Dog aggression means a lot of different things for different people. For some, dog aggression is just simple barking of the dog, and for some, it is unusual stubborn behavior of the dog, on the extreme level, the aggressive behavior of the dog means the carnivores’ behavior the dogs, in which they try to attack the same species and also on other species, both of these kinds are dangerous.

A dog might show aggressive behavior towards other dogs for a number of reasons under various circumstances. The main cause of dogs’ aggression is their genetics and their intrinsic will to prove dominance over the ill and elderly dogs. Along with this reason, many different causes are also present. Weak and older dogs are the ultimate prey of aggressive dogs, that’s why they (weak and older dogs) are under potential threat of attack.

We will explain the occasional and frequent causes of dogs’ aggression along with the possible solutions. Continue reading till the end to get the best way to deal with your aggressive dog.

Why do dogs attack other dogs (specifically injured and weak dogs)?

The aggressive behaviors of the dog are very common, about 90% of dogs show aggressive behavior towards other dogs. But have you ever thought about why dogs are aggressive towards each other?

It is common practice In humans and also in other animals that strong members of the community take care of the weak ones. But in dogs, it is contrary. Strong dogs are often seen to attack the weak ones. Can you guess which is the reason behind that?

Well, the simple answer to this question is their genetics and their historical background. Yes! The aggressive behavior of the dog is due to their historical evaluation. Since dogs have a compatible genetic makeup with the wolves, so it is thought that the dogs have evolved from the ancestors of the wolves. That’s why we see the same aggressive behavior in wolves and dogs. The next component of history that has paid a part in the aggressive behavior of the dog is the evolution and survival conditions. You might have heard the scientific theory of Charles Darwin about the survival of the fittest.

According to Charles Darwin, the fittest species of the time got the chance to survive, and the fittest species, after getting dominance over other species continue to live. This theory was once applicable on all specie, and all species use to fight for survival including dogs and human, but with time as the things become better, species adapt themselves, now no specie try to get dominance over other for survival, but unfortunately, the behavior hasn’t changed much in case of dogs.

Dogs stills show aggressive behavior towards each other, and they still try to show dominance over each other, and especially over the old, weak, and injured dogs. They thought that they can get dominance over the weak or injured dogs easily. That’s why the dog often pounces upon the weak dogs.

Along with the intrinsic component of aggressiveness, there are many other reasons that cause aggressiveness in dogs. Let’s see what those reasons are.

Why do Dogs have Temperament Issues?

Despite the natural aggression of the dog, some dogs show occasional aggressive behavior. But did you ever bother why your dog is showing occasional or frequent aggressive behavior?

Well, there is not a single reason behind the aggressive behavior of the dog. There are a lot of different things that cause aggression in dogs. We will see all components one by one.

causes of aggression in dogs


Dogs have a super possessive nature, that’s why the aggressive behavior of the dog is largely associated with their possessive nature. Dogs can be possessive over a toy, food, any specific place, their owner, or any other thing. When someone tries to take the specific thing, on which the dog is possessive, they show a violent reaction. The obsession of the dogs over favorite things is so great that sometimes they attack their owner to get that thing. In the same way, dogs attack other dogs when they try to take his/her things. The aggression of the dog due to passiveness sometimes increases so much that it creates a hassle for the owner.

Possisaivenss over food mostly causes aggressiveness in dogs.


After intrinsic behavior, fear is one of the most common causes of aggressive behavior in dogs. The fear in dogs could be natural or induced. For example, dogs naturally feared newcomers, and induced fear is when the newcomer uses a different trick to get dominance. To overcome this kind of fear, dogs show aggressive behavior as a weapon to get an edge over the opponent.

The aggressiveness due to fear could be serious. In the worst stage, your dog can bite the opponent, and can even hurt himself during the clash.

Aggression over Resources

Aggression over resources is also one of the most common types of aggression in dogs. This kind of aggression is more common among dogs of same-sex, specifically in females. Aggressive behavior occurs when both dogs have the desire for the same thing. As a pet owner, you can control this type of aggression by providing an equal chance to all your pets to have a resource.

Injury illness and depression

It is common practice to see that an injured ill or depressed person shows more aggression as compared to a healthy person. The same formula is applicable in dogs. You might have observed that a healthy dog is socially active and tame, and an ill dog is socially awkward and often shows aggression of different types.

This type of aggressive behavior is also more common in female dogs. Sometimes the level of aggression increases so much that the dog becomes unapproachable. So, if your dog is suddenly showing unapproachable aggression, then check for injury or illness, especially in the abdomen or in the intestine area. Diagnosis for any kind of parasite is also recommended. Aggressive behavior of the dog due to illness, injury and depression could be control by adopting good pet practices.

