Fear Aggression

Fear Aggression in Dogs, a Quick Reminder

Remember fear aggression can be displayed in two main ways by your dog. Your dog can show fear or uncertainty in a given situation by being very quiet and still or by acting like a complete maniac. The complete maniac dog is routinely misdiagnosed as aggressiveness or dominance.

Often dogs that are displaying fearfulness DO NOT tuck their tail or have their ears pinned back against their head. Their body language will have a certain stiffness to them with their mouth being closed, almost clamped shut. Contrary to a lot of what is taught, their tails can be held high and their ears can be perky.

It’s these dogs and there are many, that display the quiet type of fear aggression that often freaks the dog owner out the most. Depending on the situation a person that is petting this type of nervous Nellie has a real good chance of getting nipped, by the dog.

As I have mentioned before when a person is explaining to a dog trainer or behaviorist what happened, they will often say ” The bite came out of nowhere” or ” The dog bit for no reason”. The problem with petting the quiet type of nervous dog ( the dog that doesn’t growl when they get nervous) is the people are usually not paying attention to the dog while they are touching him. They are having a conversation when they should have been paying attention to the dog.

The Spirit Dog

Copyright © 2009 A.S.Papszycki


5 Responses

  1. Hello Roberta,

    You have to use your emotions when trying to get her happy. The tough part about that is you have to show happiness and confidence in your body language, getting mad or upset is really counterproductive.

    You should get a muzzle for your dog when she is outside on the walks with you, so nobody does get bit. By doing this, you will start relaxing again because you now know nobody can get bit. You still don’t let her close to people, because you are trying to modify these fears in her brain.

    When she gets nervous, you HAVE to get happy and excited. Watch the following video when I’m outside with that dog, to see what I mean about getting happy and excited.

    You’re going to have to practice this stuff, before you become comfortable with it. And remember the muzzle.



  2. Ive been, walking her by my side, not a tight leash but a loose hold on leash, just in case of corrections. I correct when she shows too much interest in a dog like her lip quivers, and the hair goes up and the dog gets all too focused like. I tug on the leash sideways. Or if she is pulling I quick jerk the leash and get her back. Or if there are children I tend to bring her in a bit and correct if she goes to bark or jump. She barks allot at kids or passerbys. I crate trained her to keep her from destroying furniture, I have tried to keep her out of the furniture from using a weight set.. she like chewing holes in cusions.. and that worked, but she gets scared on her own almost.. I video taped it and it sounded like a hound on a fox chase.. insane. I do not let her out of the house first. I do give some treats every now and again for sitting and paw, and for my son and her to be buddies. If she growls I tried first submissive introductions, like putting her on her back until she relaxed – wasnt so good, then I tried calming her, and showing food and playing to change her attention elsewhere… didnt work, and now its to the point I am yelling for her to stop and telling her to go lye down.. cause nothing calms her she just stalks around like there is prey with her hair up and low growling.. rarely a bark…. I dont let her sleep on the bed… unless her blankets are in the wash.. I have a cold house. She shivers if I get mad at her, and I might not even be yelling.
    I try not to let her out of the kennel as soon as I get home cause she is in explosive mode, like she is winning and howling and shivering soo bad she wants out… vibrating with a wine.. like a weird vacume.

    When we play… she is agressive, like play biting.. not really biting but mouthing.. jumping, growling when she has her ball is that bad? And anytime I address her she goes submissive. OH my

  3. She is 1 year old, and it started back in August, when her brother and her were seperated. Now she follows us around, growls and cant stand being home alone, even though she is crate trained. Assertive as in a strong voice, not yelling – but stern. There is some yelling in the house, and she gets nervous cause of my son and boyfriend and the craziness of a family. If im mad at my son, she cowers in a corner… its hard to find balance there. I dont know what to do about the nervousness, I tried allot of things! OH MY lol

  4. Hello Roberta,

    How old is she ? About how long ago did it start getting worse ? When you say you are “assertive”, exactly how are you assertive ? How have you been attempting to train her now ?

  5. My dog, was always nervous, peed when a loud noise happens, or growls for no reason… and I mean no reason.. no noise, no visual stimuli just crouching low and growling… really stiff.. or we can be on a walk and she is starting to bark at people before she would just show submissive behavior like peeing a bit, or rolling onto her back and whining.. I honestly dont know how to train her, it just gets me angryier when she starts getting on with this. We love her.. but are starting not to trust her, we bring her on a walk down to the daycare, and she lunged at a kid today, and bark.. no snapping or anything but now im terrified to bring her on a walk.. I am assertive type of owner, demand respect which she gives me, and she is soo sweet.. but when the hair goes upand her lip quivers… it gets my nerves going …….. WHAT THE HECK DO I DO?

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