified at the beginning of this article, the danger lies not so much in the breed as more in those irresponsible or dangerous people who lead dogs to become violent creatures.

Dog BehaviorDog Food and Nutrition
Dog TrainingDog Grooming
Dog HealthTips for Dog Owners
PuppiesDog Breeds
Dog AdoptionTravel with Dogs