Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly

Date:
May 1, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Many dogs are put down or abandoned due to their violent nature, but contrary to popular belief, breed has little to do with a dog's aggressive behavior compared to all the owner-dependent factors. This is shown in a new study which includes breeds that are considered aggressive by nature, such as the Rottweiler or the Pit Bull. The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.

American pit bull terrier.
Credit: Kim Nguyen

Many dogs are put down or abandoned due to their violent nature, but contrary to popular belief, breed has little to do with a dog's aggressive behaviour compared to all the owner-dependant factors. This is shown in a new study from the University of Córdoba, which includes breeds that are considered aggressive by nature, such as the Rottweiler or the Pit Bull.

Related Articles


The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.

The research team from the University of Córdoba (UCO) has determined a series of external factors which are inherent to the dogs in order to understand their aggressiveness, and they have observed that external, modifiable and owner-dependent factors have a greater influence on the animals.

According to Joaquín Pérez-Guisado, the main author of the study and a researcher from the UCO, some of the factors that cause aggressiveness in dogs are: first-time dog ownership; failure to subject the dog to basic obedience training; spoiling or pampering the dog; not using physical punishment when it is required; buying a dog as a present, as a guard dog or on impulse; spaying female dogs; leaving the dog with a constant supply of food, or spending very little time with the dog in general and on its walks.

"Failure to observe all of these modifiable factors will encourage this type of aggressiveness and would conform to what we would colloquially call 'giving our dog a bad education'", Pérez-Guisado explains to SINC.

The study, which has recently been published in the Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, is based on the following fact: approximately 40% of dominance aggression in dogs is associated with a lack of authority on the part of the owners who have never performed basic obedience training with their pets or who have only carried out the bare minimum of training.

Breed has less influence on aggressiveness

The Spanish researchers studied 711 dogs (354 males and 357 females) of which 594 were purebred and 117 were half-breed dogs older than one year of age. Among the breeds observed were the Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Alsatian, the Boxer, the Rottweiler, the Doberman, as well as apparently more docile breeds such as the Dalmatian, the Irish Setter, the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever, the Miniature Poodle, the Chihuahua, the Pekinese, or the French Bulldog, which also exhibit dominant behaviour.

According to Pérez-Guisado, certain breeds, male sex, a small size, or an age of between 5-7 years old are "the dog-dependent factors associated with greater dominance aggression". Nevertheless, these factors have "minimal effect" on whether the dog behaves aggressively. Factors linked to the owner's actions are more influential.

To correct the animal's behaviour, the owner should handle it appropriately and "re-establish dominance over the dog", the researcher adds. In terms of physical punishment, Pérez-Guisado points out that "this method cannot be used with all dogs given the danger involved, although it could be used to re-establish dominance over puppies or small and easy-to-control dogs". However, "it should never be used as justification for treating a dog brutally, since physical punishment should be used more as a way to frighten and demonstrate the dominance we have over the dog than to inflict great suffering on the animal", the vet states.

According to the researcher, "dogs that are trained properly do not normally retain aggressive dominance behaviour". Pérez-Guisado attributes this "exceptional" conduct to the existence of some medical or organic problem, "which can cause changes in the dog's behaviour".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pérez-Guisado, Joaquín; Muñoz-Serrano, Andrés. Factors Linked to Dominance Aggression in Dogs. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2009; 8 (2): 336-342 [link]

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424114315.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, May 1). Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424114315.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090424114315.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins