What causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused?

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What causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused?

This is a discussion on What causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Halo everyone, i was wondering what causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused? My first dog, whom i have raised since she was ...

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Old 04-17-2018, 04:32 PM
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What causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused?

Halo everyone, i was wondering what causes aggression in dogs that have never been abused? My first dog, whom i have raised since she was 5 weeks old, has serious aggression issues. Is a bite hazard, hates strangers, dislikes children even though i live with two brothers under 10, is leash reactive and reacts bad to other dogs. She gets so much love from me and all my family members. She is not under excersised, i make her do tricks for treats everyday, She adores my youngest brother and he adores her, sleeps in my bed every single night. Has routine. What would have caused her aggressive behavior? Have i somehow contributed to her aggression? The only thing i can think of is when she was a little puppy and tried to bite people when she did not get her way or when she would bark at someone it made me laugh as she was tiny and harmless. I now know i have made huge mistake.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:36 PM
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Lack of socialization, improper or overwhelming socialization.

Some dogs are genetically predisposed to be fearful or aggressive. Environment and biology/neurology (nature and nurture) BOTH play a part in behavior and temperament!
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:53 PM
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I agree with Revolutionrocknroll, lack of socialization, improper socialization, and genetic predisposition can all contribute to it.

There's actually a line of Pointers that were purposely bred for fear. Here's a link on the experiment, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10...-4612-3524-8_5

I was given my dog Zody when he was a year old, I got him from a friend who had raised him from the time he was around 4 weeks old, I know she never abused him. What I suspect happened is that he had improper socialization. I suspect that when he was a puppy people ignored his signs of fear and picked him up, cuddled him, etc. which in turn made him even more fearful of people, it also taught him that people ignore subtle signs. The end result was that by the time he was a year old, and was given to me, he had started barking, growling, and if close enough snapping at people to get them to go away. It's all rooted in fear, instead of fleeing form what he's afraid of he tries to scare it off before it gets him.

I'm betting your dog is doing something similar. She's scared but instead of fleeing, she's chosen to scare the thing she fears away.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:45 AM
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Genetics plays a huge role in how a dog just IS. Great training and an appropriate socialization and training can mitigate genetic issues, but your dog just is who they are.

In my opinion (just from dogs I've raised as they have all been removed from the litter at different ages) what goes on in the first weeks of their lives seems to really impact how they grow and mature.

I will say in your case, 5 weeks is very young, and we have seen time and again that puppies removed too early tend to have far more issues than puppies who remain with the litter for 8 weeks+.

Genetics for some reason are pushed away as a reason for issues, and I think that is really unfair. It often isn't "all about how you raise them", though as I've mentioned appropriate training and socialization can help. I've met 8 week old puppies that were extremely reactive, when they'd never had a bad experience, so genetics plays a much bigger role than people want to believe.
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