Impulse control Aggression

This can be mistakenly seen and labelled as dominance aggression. Recent research has shown that the previous “Dominance theory” is flawed. And that due to thousands of years of both domestication and breeding the domestic modern dog is NOT a wolf. Research has also taught us that wild dogs (which domestic dogs are more closely linked when it comes to social order) are NOT pack animals. And as a result, do not strive to dominate individuals. Aggression and fights may be seen in these groups when there is a source which two or more members value highly and neither one is prepared to give it up. No different to children fighting over their favorite toy.


Most aggressive behaviours seen in our domestic dogs are as a result of fear or anxiety. They are unable to cope with a certain trigger or environment and will seek a way to rid of the threat whilst at the same time backing away or trying to escape.


A dog which is suffering from impulse control aggression will not do this. Instead, they actively seek out the threat and seek out contact with that environment, trigger, object etc. They will display sporadic signs of aggression out of context and without their having been a threat or agitation.


These dogs are uncertain about the relationship they have with their humans – every time a human exhibits a behaviour that might be construed to be a challenge or threat, the dog pushes back in order to learn.


This type of aggression can be a genetic trait passed on from previous family members. In dogs which have certain work drives the aggression can be displayed through their natural herding or chase behaviour, with dogs having been known to round up a human and nip at their ankles. What the dog is doing here is trying to control the situation in order to cope with the threat.


Controlling the human’s actions is a big indicator that a dog may be suffering from impulse control aggression. The dog may not like their human shutting a door and will physically try to stop them from doing so.


These dogs have a focus on control, which is abnormal and out of context.


Impulsive aggression explosion: The dog for an unknown reason may attack an individual despite previously having allowed them to pet them for several minutes and appear to enjoy the contact.



[endif]--In order to help these dogs it is imperative you seek advice from a qualified behaviourist who can confirm and diagnose whether or not your dog has impulse control aggression (there are many forms of aggression, and sometimes different components of different types can cross over, which can in some cases make diagnosis very hard) do not assume your dog is suffering from impulse control aggression because he

may do one or more of the above mentioned behaviours in this article. It is extremely important to get the correct diagnosis in order to implement the correct behaviour modifications.


Impulse aggressive dogs do not respond well to conflict or control form their humans, this only intensifies the aggression.


Biofeedback methods work well with these dogs – allow the dog to calm and distress so he is able to asses the situation and make a more appropriate choice. Also give them warnings that something is about to change or happen.


As with many behaviour modification programmes management methods are also of massive importance for these dogs, keeping their environment as stress free as possible and giving them the opportunity to release their stress and anxiety.


[endif]--Contact Gemma today to see how she can help you and your dog. ![endif]--![endif]--

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Gemma's Dog Training & Behaviour aim to help you help your dog. Whether its basic obedience or a complex behavioural problem Gemma can help.

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