Dog Aggression, what is it

The dreaded Pit Bull

***This is an edited version of an older post***

Today’s politics of bad dogs. Or is it crazy dogs. Just maybe, their insane. That can’t be right. No, no, no, wait I got it. Their scared, terrified, fearing for their life.

That’s right, their just scared.

It’s almost impossible for most of us, to understand that when our dog starts acting like a maniac. Barking, growling and snapping at people. Or when we have company or workers come into our home. That this is a nervous dog, trying his best to scare away whats frightening him.

The reason why this is so difficult for all of us to understand is simple. We have been taught for so long, that this is a sign of aggression.

When I’m called in to help a family with some dog issues, this is usually the #1 problem that pet owners have. Dogs that act crazy, when someone comes over.

For us to understand exactly whats going on in our dogs head, when he acts like this, We must have some understanding of fear. Under these circumstances, our dog is fearing for his life. Now you and I, both know he has nothing to fear, but fear itself. But your dog says,” yea right, their gonna try to eat me”.

Think of a child, that’s afraid of the dark. Or a child that thinks there’s monsters in his room. With a little effort on our part we can console them and tell them its safe. And in time, the child’s own intelligence’s takes over and those fears go away.

Or, have you ever been in a situation that made you scared and / or feared for your life. Most folks have not experienced something like that. While your in your car, driving through a different part of town. Where the people don’t look like you, do you lock your car doors.

If you live in the city or a heavily populated suburban area , do you walk across the street if you see some biker types. How about , people not the same color as you. What about a group of older kids. That you may think are, hooligans, ruffians, hoodlums, gang bangers. Ops, just some college kids.

As humans we have an abnormally high amount of fears. Dogs on the other hand, only have one fear. Fear that they are going to be attacked.

In the future, I will teach you how to get your dog over this fear. And it has nothing to do with socializing your dog…. Unless we learn how to relieve our dogs fears, socializing will only get us , part of the way there.

But right now its getting late, and I have to bed down our animals.

I’d love to here any thoughts you may have. Pro or Con.

you have yourself a great day. The Spirit Dog

Related Article

Aggressive Dog Bite or Nervous Dog Bite; The Difference


5 Responses

  1. Hello, It’s fantastic to find someone with love,knowledge, @ good common sense willing to reach out and help animals by helping people understand their pets better… I’ve been blessed with a gift of 99% of any critter I meet trusting me usually within 1-5 minutes. If not for a chow/ shepherd mix I doubt I’d of survived childhood, as he was best friend, constant companion @ babysitter for a 3 yr old who spent probly 6 hrs a day outside with no adult. He saved my life ( literally ) twice that I remember. Growing up with ” Demon” taught me what love and loyalty are, and made me choose to forever speak for ( those without words )… I’m also one of the few that can’t drive past a starving or injured animal @ pretend I don’t see it. Which is how I have 13 dogs, 2 horses, a cat, @ drive 10 miles one way to feed/water 4 other very abused dogs. I love your outspoken approach @ honesty. Look forward to more articles and have a zillion questions… Could you advise on female, spayed, poodle/ Taco Bell hussy must have a death wish since her goal in life seems to be her 12lb ass kicking a 60lb spayed pittbus ass… Have tried all I know, including using the Alpha dog method of me going nuts at nothing then calm, etc… Pitts been VERY patient so far, but I can feel the explosion coming…. Thank you so much and from my soul ” I SALUTE YOU”!!!

  2. Hello Jean,

    Hopefully you received my email. Thought you might find this article useful.


  3. I need to know if it is appropriate to test a 3 month old puppy who had just left a loving home environment to a shelter to have stitches removed from area where the puppy had lost their eye due to another dog attacking it? I left the puppy there for stitch removal and she fought them over it and were going to do it next day when she was sedated for spaying. I was fostering her and was bringing her back home. I had her 12 days and she showed no aggression. I called to check on her at 3;PM, THEY SAID SHE HAD BEEN SLEEPING MOST OF DAY, AT 4:45 a woman called me and said she had tested her and she was extremely aggressive and would have to be put down. I begged the woman to let me pay for behavior classes and bring her back, I begged her to let her settle in a couple of days as they had been messing with her stitches and her first day there. I told her I’d get a lawyer to draw up release to protect them as I knew she was a sweet puppy who had been through so much. Now I know her last day was full of stress and fear and her only peaceful time was 2 weeks at my home. This woman spent 1 hour with her and tested her with pulling her food away with fake hand, I spent 12 days with her, she was around 5 dogs, 10 people and my little grandchildren at my home she was submissive with my dogs, but did growl when petted as she ate, but never bit at me.She would eat out of my hand and was improving, had I known I would have worked much more with her. I didn’t know it meant whether she lived or died. I’m trying to do something about this and need any trainers etc to resppond.

  4. Thank you LWTK, It sounds like you already have it. That’s all we have to do with our, not so confident dogs. Get them happy, by us being happy. When any situation comes up, that makes them nervous. Positive love and energy, as you put it , is all we have to do.
    When your little guy starts to become nervous with big dogs or bikes, that’s when we have to turn our love and energy up a couple notches.

    As long as we can keep him focused on us,( where he is looking into your eyes) even if it’s just for a couple of seconds, in the beginning. We will be helping him out so much, in conquering his own fears.

    Thanks for reading, and have a great day with “Cujo”.

    P.S. The comments people make about your dog, are their own fears of dogs coming out. A real dog person would know what your little guy was going through, and would attempt to be a little supportive, as opposed to being a *$@!-HEAD

  5. I’ve been reading over your blog as I’m new here and I have to say how your attitude has warmed my heart.

    I have a little guy who gets scared quite a bit. Not surprising since he as he was found wandering on the expressway at 3 months old.

    He used to bark at EVERYTHING in a way that you could tell he was crazy scared. YOu couldn’t get his attention at all. Now though after alot of support he is mostly just barking at bigger dogs and motorcycles.

    Most of the other dog owners in the area frown on our little guy and act like he is Cujo. We’ve had so many negative comments, but he is the the most wonderful little guy.

    Anyway I think you’ve really nailed it with the idea that it’s NOT aggression it’s fear. I KNOW it is in my dog’s case, and it has opened up my eyes from my experience when I come into contact with other dogs that are “aggressive” too.

    I’m looking forward to see your comments on ways to alleviate fear as I think it may be going in the same direction we used with our guy. Lots of positive love and energy – lots of trying to convince him that the world is a pretty good place.

    Anyway just really wanted to say thanks as found your blog today and it was a nice read to make me smile this morning – so thanks

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