Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Dogs Are Aggressive If Trained Badly

pitbullHere is an interesting article from ScienceDaily.com about the origins of aggressive dogs. Not surprisingly it concludes that, “it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.” Check it out and tell me your thoughts in the Comments Section.

Many dogs are put down or abandoned due to their violent nature, but contrary to popular belief, breed has little to do with a dog’s aggressive behaviour compared to all the owner-dependant factors. This is shown in a new study from the University of Córdoba, which includes breeds that are considered aggressive by nature, such as the Rottweiler or the Pit Bull.

The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.

The research team from the University of Córdoba (UCO) has determined a series of external factors which are inherent to the dogs in order to understand their aggressiveness, and they have observed that external, modifiable and owner-dependent factors have a greater influence on the animals.

According to Joaquín Pérez-Guisado, the main author of the study and a researcher from the UCO, some of the factors that cause aggressiveness in dogs are: first-time dog ownership; failure to subject the dog to basic obedience training; spoiling or pampering the dog; not using physical punishment when it is required; buying a dog as a present, as a guard dog or on impulse; spaying female dogs; leaving the dog with a constant supply of food, or spending very little time with the dog in general and on its walks.

“Failure to observe all of these modifiable factors will encourage this type of aggressiveness and would conform to what we would colloquially call ‘giving our dog a bad education'”, Pérez-Guisado explains to SINC.

The study, which has recently been published in the Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, is based on the following fact: approximately 40% of dominance aggression in dogs is associated with a lack of authority on the part of the owners who have never performed basic obedience training with their pets or who have only carried out the bare minimum of training.

Breed has less influence on aggressiveness
The Spanish researchers studied 711 dogs (354 males and 357 females) of which 594 were purebred and 117 were half-breed dogs older than one year of age. Among the breeds observed were the Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Alsatian, the Boxer, the Rottweiler, the Doberman, as well as apparently more docile breeds such as the Dalmatian, the Irish Setter, the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever, the Miniature Poodle, the Chihuahua, the Pekinese, or the French Bulldog, which also exhibit dominant behaviour.

According to Pérez-Guisado, certain breeds, male sex, a small size, or an age of between 5-7 years old are “the dog-dependent factors associated with greater dominance aggression”. Nevertheless, these factors have “minimal effect” on whether the dog behaves aggressively. Factors linked to the owner’s actions are more influential.

To correct the animal’s behaviour, the owner should handle it appropriately and “re-establish dominance over the dog”, the researcher adds. In terms of physical punishment, Pérez-Guisado points out that “this method cannot be used with all dogs given the danger involved, although it could be used to re-establish dominance over puppies or small and easy-to-control dogs”. However, “it should never be used as justification for treating a dog brutally, since physical punishment should be used more as a way to frighten and demonstrate the dominance we have over the dog than to inflict great suffering on the animal”, the vet states.

According to the researcher, “dogs that are trained properly do not normally retain aggressive dominance behaviour”. Pérez-Guisado attributes this “exceptional” conduct to the existence of some medical or organic problem, “which can cause changes in the dog’s behaviour”.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
fuzzycrow
fuzzycrow
11 years ago

I like this post. I used to be very afraid of pitbulls. Just the sight of them made me cringe. Then my son got a pitbull puppy. One day my wife and I went to visit our son. I went over and sat on the couch and this little pup came over to me and laid his head on my shoe and went to sleep. I was won over immediately. I fell in love with him. He is about a year old now and one of the best dogs I've ever seen. He is very well behaved and playful. He will even fetch a stick. He's the only dog my wife will allow in the house. My son has done a really good job training him. Thanks for the information. I agree that proper training is one of the keys to a non aggresive dog.

fuzzycrow
fuzzycrow
11 years ago

I like this post. I used to be very afraid of pitbulls. Just the sight of them made me cringe. Then my son got a pitbull puppy. One day my wife and I went to visit our son. I went over and sat on the couch and this little pup came over to me and laid his head on my shoe and went to sleep. I was won over immediately. I fell in love with him. He is about a year old now and one of the best dogs I've ever seen. He is very well behaved and playful. He will even fetch a stick. He's the only dog my wife will allow in the house. My son has done a really good job training him. Thanks for the information. I agree that proper training is one of the keys to a non aggresive dog.

dr
dr
9 years ago

Dogs can be aggressive if trained badly – and using physical punishment is bad training. There is no scientific evidence that dominance theory applies to how dogs learn and behave. There is, however, a study on the effects of being “dominant” with a dog, which basically concludes, aggression begets aggression.

chrissy
chrissy
9 years ago

I have a 4-year-old male rescue collie who is naturally dominant & confident in personality, but due to 14 mths of puppyhood abuse, he suffers extreme fear aggression which is mostly irreversible though I have managed to moderate it.  Added to his dominant personality this means I have to instantly recognise which behaviour is uppermost – dominance or fear, or both together.  Physical punishment in his case would be dangerous, cruel & counterproductive, but in the 3 years he’s been with me he’s responded really well to kindness & lots of gentle handling combined with regular food dominance techniques.  I think for any abused dog, food domination is kinder & more likely to bring results without worsening fears, than any other “physical punishment” which can provoke panic rather than respect.

Luni2nsgal
Luni2nsgal
9 years ago

Bravo ! I wish this were published in every newspaper across the US ! There are so many City’s and Town’s that are instituting, or trying to, get laws to say Pit Bulls are not allowed in their jurisdiction. How crazy is that / Make a Law that cruel stupid Owners are not allowed in Town , is more the truth !!

Mahler75
Mahler75
8 years ago

These opinions are absolutely opposite to the result of a survey proving, that confrontational methods in fact CAUSE aggressive behavior in canines.  There is no such thing as “dominance” towards a dog, since there is no hierarchy between animals of different species.  This article is badly written and represents very outdated views – like advocating physical punishment: something all veterinary behaviorists will agree, is a massively bad idea.

SUBSCRIBE TO
DOG FILES

Top Posts

More Articles...

Find out why over 8000 dog lovers have already joined!

Receive our newsletter, get special deals & stay updated.

Sign Up For the
DOG FILES Newsletter!

Food & Treats

Toys & Training

Beds & Essentials

Health & Grooming

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Why haven't You Signed up For our Newsletter?

Find out why over 8000 Dog lovers have already Joined!

Receive our newsletter, get special deals & stay updated.