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.
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC