Reasons Why Dogs Get Aggressive

We all love our dogs. We know they’re man’s best friend. And as much as we’d like to assume that they’ll be gentle and affectionate with everyone they meet, it isn’t always the case. For instance, if you’ve ever been bitten or jumped on by a dog, you know what I’m talking about. But not all aggression is bad!

Fear-based aggression.

  • Understand your dog’s fears. If your dog is fearful, you need to understand what they’re afraid of and how they react to it. If a certain sound makes them cower in fear, or if someone has been aggressive with them in the past, this may be a problem that needs to be addressed with professional help.
  • Understand their past behavior. You’ll want to know what happened before the aggression occurred that might have caused it—did they see another dog while walking around outside? Did someone accidentally hit them with their hand? Was there another trigger? Maybe something you did? Whatever it was, make sure you can identify it so that you can avoid these circumstances in the future (or take steps towards addressing them).
  • Understand their current environment. Dogs are more likely to act aggressively when faced with overwhelming stimuli like noise or crowds–and if this happens too much for them (especially over time), then chances are good that something needs adjusting about where your dog spends most of its time–and/or who else spends time there too; depending on how often these occurrences occur!

Pain-based aggression.

If a dog is in pain, this can also cause them to become aggressive. If a dog is having some sort of medical problem, it may bite out of frustration and pain. The same goes for older dogs who have arthritis, or young puppies who are teething. These types of aggression are more common than people realize—so if your pet seems especially irritable or moody, you should talk with your vet about any potential underlying issues before assuming it’s behavioral.

Anger-based aggression.

Dogs can be frustrated by their owners for any number of reasons:

  • They’re not getting their needs met, like when you leave them alone too long and they get bored.
  • You don’t listen to what they want or need, like if you make them stay in the yard while you watch TV inside.
  • You treat your dog poorly, such as yelling at him or hitting him when he doesn’t do what you want.
  • You treat other people poorly around your dog, such as hitting someone who teases him or ignoring someone who is trying to help him.

Dealing with pain-based aggression.

If your dog is hurting, you can usually tell because he will exhibit some classic signs. He might be limping or favoring a limb when he walks, or he may change his behavior depending on where the pain is. Dogs with chronic pain can become depressed, withdrawn and apathetic. The best way to help your dog deal with the pain is to take him to see his veterinarian for an examination and diagnosis.

While it’s important for dogs with acute or chronic injuries to receive treatment from a professional veterinarian, it’s equally important for owners of healthy dogs to understand that there are some things they can do every day in order to prevent their pets from developing painful conditions later in life. For example:

Make sure your pet gets adequate exercise every day by walking regularly (or playing fetch), but don’t overdo it! If you’ve been exercising yourself by running around town all morning while wearing high heels while carrying heavy bags full of groceries back home at midday then please rest up so that later tonight when everyone else starts complaining about how tired they feel after work today then too late: You’re already dead.

Dealing with anger-based aggression.

Although dogs can be aggressive due to a wide range of reasons, the most common one is fear. When a dog experiences fear in some way, whether it’s due to an actual threat or something approaching their safety zone (like another dog), they have no choice but to become defensive and sometimes even attack out of self-preservation.

The second most common reason why dogs get aggressive is pain. Dogs that are in pain react aggressively because they don’t know any other way to express themselves besides using aggression.

The third reason why dogs are aggressive is because they’re angry! Dogs can be angry for so many reasons: from not getting enough attention from you, not getting fed on time or even if there’s just bad weather outside! Anger-based aggression is the hardest for us humans because we don’t know how else our pets can tell us that they’re mad at us other than barking at us when we do something wrong (or what appears like doing something wrong).

Dogs don’t want to be aggressive, but sometimes they don’t know how to express it in any other way.

One of the most common reasons why dogs get aggressive is that they don’t know what else to do. It’s not that they’re born with an innate desire to attack people, but rather it’s just an expression of their frustration and anger.

Dogs are social creatures who thrive in companionship with humans and other dogs alike—but some situations can make them feel fearful or anxious, which leads them to lash out at those around them. If a dog feels threatened by something or someone, like another animal that may be larger than him/herself (and therefore able to harm), he/she might exhibit aggression as well as fear-based behaviors such as barking loudly so you can hear him/her from afar.


Dog aggression is a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously, but it can be combatted with patience and understanding. If you’re worried your dog is being aggressive, it’s best to seek help from an animal behaviorist who can work on the problem together with you.