Know the Signs of Aggression

Each year, there are so many dog bites that could have been prevented by simply knowing the signs. The majority of dogs will let you know, in their own way, when they are feeling uncomfortable.

The Warning Signs

Dogs will often communicate in their own way to tell you they are not comfortable with a situation. When they are becoming upset, frustrated or angry, they may display the following warning signs:

  • Growling
  • Showing their teeth
  • Stiff, rigid body language
  • Wagging their tail

Learning and understanding a dog’s body language will help you understand how he or she is feeling all the time. This is not only important for understanding aggression but also for understanding your dog in all aspects.

But, He’s Wagging His Tail…?

The most confusing of all of these signs? Wagging their tail. Most people think if a dog is wagging his tail, he is automatically happy. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes, dogs wag their tail to tell you they are not happy at all.

You can tell if a dog is wagging his tail because he is happy, or if he is wagging his tail because he is upset, by looking at the rest of his body language. If he is wagging his tail with a relaxed mouth and a relaxed or playful stance, he is likely wagging his tail because he is happy. If he is wagging his tail with stiff body language, closed mouth and/or staring at you, this is more than likely a warning sign for you to ‘get out of his personal bubble.’


5 thoughts on “Know the Signs of Aggression

  1. Hello, my dog’s name is Cisco he is a small dog (we think a chiweenie) and he is about 4 years old, we have had him for a little over two years. He has been a wonderful dog, very sweet and for the most part he is very well behaved. However, recently he has been much more aggressive to house guests than usual. On several occasions in the last 6 weeks he has lunged at guests and twice he bit their shoes. He has never acted this way before and we are clueless what has caused the change. In the past he has always barked at guests but once he has met them and smelled them and sees that the family is ok with them he calms down. But now he isn’t calming down so easily. Do you have any idea what may be causing this behavior or suggestions as to what we should do about it? Thank you

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