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Aggressive Dog Beahviour


by CHRISTINE EMERSON, dog behaviourist at Drove Veterinary Hospital


If so, I bet you feel dread and doom in the pit of your stomach. And I bet they are about 10 months to two years of age.

A friend once said, “There are old dogs and there are bold dogs, but there are no old, bold dogs.” Is that because they see the sharp end of the vet’s needle before their owner invests in behavioural advice? How bad is the aggression?

If it is directed towards children then it’s serious stuff - get help now! If it is towards adults, help is also needed before you get clobbered by the Dangerous Dogs Act. Any owner whose dog is ‘out of control in a public place’ (and your home can be classed as a public place) may be subject to prosecution. Dog rows on the other hand are nearly always just a furry whirlwind, over in a few seconds without a hair left out of place. It’s us that blow them out of proportion!

Dogs of the same household hardly ever row when they are on their own together. If a dog is a bully or a biter that’s different, and you must recognise that and get help.

However, dogs fall out with each other - the sooner we accept that and let them settle their differences the better. We cannot expect our dogs to like all the others at the park. They do not need to tolerate rudeness any more than us. It’s hard being a dog sometimes. If you change your reaction, she will too.



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