One of the most common issues and serious behavior concerns for dogs is their aggressive nature. It is also the main reason owners will seek help from dog trainers, behaviorists and even their local vets. The term “aggression” can refer to a variety of issues a dog may have. Because a dog is still an animal, they will naturally become aggressive when defending their puppies, guarding territory and protecting themselves or those that they love. When they live in groups, they use aggression in order to maintain peace and create their own form of social control.
When a dog is called “aggressive” it can mean a variety of things. Aggression is a broad category of behaviors that often begins with subtle warnings but if ignored, could lead to a vicious dog attack. Some aggressive behaviors a dog may exhibit include:
- Threatening barks
- Giving a quick nip that does not leave a mark
- Giving a quick bite that tears the skin
- Biting with enough pressure to cause a bruise or small puncture wound
- Showing their teeth
- Biting and shaking the object
- Repeating bites in rapid succession
Types of Aggressive Behavior
If you think your dog has the potential to become aggressive or your dog has been aggressive in the past, it is time to consider the type of aggressive behavior your dog has and determine if your dog is potentially dangerous to others. The common types include:
- Territorial – This is when a dog becomes aggressive as they protect their territory. Whether that is their home or bed, they defend it from intruders. It is not unusual for a dog to want to protect its home, but if your dog becomes aggressively territorial – such as attacking anyone or anything that enters the property, it may become an issue later on.
- Protective – This is when the dog protects those that are in danger. In most cases, this occurs when a dog is protecting their offspring, but it can also happen when a dog is protecting their human family. While this behavior is normal, if your dog becomes overly protective to the point people cannot enter your home or come near you and your family, they are more likely to attack later on.
- Possessive – Dogs, just like their territory, are possessive of their food, nesting sites and mates. A dog can attack when their food or bed is threatened.
- Fear – Most dogs exhibit the flight response and will run away from what scares them. But, some animals may attack instead of flee.
- Defense – When a dog is threatened, they may become defensive and instead of retreating, they will become aggressive and protect themselves or others.
- Predatory – This is the most dangerous type of aggression and may involve the dog chasing individuals that are running, on skates, etc. There is rarely a warning before these types of attacks and it can even catch owners off guard.
Were You Attacked by an Aggressive Dog?
Most owners are aware that their dogs are aggressive in nature and many have seen them exhibit warning signs that they are about to attack or may attack in the future. If you or a loved one was injured by an aggressive, dangerous dog, contact Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. at the Dog Bite Law Firm. We offer free consultations, so contact us online or call 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) now.