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Aggressive dog: are born or made?

Aggressive dog: are born or made

Nature or learning? When determining the dog's behavior and especially their aggressive tendencies, is eternal dilemma about which is more influential: genetics or education.

That individual genetic is important to establish trends of an animal cannot be denied: the genetic predisposition of the individual creates a show of some behaviors. It is sufficient to look at the tendency to take by mouth and collectors bring objects to show bark alert the guards, pull the sled dogs selected for this task, to work on pastoralists grazing, etc.. About this specific genetic background of each, then act education and experience of the individual that may enhance or reduce their initial trends.

When trying to analyze the role of genetics and learning in the subject of aggressive behavior, the task is complicated. Aggression is part of the repertoire of normal behavior of a dog and can be used to defend against possible physical damage or to protect a resource, such as food or territory. Depending on their purpose are identified up to 20 different types of aggression that can manifest independently of each other. Examples are aggression by pain, fear, predatory, instrumental. Despite being a normal dog behavior that has a specific purpose, there are cases where aggression can be defined as abnormal or pathological and in the case of exaggerated responses displayed outside the proper context or characterized by atypical sequences (Eg. absence of threats before the attack). In some cases this aggressive behavior depends on a true organic pathology such as hypothyroidism, poisoning, brain injury, etc.

Aggressive behavior dogs

The expression of the aggressiveness of a dog, besides its genetic basis, depends on the environment in which is located (i.e. the presence of provocation), its physiological condition (such as the presence of sex hormones), the possible presence of pathological processes, the experience you have received (prenatal, during the first months and throughout life) and the relationship between owner and dog.

Several studies show that there is a close relationship between type of owner and dog behavior. In a study on dog aggression toward peers, proved that the profile owner who owns a dog that attacks other dogs markedly differs from the profile owner who owns a dog "victim." The owner of a dog abuser usually does not have a strong emotional bond with the dog, often are interested in sports training disciplines including guard and defense and you usually use physical force to get the dog to obey. In fact many dogs intensify their aggressive behavior after being beaten and strap lugs. Aggressive behavior can also be intensifying due to a process of reinforcement, i.e. due to a real "training" to be aggressive: the same fighting dogs reach their full potential after a long (clearly illegal) training begins when they are still puppies. But regardless of the extreme case of fighting dogs, many aggressive behaviors are involuntary reinforcements and incentives from owners who are unaware of the effect their actions have on the dog's behavior.

Aggressive dog

So far it has been highlighted that an aggressive dog can increase the effect of learning, but the ability to modify aggressive behavior through experience is the basic principle used to retrain a dog that shows aggressive behavior unacceptable. Specific behavior modification exercises, good socialization representing a very effective preventive tool for reducing the likelihood that the dog, once adult, show fear or aggression toward people and other stimuli that are part of their usual environment is accompanied.

Genetic trends define an individual basis but from here the experience and education build the dog's behavior. So to control the aggressive dog is essential to work on the sense of responsibility of the owners and their expertise in education of dogs and preventing problem behaviors.


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