Problems Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior In Dogs

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Problems Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior In Dogs
Problems Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior In Dogs

Video: Problems Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior In Dogs

Video: Problems Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior In Dogs
Video: My Dog is Aggressive, What do I do? - How to Handle Aggressive Dog Behavior 2023, December

In cynological literature, questions of aggression or, in a narrower sense, anger occupy one of the leading directions. However, most often the ways of forming and training only one specialized aggressive reaction - anger towards a person - are considered in relation to the needs of specialized canine services. This, of course, is necessary, but there is another, no less important side of the issue: unwanted aggressive reactions that create serious problems for the dog owner and bystanders. The purpose of this article is to attempt to describe the most common forms of aggressive behavior, their biological meaning and the possibility of correction unwanted reactions.

To begin with, let's try to give a definition of the concept of "aggression". Everyone probably knows how this phenomenon looks. Many prominent physiologists and ethologists have dealt with the issues of aggression, to whom many definitions of aggression belong. Nevertheless, there is still no comprehensive definition that would fully correspond to the entire complexity of the phenomenon under study. Definitions such as behavior in which one organism receives painful stimuli or is exposed to threats and physical actions from another, while limiting the freedom or genetic fitness of the first individual, on the one hand, are too vague, on the other hand, do not cover all possible cases and forms of aggression. Let us explain with examples. The attitude of the predator to the prey seems to fit completely into the proposed definition, but here there are only physical actions and there are no threats, an inseparable part of aggression,Moreover, predatory behavior itself is largely determined by food motivation: hunger. The aggression against the prey weakens as it satiates, while the aggression of one male against the other, expressed in demonstrative threats, increases with time.

Shepherd dog in a muzzle and on a leash, photo photo of the dog
Shepherd dog in a muzzle and on a leash, photo photo of the dog

Another example: a young dog, meeting the owner, jumps on him so that he breaks his arm when falling, Physical contact and damage is evident, but what kind of aggression is there? A weaker male, when meeting with a strong rival, bypasses him far away, after which, with a growl, begins to scratch the ground, bite sticks, etc. There are no physical interactions at all, threats, too, but this is obvious aggressive behavior.

We will not go further into the jungle of theoretical reasoning and examples and agree to understand by the aggression of a dog a certain complex of demonstrative threatening behavior and direct physical actions aimed at other organisms or objects, and this behavior provides an increase in the individual's individual fitness.

At the present stage of development of biology, there is no sufficiently complete understanding of the mechanisms of aggression. It is known with the excitation of which brain structures the implementation of aggressive behavior is associated. In all likelihood, the severity of aggression in some, but by no means linear, way is associated with the level of hormones in the circulating blood, the most obvious is the connection with the concentration of the male sex hormone testosterone. In addition, a relationship has been shown between aggressiveness and the content of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain tissues and with the level of its metabolic precursor, tryptophan in food (in the event that the body cannot synthesize this amino acid itself). But on the whole, the mechanism of the emergence and implementation of aggression still remains unsolved. In addition, aggression has a hereditary basis and selection can be carried out to its high or low level,but the growing conditions of a particular individual very significantly change the genetically determined level of the severity of aggression.

Aggressive behavior is usually divided into several forms, depending on the characteristic stimuli or the situation when one or another rather characteristic complex of reactions manifests itself. When analyzing cause-and-effect relationships, such a classification turns out to be very productive. The division of aggressive reactions into active and passive defensive reactions, accepted in everyday practice of cynology, is undoubtedly convenient for testing a dog for suitability for a particular service, but it is an ineffective tool in resolving problems associated with unwanted aggressive reactions.

Let's consider the main 4 forms of aggressive behavior of dogs according to the common physiological classification:

1. Aggression between males - it is most strongly manifested when meeting unfamiliar mature males.

2. Aggression between females is a rather specific form of aggression that is not found in all mammalian species, including dog relatives; manifests itself in more diverse situations than inter-male aggression.

3. Aggression caused by fear - usually characteristic of animals that seek to escape when it is impossible to implement this intention.

4. Aggression caused by irritation - occurs under the action of a wide range of stimuli, one way or another unpleasant to the animal.

5. Territorial aggression - protection of the territory that the animal uses for food, reproduction and recreation.

6. Instrumental aggression is a reaction learned as a result of reinforcement by any external stimulus.

7. Intergroup aggression - collisions between groups of individuals of the same species, may be associated with territorial.

8. Maternal aggression - the reaction of the female to approaching her cubs.