Last week I gave some tips on determining if your dog is feeling fear (defensive behavior).  This week I am going to focus on offensive behavior.  Offensive behavior is when the dog wants to move forward and is generally more likely to want to attack immediately.  Generally when a dog is offensive we call him / her aggressive.

Today I am going to focus on offensive behavior. Begin to notice the signs below:

  • The body is stiff rather than fluid.  The muscles are tense.
  • The weight is shifted forwards.  So the dog may be thinking of moving toward the stimulus.
  • The mouth is closed verses being open and relaxed.  The mouth could also be open and the lips are pulled forward.  The lips look like a “C” shape and you mainly see the front teeth.
  • The ears are pulled forward on the head (erect).
  • He / She may be hesitant to eat or he / she takes the treat with a very tense mouth.
  • The tail is held upward from the neutral position.  It may be wagging very quickly.  When it is held high and wagging fast this is called a “flagged tail” (The dog is extremely aroused if this occurring).
  • The movement is generally fast and jerky.  There is not fluid movement.
  • The respiratory rate is fast.
  • Direct eye contact is toward the stimulus.  Generally the eyes are big and round.
  • The dog is silent or has a lower pitched growl or bark.

The more of the above signs you see in your dog the more your dog is feeling offensive.  If you are seeing only a few signs then the offensive behavior is present and it is of a lesser degree.

If your dog is feeling offensive in certain situations my advise is to contact Four Legged Scholars so we can switch the response to happiness / calm behavior:)

Also remember any dog that feels offensive is likely to bite.

Happy Training!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC

Johanna Teresi performing dog training with Seiki.

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