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Understanding Territorial Aggression in a Dog

Aug 18, 2007
It is quite natural for dogs to have some degree of aggression in one form or another. It is equally natural for us to expect some level of calmness in our pets since they are domesticated and well looked after. Therefore, it will help both the owner and the pet if you understand what makes your dog angry. Dogs are by nature terrestrial. They are wary of anyone encroaching upon their territory. Thus "territorial aggression" is the most common aggression behavioral problem seen in dogs. In simple words, a dog goes absolutely crazy whenever a stranger comes near their home.

Why do dogs display such aggressiveness? A dog takes it upon himself to safeguard his territory. That is a self-imposed responsibility a dog accepts willingly. So, he doesn't miss any opportunity to make it known that the area is his territory. However, to help you understand your dog better, we have listed the following scenarios that may aggravate your dog's aggression over his territory:

1. All behaviour patterns are reinforced by success and encouragement. For instance, when the postman comes near the house, the dog barks to tell him to stay away. The postman delivers the packet and moves on. The dog thinks he has been successful in driving the intruder away. This encourages him to display aggression more forcefully when the next stranger comes.

2. A similar situation is when your dog is riding in a car. He displays his territorial aggression by barking at every person he sees and every moving thing outside the window to assert that the car is his territory. Naturally, no one approaches a moving car and this gives him the impression that he has succeeded. Therefore, the dog will bark even louder to celebrate his victory.

3. Dogs like to bark for no reason at all, sometimes. They will bark at the door for some strange reason. May be they just like to hear their own voice. The common reaction to this unreasonable barking is that the owner shouts at him to keep quiet. However, it has just the opposite effect. The dog thinks you are supporting him and goes a step further to drive stranger or delivery person away.

4. No dog likes being locked up or isolated when there are guests at home. Even you wouldn't like that, would you? Your dog is a part of your family and wants to participate in all the activities at home. As an owner, you will soon discover that shutting him away is no solution. If you took your dog away to reduce the decibel level, you are totally off the mark, because now the dog is going to make much more noise. So, you might as well allow him to meet the guests.
About the Author
Jane Saeman is proud of her dogs and wants to talk with others who are as well.
A whole world awaits other dog lovers.
Find out how cute the dog in your life is at my website which is at http://www.PicturesOfMyDogs.com
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