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What Are The Different Types Of Dog Aggression?

What are the different types of dog aggression | Primal Needs - aggressive dog trainers in Sacramento

Just like humans, dogs need to express their emotions. The behaviors of a dog can be examined to understand how the dog is feeling. One of those dog behaviors also includes anger of aggression. Dogs generally show aggression reacting to a stimulus, to protect themselves or cause harm to other creatures. As they can’t talk, aggression is considered a common form of communication. The various types of dog aggression show the different emotions they are feeling. Well-trained pet dogs show lesser aggression compared to strays. General ways of showing aggression can be barking, growling, staring, or even biting. 

There are many reasons why dogs show these behaviors. For instance, abandoned or abused dogs might be triggered in some environments. Creating safe environments, showing love, and aggressive behavior dog training can be helpful. According to the level of repetitive aggression a dog is showing, proper medications and training are required. Ignoring aggression or punishing them for it might increase such behaviors. 

When it comes to dog behavioral issues or aggression, you can definitely count on dog trainers. Primal Needs is one of the best aggressive behavior dog trainers in Sacramento, they deal with all sorts of dog aggression. Besides providing aggressive behavior dog training, they also provide the best dog obedience classes in Sacramento.

Different Types of Dog Aggression:

Dogs generally exhibit various types of aggression throughout their life. Some of the types of dog aggression are as follows:

Fear/ Anxiety Aggression:

This type of aggression stems from a fear stimulus. This aggression might be directed towards humans, dogs, or inanimate objects. If the dog is anxious or unsure about a certain outcome because of being trapped or cornered, fear aggression might arise. Their aggression might show offensive or defensive body language just like fight or flight in humans. Dogs usually show actions like retreating, cowering, baring teeth, or might bite the ‘attacker’ and run away. 

Irritable/Disease-Related Aggression:

This happens when a dog is in a state of physical pain or discomfort. Similarly, when the dog is experiencing any kind of infectious or non-infectious disease, it tends to be more restless. To heal the dog, going to the vet is the first option to calm the dog down. 

Sexual Aggression:

This typically occurs during the courting period usually between two males competing for a female. It might also happen before mating towards each other. If they show aggression towards human owners, it generally means that they are not having the opportunity to mate. To cure this, pet owners generally neuter them to remove hormones and thus harsh behavior. Allowing the pet to mate would become a problem for owners as aggression might become worse.

Frustration/ Redirected Aggression:

It might occur to a pet dog if they are impaired from something like a leash or frustrated because they can’t achieve a goal. In the case of redirection, when the dog tries to aggress towards one stimulus but another stimulus comes in between. It might happen that a dog is being restricted from accessing other humans or dogs. Generally, over-leashed dogs, especially those who gain a sense of abandonment early show this type of behavior. 

Social Conflict Aggression:

When a dog shows aggression towards other dogs or people they know, it is called social aggression. The dog usually tries to show dominance in the presence of the other party.  They might result in a full-fledged fight and such behavior need to be addressed in the early stages of the dog’s life. 

Possessive Aggression:

This type of aggression is usually learned over time or due to internal conflicts. Also known as resource guarding, this occurs when the dog is protecting its possession from being used by someone else. For example, if a dog is used to playing with a toy, it might not approve of some other guest dog touching it. This might occur if the dog learns to keeps all the toys to itself and doesn’t even let the owner touch them. 

Territorial Aggression:

This occurs when a dog is protecting a particular location or territory. It might protect a particular room, its doghouse, or even a specific area. This might develop due to a control complex behavior to prevent other dogs or humans to access their area. It might be more common in a small space. Correct disciplining of a dog through restriction commands can help reduce territorial aggression. Since this type of aggression is innate, training the dog about boundaries and when protection is necessary can help them change. 

Maternal Aggression:

When a female dog feels the need to protect its offspring, it might show maternal aggression. Female dogs detect pheromones and attack an intruder that poses a threat to its offspring.

Predatory Aggression:

This type of behavior arises due to a chase trigger when a dog perceives something as its prey. It happens due to its predatory nature, which is intrinsic to its DNA. They might be triggered by small animals like squirrels or cats. Noisy environments like high traffic, bikers, or joggers might also mislead the dog. Reward-based training might make the dog more obedient and change its perception. Showing aggression can also be inherited.

Dog Breeds That Shows Aggression:

Some dog breeds are just known for their aggressive behaviors. For example, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and American bulldogs.  While almost all dogs face territorial threats, some show predatory or dominant aggression. Dogs usually learn from past experiences and showing such behavior helps them avoid dangerous outcomes.

Generally, young pups show aggression because they lack social maturity. Such behaviors need to be controlled at a young age by using aggressive behavior dog training. This doesn’t mean that the lack of socializing a dog might not be a reason behind its triggers or aggressive behavior. However, exposing dogs at a young age to multiple environments might keep their aggression in check. There are many proven ways that help to stop aggressive behavior in dogs.


If a dog shows repeated signs of aggression, its mental state and health could not be healthy. Their behaviors need to be discussed by the vet and improve their situation. Even then, such behaviors could only reduce but not cured. In that case, pet owners generally avoid situations that might trigger their pet. Curing an aggressive dog is necessary because it might become harmful to other animals or the owner themselves. Therefore, dogs need to be conditioned to certain situations by rewards, punishment, medication, or otherwise.

Hope this article will help you to know about different types of dog aggression. If you have any queries or suggestions then do let us know in the comment section below. And, for more such useful content stay connected to Primal Needs.

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