Dogs have been a man’s best friend for many years due to their loyalty, protective care and friendliness they show to their owners. But have you experienced some instances of aggressiveness in some dogs? Cases of dogs attacking innocent children or even mauling their owners leading to severe bodily injuries are many. In Some instances these have resulted to serious fatalities or even deaths. But dogs do not just change their behaviour overnight. There are tell-tale signs of developing aggression. When pet owners understand their dogs well, it is possible to spot the signs early and take corrective measures. So what really leads to this aggressive behaviour in a dog? Here are some reasons.


Like any other living thing, dogs too succumb to various illnesses. Illnesses in a dog may manifest in many ways such as loss of fur, acting lethargic, lack of appetite, vomiting severely or even a sudden gain in weight could be a pointer to a gastrointestinal infection. Body injuries like sore limbs could also cause a rather calm pet to be aggressive.


Some situations may leave a dog feeling threatened and scared. Mostly a dog in an enclosure may feel any intruder in their perceived space will cause them harm and may growl at, escape to a different location or attack when approached. Aggressiveness in this case results from the pet feeling under imminent danger and resorts to fight instead of flight instinct.


Depending on genetics, some dogs are known to be aggressive naturally. These breeds are selected for their hostile character to aid personnel in guarding and securing premises. They will not engage with an intruder to intimidate but rather they attack swiftly and if not restrained, they can kill. These include Boerboel from South Africa, Akita Inu of Japanese origin, Pit Bull Terrier, Presa Canario and Chow Chow. When you are looking for a friendly dog, it is better to generally avoid the aggressive breeds for safety of visitors and young children in your home.

Motherly Aggression

A dog with puppies tends to be overly protective anytime a person tries to get close to them. This is a normal instinct meant to secure the puppies. Caution should be exercised when approaching their kennel as the dog might mistake this for an attack on them leading to a hostile response.


After securing possession of something like food or toys, any attempt to take these away will trigger aggressive reaction from a dog. Straying dogs will get attacked for crossing these protected zones. Some dogs are known to curve out larger protective layers extending beyond their homes forcing their owners to leash them at all times.


Confining a dog for an extended long period of time makes it bitter and aggressive. This explains why chained dogs are the most likely to attack their owners or small animals within the home. Dogs just like humans need some freedom to move around and play. Forcing them into a kennel or tying them on a leash will make them anxious leading to aggressive temperament.


If your dog has been playful but suddenly develops some aggressive attitude, it could be a sign of pain from an injury. In order to stop further pain, hurting dogs will tend to lie in one place for long. Any attempt to handle or move them will be met with hostility from it. Injured dogs should be handled with extra caution at all times.


Some dog owners are happy to train their otherwise friendly pet to an aggressive one. They may be motivated by many personal reasons. When a dog is trained on aggressive techniques, it will repeat the same whenever an event it attaches to aggression happens. If a stranger shows up at the front porch, the dog may bark fiercely until the person leaves or gets restrained by the owner.


Depending on the situation that made your dog aggressive, it is possible to take early measures and bring the situation under control. There are pet behaviourists who will be able to advice you on the best way to handle any emergent aggression in your dog. Take the earliest opportunity correct it to prevent any harm to you or the ones you love. It could be fatally costly if not checked in time.  

Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Aggression in Dogs: Practical Management, Prevention & Behaviour Modification
Amazon Price: $49.95 $27.66 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 18, 2015)
This book does not just discuss aggression. It describes in great detail protocols to use for behavior modification. Starting with prevention, the reader learns about common mistakes owners make to promote aggression in their dog, and how to avoid these mistakes.