Dogs can be aggressive in order to assert their authority. Dogs who exhibit dominating behavior believe they must demonstrate their dominance over a situation. When they believe their status is being threatened, they will growl, snap, or bite. This is done as a form of protection.
If your dog growsls at you, it is not because he is happy to see you but because he is telling you to back off. He is putting you in your place by demonstrating that he is the dominant animal. Be careful not to take this action personally; instead, think about what caused him to react this way and work to resolve the issue then and there.
If you are trying to train your dog and things are going wrong, don't get upset with him. Instead, step back and observe how he is reacting. From there, you can figure out what you need to do differently so that next time he has a problem with you, you will both know what to do.
When a dog threatens or assaults people for correcting his or her behavior, this is referred to as dominance aggressiveness (also known as impulse control aggression). Physical restriction and control of food and toys are examples of situations that trigger this hostility. When a dog is terrified, it exhibits fear aggression. This can be caused by a threatening person or object, but also can be due to a perceived threat from another dog.
If you're walking your dog in a public place and someone complains about the damage being done to their property, use common sense before you accuse them of being the cause of your dog's aggression. Public places include parks, streets, hiking trails, beaches, etc. If your dog has shown any signs of aggression toward other dogs or humans, don't take him or her out in public until you have worked with a trainer to improve your dog's temperment.
Fear is the most typical reason for a dog's snapping. Possessive aggressiveness arises when a dog believes that food, a toy, or another object or resting spot will be taken away from him. When a dog bites a person but actually wants to bite another dog, this is referred to as redirected aggression. This behavior is also called "deterrent biting" because the idea is that if someone else can be bitten instead, they'll leave the dog alone.
A dog may snap at you if he fears something worse might happen if he doesn't. For example, if a dog snaps at you when you walk by his house, it could be because he lives there with his family and he doesn't want you to get hurt. He might not be able to speak words, but dogs do communicate with each other through body language. If a dog snaps at you when you go by his house, then he's telling you not to go there ever again!
Dogs can also snap if they're being teased by a friend or stranger. This person might be trying to play games with your dog, such as throwing a ball very hard. The dog might think this is a threat to his safety, so he has to defend himself.
Sometimes dogs will snap if they feel like they are being attacked even though you are only reaching out to touch them.
Aside from instincts, there are a number of other reasons that might lead a dog to exhibit territorial behavior. Aggressive territorial behavior can be caused by a lack of early socialization, sexual maturation, environmental variables, inbreeding, pack mentality, or an underlying medical problem. The most common reason for territorial aggression is when someone tries to introduce a new animal into the dog's territory.
If you're trying to bring a new pet home, first make sure that the animal is approved for adoption in your state. Some countries deny entry to certain animals (for example, those who have been declared dangerous), so it's important to know the regulations regarding pets before you travel abroad.
Next, consider the size of your family. If you have another pet at home, does its owner tend to protect his or her space? If so, you should expect the same thing with your new pet. Finally, if one of your neighbors has a dog that often enters yours off-leash, this could be cause for concern. While dogs need exercise and fresh air, they also need their own space; if your neighbor's dog is constantly invading yours, find another place to live.
If you identified any of these as the reason for your dog's aggressive behavior, then work with a professional trainer to fix the problem.
When your dog is excessively tactile with you, whether he is continually rubbing his body against you or pawing at you, it typically means he believes he is in charge of his relationships with you. This can be a good thing if you want to encourage him to learn how to relax around you, but not all dog-human interactions are positive. Sometimes the dog's behavior is inappropriate or even dangerous, so it's important to understand why he's acting this way.
It's normal for a dog to feel compelled to touch and be touched by others. If he experiences you as a threat, he may fear that you will leave him alone. However uncomfortable this may make you, try not to resist his advances. Instead, show him that there is no need to be afraid by giving him a calm environment to explore. You should also keep in mind that some dogs may feel threatened by certain people or situations and need space away from them. If this is the case for your dog, make sure he knows that he is free to come back anytime he wants, but for now, he should stay where you can both be comfortable.
Dogs use their noses to smell things out, just like us. They can also sense when someone is afraid or angry.