Dominance Aggression in Dogs

Dominance Aggression is the most common type of aggression. It is usually caused by the dog's human family not knowing how to treat their canine friend.

Dogs are family members, but they are not humans. They needed to be treated that way. If yours is not, he may soon assume the role of “top dog” and that can soon lead to serious trouble.

Three things are important:

  • Your dog needs to learn that she is at the bottom of the family hierarchy, even below that of young children and babies. That's a must.

  • Second,your dog must be required to consistently work for every treat, meal, petting and walk by everyone in the family. It might be simplyto require that she sit before exiting the door, or getting a treat, or always eating last.

  • If there is another dog in the family, you need to let them determine the dominance structure and follow it. Or sibling rivalry and fighting are inevitable.

First signs of dominance might include such behaviour as insisting on being petted, being first out the door, humping your leg, blocking your way. Not getting her way may result in her showing classic aggression signals such as growling, snarling, barking, lip curling, teeth showing and then overt aggression that can escalate quickly from nipping to biting and outright fighting.

Dominance aggression, like any aggression, must be dealt with promptly. Safety for all potential victims is paramount. For example, you may need to muzzle your dog, keep your dog in an enclosure, depending on the circumstances.