Fear Aggression, What You Should Know !

Fear Aggressive Dogs

For you to have a better understanding of exactly what fear aggression is, look at from a phobia point of view. The fear aggressive dog can display one type of phobia or a wide variety of phobias, such as; anthrophobia,  autophobia, brontophobia, cynophobia, iatrophobia , kainotophobia , ligyrophobia, monophobia, ochlophobia, ophthalmophobia.

There’s a lot more phobias I can list here, but I think you get the idea. Where people who are afflicted with what can be a debilitating phobia, rationally and logically, in their mind at least, can say  “I shouldn’t be afraid of these things”. Even though they may have a very difficult time getting past their own phobias, regardless of their logic.

Now, as much as we would like to believe it, our dogs simply do not have the reasoning capabilities, to think “I shouldn’t be afraid of that”. Not that those reasoning capabilities have helped out our dogs human counterparts, that are afraid of things.

By the way, all the phobias listed are human phobias.

  1. anthrophobia- fear of humans
  2. autophobia- fear of solitude
  3. brontophobia- fear of thunder and lightning
  4. cynophobia- fear of dogs
  5. iatrophobia – fear of going to the doctor
  6. kainotophobia – fear of change
  7. ligyrophobia – fear of loud noises
  8. monophobia- fear of being alone
  9. ochlophobia – fear of crowds
  10. ophthalmophobia- fear of being stared at

Fearfulness is not abnormal behavior for your dog, it’s normal.

Hope this helps you understand a little bit better why your dog shows fear aggression in certain situations.

Thanks for visiting

The Spirit Dog

See how once fearful dogs are now happy. https://www.facebook.com/SpiritAnimalSanctuary/photos?ref=page_internal

The Sanctuary http://www.spiritanimal.org/the-sanctuary/



© A.S. Papszycki 2013


From Sad Fear Aggressive Dog To Happy Dog

Scared Dogs

Some people have said “I work magic” when it comes to helping troubled dogs, while others have called me “A miracle worker”.  It’s very flattering and yes it does make me feel good. The reality of it is, I am neither a miracle worker nor do I work magic. Through many years of living with and working with many, many dogs I understand what makes them happy and I understand their fears. I have learned to communicate with them on their level, not ours. By using the most basic of all communication forms, emotions. This is the essence of communicating with animals.

What your going to see in the two pictures below, is Bruno. Bruno came to us (spirit animal sanctuary) from a Florida dog rescue, because he suffered from severe nervousness and fear aggression.

Nervous dog before Spirit

Nervous dog before Spirit

This is Bruno dealing with his demons, before spirit animal.


Bruno smiling at Spirit

Bruno smiling at Spirit

This is Bruno, after his doggy exorcism.


Who am I, I’m The Spirit Dog (Alan Papszycki)


Spirit Animal Sanctuary

Spirit Animal Sanctuary

The Spirit Dog

Spirit Animal Sanctuary
2539 East Road
Boonville, New York 13309

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

An Alpha Dog is like John Travolta

Alpha Dog Behavior

For those of you who didn’t see the comedy movie ” Get Shorty ” you’re not going to understand the reference. Sorry about that ! An alpha or dominant dog is EXACTLY like the character John Travolta played “Chili Palmer” in the movie, Get Shorty.  In the movie John Travolta plays a mob guy that is quite, calm, collected, the toughest guy around that doesn’t get excited or reactive to situations around him. He will try to avoid unnecessary confrontations when faced with them, but has no problem handling the problem if he has to.

Aggressive Dominant Dog ?

This is precisely how a alpha dog acts. They don’t growl, bark or act possessed when they are in unfamiliar situations or while meeting unfamiliar people or other dogs. The dogs that are often labeled by some dog trainers as dominant or aggressive. Are usually the nervous to very nervous dogs, that are acting out as big as they can in an attempt to scare away what they are afraid of.

Alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm.

The Spirit Dog

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

Visit Spirit Animal Sanctuary on YouTube.

Fear Aggression is Normal Behavior

In all probability you may think you have done something wrong, if your dog continues to display aggressive behaviors that are rooted in fear. Fear aggressive dogs are a very common problem for many people, this is due to the inherited behavior of the survival instinct that your dog is born with. A certain percentage of dogs, even though you did all the right things raising that puppy, socializing them with people, other animal, etc. Will start displaying the unwanted behavior as they start to mature.

A couple of reasons for this can be :

1- – Sometimes as our puppy starts increasing in size we start becoming a little uncertain about what his body language is telling us.  We may start to inadvertently desocializing our dog, because of our uncertainties and maybe we become a little fearful.

2- – Some dogs just need constant socialization and positive encouragement throughout their young adult and adult life, to be comfortable.

The Spirit Dog

Help save abused and abandoned dogs and we’ll sent you a T-shirt as our gift to you.  Donate to the animals.

Spirit Animal Sanctuary
2539 East Road
Boonville, New York 13309

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

Fear Aggression : Why Our Dogs Fear Strangers

Fear Aggression with People

Our dogs can display fearful behaviors, which can lead to growling, lunging and barking ferociously at strangers or distant family members and maybe even biting, mainly  because of us. You would be hard pressed to find anybody that didn’t take their new little puppy around everywhere they went, met tons of people, other animals, exposed to variety of different environments, while that puppy was young between the ages of eight weeks and three or four months old. This is our most comfortable time with our dog. She’s a baby, she’s cute, she’s adorable,  so full of love and everything is hunky-dory in the world.

