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Why Do Dogs Become Aggressive?

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Why do dogs become aggressive? Any dog that is aggressive towards people has a behavioural problem that must be treated with utmost importance and dealt with immediately.

Quite simply, no dog should be allowed to mouth, nip, or bite anyone. Every single time a puppy or an adult dog shows aggressive behaviour towards any human, child or adult, the behaviour must be corrected or addressed with NO exceptions whatsoever.

All dog owners are both responsible and accountable for their dog’s behaviour, and this is well-reflected in legislation which can fine or imprison any owner who doesn't take their dog agression seriously resulting in physical harm or causing alarm or distress to the public.

When you become a dog owner you undertake a duty towards both society and your dog to train it to be a well-mannered and obedient member of society.

A dog showing aggression towards humans can do so for many varied reasons. Some of the common reasons are dominance issues, fear, protective aggression, hormones, territorial aggression and more.

A dominant and aggressive dog which bites a stranger does not usually do so on the spur of the moment without any signs of problems having been evident beforehand.

It is your job to notice these signs if they are present in your dog. This kind of dog is acting on negative behaviour that has been allowed to develop such as sitting on furniture, jumping up on people, ignoring its owner, food guarding, playing rough with the children in the family, stealing food or other articles and so on.

Through a lack of corrective training from the owner in response to these early signs of dominance and bossy behaviour, the dog’s dominant behaviour escalates and the dog's sphere of influence becomes greater eventually extending to strangers in the street.

Lack of socialisation also can result in a dog that is fearful of other humans outside the family members. Sometimes this is directed at certain groups of people such as tall men, old people or young children. Without being properly introduced to strangers the dog is fearful of interaction from anyone outside the home. In fact, the dog learns from experience, barking, snarling, backing away or even biting people that such behaviour resolves the issue. Unfortunately it also reinforces the behaviour. The dog is quick to judge and react to anyone that it perceives as being threatening.

Other reasons why a dog may be aggressive towards people can be territorial, being physically or emotionally abused or being allowed to develop food aggression tendencies. Whatever the reason, no dog should threaten or attack a human unless it is a working dog trained to do exactly that (and in such cases the dog is trained fully to STOP on command unlike behaviourally upset dogs which attack wildly and without control or stop commands being possible).

Why dogs are aggressive towards humans is a highly complex area where there is no quick solution and no quick answer. Any dog that is showing even mild aggression towards other people is a danger and the situation should be taken seriously and dealt with promptly. Should someone be injured by your dog you could face legal prosecution and the dog will be destroyed which will be your own fault and not a nice thing to have on your conscience if you knowingly postponed taking action to correct the early signs.

If you think your dog may bite other people you should seek the advice of a professional behaviourist immediately...

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