Identifying Common Aggression Triggers

Identifying Common Aggression TriggersEach dog is as unique as their owner, and each dog has different triggers that set them off. While some dogs might be more sensitive than others, there are many common triggers that can result in aggressive behavior. If that’s the case for your dog, it’s important to recognize which actions and circumstances spark the behavior in order to prevent a potential injury or bite. Even more importantly, protect your pet with a comprehensive Canine Liability Insurance policy.


There are plenty of handling behaviors that some dogs are not comfortable with which include being picked up, touching certain parts of their body, bathing, nail trimming, anal gland expressing, ear, eye and dental exams, medication delivery, and more. As these triggers are often unknown until they happen for the first time, it’s important to monitor your pet’s behavior and remain calm during these procedures.


If your pet is a new mother, she is more likely to be aggressive to protect her puppies. Even a dog who is usually even-tempered and happy can perceive strangers as an additional threat during this vulnerable time.

Resource guarding.

Resource guarding is natural behavior. Dogs that resource guard will view approach by other dogs and/or humans as a threat to what they perceive to be valuable – be it the home property, the owner, a meal or a toy, or a preferred sleeping space, explains Dogster.

Other dogs.

Common aggressor-triggers in dogs come from intersex and type-specific aggression. Intersex aggression is usually caused by same-sex aggression for guarding a female dog for reproductive advantages. Type-specific aggression can be sparked from a deficit in socialization of a certain breed, size, or colored dog. Or, if your pet had a negative experience with a certain breed of dog, he or she might react adversely when coming into contact with that same breed years later.


Oftentimes, a dog will become frustrated by barriers including fences and leashes. If he or she cannot meet another dog or person due to one of these restrains, they might take out their frustration on a nearby person or dog.

Frustration aggression may also occur in relation to extinction, where reinforcement is removed for a behavior that has been previously continuously reinforced. If barking always worked to get attention but suddenly the owner begins ignoring the barking, the dog may experiment to find out if nipping is a more effective way of getting attention.



About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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