A dog is an instinctively aggressive creature. In the wild, aggression came in very handy: dogs needed aggression to hunt, to defend themselves from other creatures, and to defend resources such as food, a place to sleep, and a mate. Selective breeding over the centuries has minimized and refined this trait significantly, but there’s just no getting around it: dogs are physically capable of inflicting serious harm (just look at those teeth!) because that’s how they’ve survived and evolved. And Mother Nature is pretty wily – it’s hard to counteract the power of instinct!
But that doesn’t mean that we, as dog lovers and owners, are entirely helpless when it comes to handling our dogs. There’s a lot that we can do to prevent aggression from rearing its ugly head in the first place – and even if prevention hasn’t been possible (for whatever reason), there are still steps that we can take to recognize and deal with it efficiently.
- Different aggression types -
There are several different types of canine aggression. The two most common ones are:
- Aggression towards strangers
- Aggression towards family members
You may be wondering why we’re bothering categorizing this stuff: after all, aggression is aggression, and we want to turf it out NOW, not waste time with the details – right?
Well … not quite. These two different types of aggression stem from very different causes, and require different types of treatment.