Dog Aggressive Does Not Mean Human Aggressive

May 14, 2012

Dog Misconception #14

We’re kidding a bit here, we don’t actually have a list but there are a lot of misconceptions about dogs floating around.  Let’s put one of them to rest today.

Just because a dog doesn’t play well with other dogs, doesn’t mean the dog is or will eventually become aggressive with humans.

As a larger dog overnight and day care facility, we see dogs with a huge range of dog socialization skills: from dogs that can play all day with pretty much any dog to dogs that simply can’t be around any other dogs.  There are many reasons that may lead to dog on dog aggression.  Sometimes it’s just the way the dog is hard-wired.  Could be due to poor socialization as a puppy. It often is aggression stemming from fear (I’ll get you before you get me).  Or, a strong prey drive  which leads the Great Dane to chase the Chihuahua like he’s a rabbit, which never ends well for the rabbit.

Dogs that don’t play well with others need special handling and special parents, especially in an urban environment.  They can still make wonderful pets (we live with one such dog in addition to Splash).

There’s no reason to jump to the conclusion that a dog aggressive dog will ever be anything but a complete sweetheart with people.

4 Responses to “Dog Aggressive Does Not Mean Human Aggressive”

  1. Lia de Ruiter

    My Boxer Cody was aggressive to other male dogs. He would especially go after dogs larger than he was… Small male dogs were usually left alone, he would sometimes even play with them. Female dogs and puppies were no problem at all, but I had to witness many fights between my Boxer and other large male dogs. Usually they would injure Cody, hardly ever the other way round. Only once, when he jumped on a greyhound, which ended up with a slipped disk. My insurance company wasn’t too happy… Neutering my Boxer after this attack didn’t make any difference. Training didn’t work. What worked in the end was the Bach Flower remedy Holly (for jealousy) to my surprise. 

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