Article: Dominance in Dogs is Correct! by Dr. Joaquin Perez-Guisado

“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 discipline when it is required; buying a dog as a present, as a guard dog or on impulse; spaying female dogs;”

Dogs are aggressive if they are trained badly
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 with 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. The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or the competitive nature of their pets.

The research team from the University of Córdoba has determined a series of external factors that 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 Dr Joaquín Pérez-Guisado, the main author of the study and a researcher from the University of Cordoba, 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 discipline 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.

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 discipline, 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 discipline should be used more as a way to frighten and demonstrate the dominance we have over the dog rather than to inflict great suffering on the animal”, the vet states.

Full bibliographic information Pérez-Guisado, Joaquín; Muñoz-Serrano, Andrés. “Factors Linked to Dominance Aggression in Dogs” Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 8(2): 336-342, 2009 By Dr Joaquin Perez-Guisado