Aggressive behavior

We often interpret aggressive behavior with dogs fighting, which is not always the case. Aggressive behavior has many different faces in dogs… 

Research on aggressive behaviour

Research shows that aggressive behavior can relate to friendships and love between dogs, all the way back to when dogs and wolves lived in packs and met each other in the wild. When two different groups met, many questions would arise among the animals: Should we fight them? Should we chase them away? Or how should we react? The packs actually found out that instead of killing each other, they could join forces and become a large group. This way, the new and larger group would ensure better survival opportunities.

This behavior reflects that dogs are also capable of suppressing aggressive behavior when they see that it is not profitable or when there are better alternatives. We have chosen to continue breeding this suppressing behavior by classifying dogs into primarily three categories:

A dogs – Very aggressive and dominant dogs, these are not desired for breeding.
B dogs – Neutral in terms of aggression, these can be bred.
C dogs – Very little aggressive, these are preferred for breeding.

Ultimately, aggression is a drive in dogs, and this drive usually shows up when dogs start to become half-grown, not as puppies. This is either because they have learned aggression through upbringing or incorrect training, or because it is deeply ingrained in them and we have not taught them anything else.

Read our article: Behavioral theories

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Why are dogs aggressive?

Often, aggression is bred from ignorance, which means that one may not necessarily know how to approach another person or another dog. The dog and owner simply have not learned how to do it properly, avoiding outbreaks and aggressive behavior. This is something we have focused on a lot in our Online Dog Training, so that one can get the necessary tools, either not to have an aggressive dog at all, or to teach their dog to get rid of it.

If you train your dog according to calm principles, focusing on your own daily life and making everything into nothing, you will not experience your dog incorporating aggressive behavior. The method that guarantees you against aggressive behavior, which we have also developed ourselves, is called REASOM; Reward, Energy and State of Mind. Basically, it is about rewarding your dog for the positive energies in a calm state of mind. This is not only a training for your dog, but also for yourself. If you want to learn more about our REASOM method you can read more here.

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Meeting other dogs

Meeting other dogs can create feelings of doubt or anxiety for you as a dog owner, especially if you are afraid that other dogs will make outbursts or that your own dog might do so. The question is, do we even have to greet other dogs? And if we do, how?

Dogs should not be allowed to greet rude or aggressive dogs. It can be difficult to interpret whether a dog is aggressive at first encounter, but rudeness can easily be interpreted. If you encounter a dog that barks, pulls, jumps, or dances, it is not necessarily aggressive, but just rude. In the case of a random encounter with the above, we ask our dog to sit and stay. If the other dog calms down and finds peace, then they can be allowed to greet each other and play, otherwise not. It may sound harsh, and you may ask yourself “Can my dog not greet other dogs at all?” Of course, but to put it roughly, you wouldn’t want to greet a loud and outgoing man or woman on the street without more ado either.

Dogs copy each other – and that’s what you risk by allowing these meetings with other dogs to take place. If your dog is rewarded for jumping and dancing, it will take it further. You may be able to control your dog while it’s a puppy, but as soon as it becomes a teenager and thus larger, and still hasn’t learned to meet dogs in a proper way, it can develop into aggression. This is where we come to pull the leash to stop the bad play, and it actually reinforces the problem because no one likes to be pulled, and we certainly don’t advocate this kind of harsh and physical training.

Just like you and I, dogs are hugely visual, so they can see what we do and copy it. If we therefore help the dog on its way and show that one can also meet calmly and quietly without jumping and dancing, you will soon experience a much more calm dog, both at home and on your walk.

You can also read our article: Socializing

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