So how does your dogs fear aggression of strangers or people, really begin. Well, this goes back to us again. At some point in the initial development of our dogs early experiences, we start to become  a little uncertain, a little uncomfortable and maybe somewhat fearful, as to what our dog may do in any given situation. We have become  nervous, we have become scared. This will become a giant hindrance and possibly have dire consequences on the overall sociability of our dog, down the road.

Early Imprinting

Much has been written about the importance of early imprinting on dogs during those first few months of life. While this is still a very important factor in helping many dogs to grow up and be a well socialized and happy member of our family, it’s not the determining factor in having a happy dog. We are the determining factor, in having a well socialized and happy dog.

Adopted Dogs

Much has also been written about how some adopted dogs may have been abused or had a frightening experience with a stranger, while that dog was young.  In some cases this will be the primary reason for a dogs fearfulness and fear aggression directed at strangers. But again, there are many dogs that are mistrustful of strangers that have never been abused or had any bad experience during those early stages of life. It’s just as common for a dog to have a wonderful family and be fearful of strangers as those poor dogs that were abused and or neglected.

Spirit Animal Sanctuary

How do I know so much about fear aggressive dogs? It’s simple. We get two kinds of nervous or scared dogs here at the sanctuary. Those that were horribly mistreated and abused at the early stages of their life and those who came to Spirit, from the most caring and loving of families you will ever find.  Sometimes just exposing our dogs to all the many stimulating things in our world, is just not enough.  Occasionally we have to search inside of ourselves and work on our fears and uncertainties, to help the nervous dog get over his or her fears.

The Spirit Dog

Spirit dog and Bloodhound
Spirit Dog and Bloodhound

Spirit Dog and American Bulldog, yellow and black Labs, Dutch Shepherd

Spirit Dog and American Bulldog, yellow and black Labs, Dutch Shepherd

© 2011 a.s.papszycki


Some Dog Bites are Not Dog Bites

I just got off the phone with one of the New Jersey animal rescue organizations that Spirit Animal Sanctuary, has helped in the past. They called me to ask how their two girls we have are enjoying the snow so far and to talk about a dog they recently pulled that was on the euth list. The dog they were talking about is a happy-go-lucky leash grabber, during walks. In this particular instance, a less than knowledgeable volunteer was walking the dog when the dog  jumped up to grab the leash and inadvertently grabbed the volunteers hand as well. This freaked the volunteer out who immediately returned the dog to shelter staff, saying he bit me. Because of the dogs playful exuberance there was scraps that did break the skin, so the dog was put into mandatory quarantine for observation before being put to sleep.

We have a couple of dogs here at the sanctuary, that in all probability have bite records against them because  nobody ever taught them how to use their mouth gently during play. This is one area were we should take the time to teach those less experienced individuals (even though they think they have a lot of dog experience), the difference between to rough play bites and real bites. And it’s real easy to tell the difference. Does the dog have a happy face and eye’s, when he grabs you or not. It really is that easy and hopefully you can accurately tell the difference, between play and not play.

Here’s to hoping more people get it, so less dogs are euthanized.


The Spirit Dog

Spirit Animal Sanctuary
2539 East Road
Boonville, New York 13309

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Random Aggressive Behaviors

Many dogs display what I like to call random aggressive behaviors.  What exactly is random aggressive behaviors, you must be wondering.  Well I’ll tell you, random aggressive behaviors is any behavior that can lead to a biting incident or an attempt at biting that can manifest itself randomly in the dogs mind.  This type of behavior in dogs although is not that uncommon, is one of those things that really confuse most people as to why it happens.

To say this behavior is a little confusing, frustrating and emotionally stressful  for those animal lovers that have dogs like this, is  putting it mildly. It is unquestionably, emotionally extremely stressful for the whole family.

OK, so what do these dogs do ? These are the type of dogs that will seek you out for some loving attention, and occasionally stiffen up and either bite you or attempt to bite you. Or they can be quietly laying down near your feet and when you get up to change the TV channel ( oops, showing my age here) the dog growls or snaps at you. There are a couple of other scenarios along the same lines, but I think you get the general idea.

Why does my dog do this ? This part is easy. This is NOT aggression, and this is NOT dominance. This is a FEAR based behavior, regardless of what some dog training professional will tell you. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it does make sense to your dog. Let me try to explain it this way, many people live part of their lives in fear because of some type of phobia. To someone  not inflicted by an emotionally crippling phobia, it hard for them to understand or even make sense of  how it can affect some people.  After all, isn’t fear just in your mind.

The fear your dogs has, in his mind anyway. Is that he’s going to be attacked, and he’s going to act preemptively to remove his perceived threat.  From a logical and analytical standpoint, WE know that nothings going to hurt him. But the mind is a powerful and sometimes confusing thing,  just ask the millions of people who have phobias.

Thank you for visiting.

The Spirit Dog

Please Visit Spirit Animal Sanctuary’s New Facebook page.

FYI, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_phobias

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