Aggressive behavior in dogs: Possible causes
Aggressive behavior in dogs can be directed against people, against other dogs, or even things. The causes of aggression can be quite different.
Aggressive behavior is usually not innate. Almost always, it has to do with the wrong upbringing: Owners have been too lax, too harsh, or too inconsistent with their pets at various points, thus instilling the behavior. But other causes are also possible.
Insecurity and fear as a cause of aggression
Insecurity and fear can cause a four-legged friend to react in a moody and angry manner in certain situations. Often these fears also result from the upbringing or arise from the insecurity of the dog owner. If the animal does not feel safe at its master’s side, it may begin to behave uncharacteristically during play, minor scuffles, and other encounters with dogs.
Fear of dogs, of people, or certain things, of course, can be acquired by a furry nose through bad experiences. Who has adopted a dog from the shelter or from abroad often does not know what his four-legged friend has experienced and what is the cause of his fear and, therefore, aggressive behavior?
Guard and protection instinct or illness
A strong guard and protection instinct can also cause a dog to become aggressive. This danger exists primarily if it has not been worked on in dog training and socialization. In certain situations, the four-legged friend thinks he has to protect his owner and takes the upper hand – this can be very dangerous.
In addition, illness or pain can cause aggression in the dog. This cause is especially likely if the dog growls or bites as soon as it is touched in a particular place. In this case, be sure to go to the vet.
Wrong housing conditions or bad food
Poor housing conditions can also cause aggression. Too little work, attention, or exercise will ensure that the animal is not well, which may well manifest itself in negative behavior. In addition to physical activity, mental training is also crucial for keeping a four-legged friend balanced. Tips on the subject can be found, among other things, in the guidebook: “Keeping dogs busy: Ten tips against boredom.”
The wrong food can also increase the risk of aggressive behavior in dogs. If dogs are fed food that is too rich in energy, for example, with an excess of protein, this can overload the liver. The excess energy may then be acted out through aggression. In any case, you should take your furry friend to the vet if he suddenly displays aggressive behavior.