Dog aggression is the bane of many dog owners. Aggressive dogs are sources of tension and fear, and causes social awkwardness that makes it difficult for you to pass owners and their dogs on the street.
Interdog aggression, occurring when a fight between two dogs erupts, is particularly dangerous and leads to the severe injury of both dogs. Separating formidable dogs in a fight takes a great deal of risk and may lead to owners being injured themselves.
Hence, being aware of the signs of interdog aggression is highly necessary. Knowing why dog fights start helps you nip them in the bud.
Warning Signs of Dog Aggression
Recognizing the signs of dog aggression, whether in your own or another dog, allows you to take quick steps to prevent it. A dog communicates with its body and uses it to show his aggressive, negative feelings.
These signs are progressive.
The Rigid Tail
The first one s a rigid, straight tail. An upright tail tells you that the dog is feeling threatened by another dog’s presence.
Baring of teeth/ A Snarl
An aggressive dog would also bare his teeth. With his gums pulled back, the teeth and canines are obvious. A snarl is a sign that you should restrain your dog.
The Low Growl
He would also emit a low, menacing growl that shows his desire to get rid of the threat.
The Guttural Bark
His bark, too, would be low, unhappy and fierce. This is a bark he gives to tell the other dog to go away.
He may nip the other dog’s neck or tail as a warning. If you still have not removed your dog yet, now is the time to do so.
A nip usually leaves no mark.
The dog slowly gives in to his aggressive feelings and snaps at the other dog.
The dog begins to bite, with different degrees of severity. Some bites may create enough pressure to bruise the skin. Others cause puncture wounds. Dogs usually aim for the neck and face areas.
As the fighting becomes fiercer, one dog may bite the other repeatedly, in rapid succession. These are quick bites that cause the skin to tear.
Interdog Aggression : Why your dog fights with other dogs
Dogs show these signs of aggression for various reasons. A dog has many grounds for wanting another to go away.
The first of these is that it is protective and territorial. A dog is a loyal, responsible animal. Its instinct is to protect you and your property. You may not want to discourage such behavior entirely. It is prevalent in livestock guardian dogs like the Great Pyrenees and the Newfoundland,
After all, the duty of dogs is to guard you and your belongings.
A dog may also want to guard its own property. It becomes aggressive when it wants to prevent its food or toys from being taken by another dog. This is otherwise known as territorial aggression.
Experiences Were Not Positive
To add, the dog may have negative experiences. Rescued, abused dogs, in particular, may cower in the corner and snap when anyone tries to touch it.
Frightened that other dogs may hurt or abuse them, they become aggressive and show what is known as fear aggression.
The Dog Was Not Socialized Properly
Further, a dog’s previous owner may not have socialized it properly. Lack of socialization is common in rescue dogs. A dog that has little interaction with other dogs and people is insecure around them sees them as threats.
It becomes aggressive and tries to protect itself from perceived intimidation.
Some Dog Breeds Are Prone To More Aggressive Behavior Than Others
Moreover, some breeds are more prone to aggression than others. Dogs bred for fighting, such as mastiffs and pit bulls, are definitely more ferocious than other breeds.
Their inherent tendency for aggression gives them a poor reputation and makes them the subject of negative news reports and publicity.
The Dog May Want To Protect His Status
Another reason for aggression is that the dog wants to stay as the dominant leader of a pack. If he thinks that another dog may oust him, he will defend himself with all his might.
Aggression is a show of dominance.
With knowledge of the telltale signs of dog-to-dog aggression and its causes, you are ready to take steps to stop it before it begins.