Of the 21 different types of aggression in dogs, fear aggression is the most common. It is so common, in fact, that some dog owners mistake it for dominance aggression. And, while each form of aggression must be treated differently, diagnosing the type of aggression your dog is displaying is important.

What is fear aggression and how can you tell if your dog has it? Keep reading to learn the signs of fear aggression and what you can do for your dog.

What Is Fear Aggression?

Fear aggression in dogs is similar to the fight or flight response in any other animal in that when confronted with something scary, he decides to fight rather than flee. Most dogs will become submissive, but a dog with fear aggression will more than likely attack the cause of his fear.

What Causes Fear Aggression?

Typically, the main cause of fear aggression in dogs is that they were not socialised properly as puppies. They were not introduced to a wide range of sights, sounds, people or other dogs. Also, dogs that were abused at some point in their lives will often display signs of fear aggression.

What Are The Signs Of Fear Aggression?

So, what are the signs of fear aggression in dogs? Fear aggression is similar to dominance aggression with some subtle differences. One of the biggest differences is that dogs who are fear aggressive will display a cowering, retreating posture, while dominant aggressive dogs will not.

Another noticeable sign of a dog who is fear aggressive is that they will tend to lay their ears back against their heads, with their mouths open, showing their teeth and panting. Their eyes might be squinted so much that you can see the whites of their eyes.

A fear aggressive dog will typically start with a “snap and retreat” tactic because their goal is to get the source of their fear as far away from them as possible. While this might sound like typical dog behaviour, once the dog sees this tactic work on a regular basis, they will advance to more aggressive and damaging bites.

This type of fear aggression can never be “cured,” it can be controlled. This is where a professional dog behaviour specialist comes in. With the knowledge and experience needed to retrain your dog’s bad behaviour, a dog behaviour specialist can turn your fear aggressive dog into a completely new animal.

Contact Dog Harmony

To learn more about the signs of fear aggression in dogs, contact Dog Harmony today and speak to an expert dog trainer who can help relieve your dog’s fear aggression.

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