For some reason and I don’t know exactly what it is, people think that former abuse in a dogs life makes them aggressive. Wait a minute that can’t be right, I know precisely the reason people think that, that’s what many experts in the behavior field tend to tell them.
There is not a whole lot of responses a physically abused dog can display, one of the common responses of a dog being abused is that the dog becomes emotionally and physically shot and they live their life in fear. This is brought on by an overbearing asshole that on occasion have probably hit the dog.
The other common response is again an overbearing ass-a-hole that this time is actually afraid of getting bit by the dog. In this scenario because of the individuals fear of the dog, they tend to yell a lot and on occasion have probably hit the dog. The difference being that since you can’t hide your emotions from a dog, the dog eventually learns that by growling back at the shithead he can keep poopy head at a safe distance away from him. Effectively eliminating the chance of being hit again.
A side note to the above paragraph; Even in a loving home that has never abused their dog, the dog can still feel threatened and growl at the people. In some cases this is an obviously imagined fear on the dogs part, but it’s still an all to real fear to them.
In both of the above descriptions, the dogs are clearly showing fear aggression. To understand that this is fear based is of the utmost importance, failure to understand this will result in the wrong behavior modification approach. That would be akin too yelling at a crying child that is afraid of monsters, as apposed to trying to relieve that fear with gentleness, kindness and understanding.
The Spirit Dog