Click here to learn more.
Of course, he is! Fear aggression is the number-one type of aggression that vets observe. Unfortunately, an owner who offers this explanation is often suggesting that his pet isn’t truly aggressive, just frightened.
If this comment is true, there must be an army of puppy kickers out there just waiting to abuse the next litter. The reality is far less sinister: Most of these pups were not physically abused, but they were deprived of opportunities for socialization, which is abuse, of course, just not the kind most people believe could possibly lead to serious fear aggression. Moreover, the fact of abuse shouldn’t keep owners from recognizing that their dogs have a serious problem that deserves significant attention.
OK, let’s just say that you’re right and I’m wrong. I’m still going to have to ask you to put that muzzle on him.
I would never think that she’s “bad,” but I do know that she’s aggressive, based on what her eyes, ears, hackles, head and tail are broadcasting loud and clear: “I dare you to come closer!”
While it’s true that many pets have a gender preference, and fear is a big motivator in this regard, owners who use the man thing by way of explanation for aggression fail to understand that the thus far latent aggression toward women may well be simmering close to the surface. And it’s no excuse for not trying to help the pet conquer his fears.
You call those tooth marks on my hand “mouthy”? Maybe if she were a puppy or she’d been playing instead of receiving a nail trim. I mean, why would anyone not take that kind of event as a serious sign of aggression? Yet they do — and often.
I do believe that he doesn’t much care for my presence, but hate is a mighty strong and uniquely human word that doesn’t adequately describe aggression, especially given that pets tend to react aggressively toward veterinarians because they’re fearful, not because they’re hateful.
There’s also the erroneous implication that all the aggression this pet will ever manifest will always be directed toward a veterinarian, which is not a smart assumption if fear is the motivator. After all, opportunities for fear are unlikely to be restricted to a vet’s presence alone.
Ultimately, every owner needs to realistically consider a pet’s capacity to do harm. Even those whose pets have never demonstrated even the slightest tendency toward aggression should remember the common refrain employed by many top trainers: “Every pet is fine . . . until he’s not.”
Check out more opinion pieces on Vetstreet.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Thanks to a microchip, Brandon Peterson found his Welsh Terrier, who went missing while he was serving in Iraq.
The group Dogs on Deployment arranges temporary homes for all kinds of animals, from canines to chinchillas.
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus explains why this procedure provides critical information for determining the prognosis of a pet.
We get a peek inside the creatures’ world with video captured by cameras that six bears wore on collars around…
This Memorial Day, we’re honoring Reckless, a Mongolian mare who served with a platoon of battle-tested…
Slugs, Pugs, hummingbirds and crows are just a few of the many creatures we spotted in the trailer for Epic.
The big, affectionate Ragdoll will love to snuggle in your lap and gaze at you with her beautiful baby blues.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.