The neighborhood and local dog park are ravaged by the presence of hostile dogs. You could be bitten by them. You must first understand why they are hostile and then determine what you can do to change their behavior.
There are two possible scenarios: a sick dog that is yelling at you, or a puppy who is expressing their anger over a family change. It’s not surprising that our dogs become hostile in a world full of anger management classes and road rage.
Signs a Dog is Aggressive
Talk to your vet if your calm Labrador suddenly begins snapping at children or cats, growling, and snapping. Sudden aggression can be caused by rabies, thyroid problems, brain anomalies and pain.
Fear aggression is the most common reason a dog can bite. It comes from panic. An animal may choose to flee when it is faced with danger in the wild. If this is not possible, the animal will fight. Fear of being threatened is a major reason for dog hostility. Fear of being threatened could be deeply rooted in a past that was abusive or a lack of socialization. Fearful puppies will retreat quickly, showing body movements such as lip-licking and cowering. If the pup is caught, he/she could turn on attack mode and bite.
A puppy that isn’t exposed to the sounds and sights of the world can become anxious if it is not. A sudden noise or a friendly person’s advances could cause the dog to lunge at the stranger or jump up at them. Many breeders are not interested in socializing puppies and can walk the halls of shame. Puppy mills have led to dogs being born to stressed-out mothers, who leave a legacy of fear and hostility on their children.
Animal shelters are used to seeing beautiful, designer dogs being surrendered or taken into custody by authorities who don’t trust them. The neighbors were not happy with their expensive Schnoodle and their constant barking.
There is no end to the free-flowing of dog breeding and unscrupulous people will continue to keep puppy mills afloat as long as they are profitable.
Some dogs who haven’t been spayed or neutered can show aggressive tendencies. Male dogs can become aggressive if they feel a female is in heat. This can be due to their desire to mate. Canine Journal states thatan increase in testosterone levels may make males dominant and nearly impossible to train.
Bully-boys may sense the submissive dog and start to fight. This can lead to injury. The timid puppy hides behind their eyes and tries to blend in with the dominant dog.
Dogs that have a high prey drive can be great drug-sniffers. However, if they are not satisfied with their need, an English Foxhound or Chihuahua may chase any moving object. These dogs were raised to hunt foxes or rats. The family cat, joggers and cars may also be targets. Babies should be kept away from dogs that are aggressive and prey.
The wild wolves guard their meat, and the pups can also be protective of their food. Resource guarding is a result of puppyhood, when some junior dogs enjoyed all the food. These bossy puppies could become more mean with their toys and food. The owners might be used to their dog’s spitting and drooling.
A woofer who wants to claim one of the humans is another cause of home hostility. Hyper-attachment occurs when your Chihuahua becomes the pet-dad. As this cute, snarling Chihua turns on the charm for his dad, this midget mutt growls, lunges and jumps at everyone else, mom and kids can’t see him.
ASPCA warns that it is not a good idea to get into the middle of fighting between two dogs. The hostile dog will turn its attention to you. They’ll get all fired up and may even attack you. These can be very painful as a pumped-up dog whacks your nose and mouth shut. They could then snap at you or give you a nip in an effort to keep you away.
Your pooch’s aggression on leash can ruin your walk. They will pull at any dog that is in their path and lunge at them. As they run wild at dogs walking by, this reckless reactor doesn’t care about etiquette. This is fine if the pup is a smaller one like a Maltese, French Bulldog or Maltese. But it can be quite dangerous if a Mastiff (or German shepherd) is leading the charge.
The History of Hostile Dogs
The family-orientated wolf lives in a pack, an ideal set up for survival in the wild. Their canine children have adopted humans and co-exist in homes where they no longer have to hunt for food or guard against predators. Wolves had to turn on aggression when the pack was threatened, but are social creatures like their doggy infants.
Dogs have learned to avoid hostile behavior, just like humans. It’s counterproductive to peaceful living. Dogs and humans both have aggressive natures. However, they can seek counseling. A dog that is abused by its guardian could end up in a dangerous place.
Romans used dogs on the battlefield to terrorize their enemies. They also used them as entertainment at the Colosseum. Dog fighting has been the sport for insidious souls since centuries. This is why breeds such as the Pitbull or Rottweiler have a WARNING tag.
Dogs have been living with us for between 15 and 30,000 years (the debate continues with the numbers). They look up to us for guidance. Dogs, like children, learn from their parents’ wisdom and how to live in the world. Dogs don’t always do it right, and kids don’t always get the job done. They can make mistakes, just like humans.
Science Behind Hostile Dogs
Animal behaviorists are adamant there are no bad dog breeds – just owners who haven’t done their homework. While the right choice of dog to match your lifestyle and living arrangements is a sensible approach, a new study featured on Eureka Alert, and carried out at the Arizona University, explores the hormones that could be making dogs hostile.
Researchers were interested in understanding why certain dogs behave like Cujo when walking on leash. They recruited dogs with this problem to participate in the experiment. They focused on the oxytocin hormone, which makes mothers love their babies and dogs adore them – as well as vasopressin (a hormone that can increase aggression in humans).
Their owners kept the dogs on a leash while recording a mutt barking behind a curtain. A yoga ball, a trashcan, and a cardboard container were also given to the dogs.
The dogs were not interested in the objects, and the woofers who reacted aggressively to the dog’s barking caused a spike in the vasopressin hormone. Researchers had previously tested assistance dogs, and found high levels oxytocin. This is consistent with their caregiver role.
It was believed that testosterone was the primary reason dogs became aggressive. Dogs with this problem were then given anti-depressant drugs to increase serotonin. This fascinating experiment reveals the importance of vasopressin. Researchers believe that oxytocin, which is a love-lifting hormone, could be used to aid aggressive dogs.
Our dogs can experience a life-changing event that alters their hormonal balance, just like humans. This is a great opportunity for dogs to be treated with compassion, and it also shows how our genes are convergent. Dogs can be treated for behavioral problems in the same way as people.
Tips to train your Hostile Dog
All forms of aggression in dogs can be addressed through training methods designed to modify behavior. One of the most common forms of hostility is fear and aggression, which often has a trigger, and that can be people coming to your home.
Dogs can become fearful and aggressive due to lack of socialization or past experiences that were dangerous. You can change your pup’s view of strangers entering your territory by giving them a bag full of treats and letting them know that you are open to having friends over. Your dog should be on a leash. The person can enter your home and place the treat on their floor. This turns fear into something more pleasant and lets the person who is bringing gifts know that they are not to be afraid.
Trainers believe that the only way to get dominant dogs to follow the rules is to shock them with a collar or alpha roll. These punishments ignore scientific studies that show woofers are aware of their feelings and may even be self-aware. What dignity is there in making a dog feel pain to control their aggression? There are always reasons for behavior, whether they’re hormonal, genetic or human.
Dr. Sophia Linn, a champion of force-free training, said that wolves don’t fight their way to the top, and instead live in families with their wolf-pups. If a person is to assume the alpha, and highly-debatable, dominant role with a dog they must be strong enough to keep it that way. Dogs should not be forced to follow the lead of a human dictator. Dog trainers assume that dogs require a Conan-style leader who will punish them if they don’t follow the lead of their ancestor wolves.