The Reality of Social Aggression In Dogs And How To Stop It

aggressive behavior in dogs

Dogs are social creatures, but there’s a difference between dog-social and dog-aggressive. Social aggression is an instinctual behavior that stems from generations of breeding for traits like aggressiveness and dominance.

Social aggression can be difficult to stop, but with the right methods, it is possible.

This article will discuss how to recognize social aggression in dogs, why they do it, and what you can do about it!

What is social aggression in dogs?

Social aggression is a term that encompasses many forms of visible canine aggression, from snarling and snapping to lunging or baring teeth. 

The form of aggression can vary depending on the individual dog’s breed, gender, social rank within the pack hierarchy, genetics, learning history-experiences living near humans-and life adversities. 

Young dogs are more likely to engage in play-biting when establishing their place within group boundaries or when they are defending their territory. 

Female dogs may want to establish dominance by demonstrating higher rank over other female dogs when they’re not pregnant or caring for an infant. 

This type of aggression has been called “Territorial Aggression,” but it appears unrelated to any specific territory. 

Fearful or anxious dogs may become defensively aggressive when they feel cornered and can’t escape.

The following video provides a good example of social aggression in dogs:

In the video, you’ll see two German Shepherds playing together. 

The black dog is submissive by rolling over and exposing its belly, while the white dog is dominant by standing over the black dog and growling. 

Social aggression in dogs can get out of hand quickly, so it’s important to train your pet not to engage in these types of behaviors from a young age!

Why do some dogs exhibit this behavior?

Dogs that exhibit social aggression behavior typically experience low self-confidence and need reassurance they’re not in charge. 

The reason for this separation in dominance is because these dogs don’t know how to be in control and use their sense of sight and smell to figure out when intimidation is needed or whether or not they should back down. 

If you can help your dog with basic obedience training, the dog’s chances of becoming dominant will reduce significantly. 

If you’re looking for ways to show your friend some love, try low-risk activities such as walks rather than high-energy events like playing ball. 

It helps if you add new experiences such as making eye contact, talking calmly to your pet while petting them without touching too much, and rewarding calm behavior with treats.

In general, social aggression is usually a response to feeling threatened or anxious in some way. 

Fearful or anxious dogs may become defensively aggressive when they feel cornered and can’t escape. 

If you can help your dog feel more confident by providing positive reinforcement for good behavior, you’ll be less likely to see these types of behaviors. 

Social aggression is a natural, albeit scary, behavior in dogs.

How can you stop or prevent social aggression in dogs?

Aggressive behavior in dogs

That is a difficult question because the best answer will depend on the dog, their home environment, and your familiarity with them. 

Nonetheless, there are some principles that you can apply in general.

Bullying in dogs is often related to one of these three issues: 

1) The dog is playing rough-and-tumble play but has unintentionally overstepped its bounds for this type of play.

That is usually due to a lack of understanding of physical limitations or abilities. 

2) The bully upsets another animal by nose-poking them in the nostrils (like “tagging”) 

3) A conflict occurs when two competing males are alone together with only females around.

If you can identify which of the three is causing your dog’s bullying, then you may be able to work on that specific issue. 

If it is #’s one or two, increasing education and supervised playtime with other dogs (or humans) should help curb the behavior. 

If it is #’s one or three, neutering or spaying your dog is often recommended. 

Social aggression in dogs can get out of hand quickly, so it’s important to train your pet not to engage in these types of behaviors from a young age!

Benefits of training your dog.

Training your dog with social aggression behavior is not an option. 

You need to do everything in your power at the first signs of it to make sure that you give him enough negative reinforcement until he understands that aggression is no longer an appropriate response.

Doing this lets the trainer control the situation and self-police their dog, which can be beneficial for issues like dominance hierarchies or any other dangerously aggressive behaviors. 

The more experienced a dog becomes with this type of training, the less likely they will have an outburst of anger because they know what type of cool-down exercises will help them feel better. 

Those who do not take proper steps early on might find themselves incapable of preventing a savage outcome from escalating into something that cannot be undone.

Obedience training can be a lifesaver for dogs with social aggression issues, but it’s important to start as early as possible and be consistent with the training.

Tips for preventing your dog’s social aggression 

Aggressive behavior in dogs

– Don’t take away toys or treats from your dog when they are with you to avoid jealousy.

– Add another member to the household, like another human or animal, and it can sometimes help ease tension between pets.

– Try feeding your different pet food. For some, the type of food may be causing aggression due to an allergy.

 You can try moving on o lamb and rice or turkey and barley if they react badly to chicken and rice. 

Spend more time playing with your pet to bond but let them know that their turns come relatively quickly, don’t allow them to overact with whining, etc. 

It encourages rivalries between multiple pets and jealousy towards humans! 

– If all else fails, consult a dog behavior specialist who can help assess the situation and provide a more tailored solution. 

Social aggression in dogs can be a complex problem to tackle, but it is possible to achieve success with patience and perseverance!

Conclusion

Social aggression in dogs is a seemingly natural, albeit scary, behavior.

Social aggression can stem from many different reasons and should be dealt with immediately to prevent it from developing into more aggressive severe behaviors. 

Training your dog for this type of behavior is not an option.

You need to do everything in your power at the first signs of social aggression to make sure that you give him enough negative reinforcement until he understands that aggression is no longer an appropriate response.