“She is biting the kids – but she’s not aggressive! She just wants to play!”
“He rushes up to other dogs and fights break out – but he is just being friendly – he is not aggressive!”
“She’s growling at strangers – but she is not aggressive.”
These are things I hear almost daily and I want people to know – it’s okay. I know your dog is not a bad dog.
I know that when your young dog mouths your family members, he is not being aggressive – he is being playful and doesn’t know any better that teeth are not allowed on people.
Mouthing and play biting and straining on the lead out of frustration are not aggression.
If the dog is growling, this can lead to aggression and in fact many trainers would define growling as an aggressive act.
Just because a dog is acting out of fear, it doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t cause harm. In fact, most aggression comes from some type of fear or insecurity.
To a degree…
Aggression is built in to every dog.
It’s a tool built into their instincts to protect them and help them survive.
Aggression brings down a hunt to feed and nourish them.
Aggression wards off threats to protect them from harm (hence fearful dogs will growl, lunge and bark)
No matter why a dog is displaying aggression, being that they are living in the human world, aggression from dogs is not acceptable – but there is hope.
If your dog is displaying aggression, seek the help of an experienced trainer.
If your dog is one of those dogs who is mouthing, biting, lunging or making people feel threatened through unruly behaviour, but is not aggressive, much of this can be solved with some basic manners training and a better understanding of how dogs communicate and why they do the things they do.
To start learning how to understand your dog better and address these unwanted habits, visit the free Dog Matters Academy hub here.
Woofs and wags