Mostly this kind of aggressive behavior goes away after the proper treatment of the ailments. Contrary to this, delay in treatment causes a serious change in the attitude of the dog. In some cases, dogs even become aggressive toward owners.

Dominance behavior

As described above, aggression in dogs is to acquire dominance over other dogs is also a common cause of dog aggression. Dogs loved to be in charge of the environment. When they saw another dog, they try to prove their dominance in front of other dogs.

That’s why when two strange dogs meet, they show aggression in form of barking, snapping, and bitting to get dominance over the other dog. Most pet owners take the dominant aggression lightly, and some even enjoy it at first, but the aggression exacerbates with time and becomes difficult to control. So, it is important to control the dominance aggression at an early stage.

Aggression due to ill-treatment

The dog is one of the loyal animals. In exchange for their loyalty and love, dogs demand love and affection from the owners. When owners fail to provide the required affection and time to the dogs, they often become aggressive.

The aggressive behavior in a dog is also an exchange of the aggressive behavior of the owner. When owners show aggressive behavior to a dog, then the dog also shows aggressive behavior. This type of aggression is most common in male dogs.

How to differentiate Normal and Dangerous Aggression in a dog?

At one level or on another, all the dogs show aggressive behavior. They show this behavior at different points in their life. What important is to point out which behavior is normal and which is not, and at which level you should do something for therapy? A question that arises here is that, is there any aggression in dogs to whom you can call or ranked as normal? The answer to this question is yes! A kind of aggression that is called protective is normal. In protective aggression, dogs try to protect themselves from external predators. The predators could be more active and strong dogs or a snake. Normal or protective aggression is important for dogs to save their lives.

dogs fighting

Then comes the dangerous aggression. In this type, dogs react violently and try to attack all the nearby dogs (especially older ones). It is very important to diagnose dangerous aggression, to control the behavior as early as possible. The diagnosis of dangerous aggression starts with taking proper history. For this, start examing your dog. Note at which part of the day your dog shows the most inappropriate behavior, then relate the surrounding incidence with the behavior, to know what could be the possible cause of the aggression?

In most of the cases, the owner got to know the cause of aggression by keeping an eye on the dog for a few days. If you haven’t got the real cause of the behavior with the history, then you should seek veterinarian help. The veterinarian can help you to diagnose any kind of internal and external ailment. Or your veterinarian may recommend different neurological tests because there are many medical conditions related to the nervous system that causes aggression in dogs like; seizures, tumors, rabies (most common cause the violent aggression), and epilepsy.

What can you do to Stop the Aggressive Behavior of the dog?

The aggressiveness of a dog towards an ill or old dog is not admirable in any case. That’s why you need to take measures to stop this behavior. Here are a few things you can do, to stop or lessen the aggression of dogs towards other dogs.

First of all, diagnose the level of aggression.

Change the condition that is causing aggression in dogs e.g if your dogs are fighting over a specific thing, place, or food, then resolve that issue by providing them a uniform environment and resources, if there is aggression due to passiveness it would be resolved here.

If your dog has reached a higher level of aggression, and he tries to pounce on every nearby dog, then the best thing you can do is to give him/her proper training. You can hire professional trainers for this purpose. They are expert people to correct the aggressive behavior in dogs. Moreover, there are different types of shock collars that are available in the market, you can give training to your dog by using these training collars.

How to Protect Sick dogs from Aggressive dog?

If your dog is attacking sick dogs, then you not only need to lessen this behavior but also you need to know how can you protect other dogs the aggressive dog? The old or weak dog could be the target of an aggressive dog. So, it is crucial to know how to save your dog from the attack of another dog?

As dog to dog, aggression is not an admirable thing in most circumstances, so if you want to avoid this condition, then it is very important to supervise all the dog to dog interactions to avoid any uncertain condition. If you cannot stay all the time, with your pet, and your dog has grown older or if your dog is facing any ailment presently, then it is very important to outline the boundary for your four-footed friend, because he could be the target of other dogs at any time.

If you have two dogs of different ages. Then it is very important to train them to stay together from start. In nutshell, the aggressive behavior in the dog can be reduced. And also it is possible to save the older, weaker dogs from the attacks of other dogs only if the owners are ready to work.


Canine aggression could be both fascinating and frightening. As we have described, that some dog behaviors are innate so, the aggressive behavior of the dog can be revised with the proper training, but it can never be omitted. No matter what kind of aggression your dog has, it is very important to train almost all the dog to behave properly, to avoid any unpleasant incident.

Great success is only possible when you start to train the dog at an early stage of life, and if the stage has passed, and your dog has developed a dangerous aggression level. You can still correct it with the help of proper and consistent training. In case of aggression caused by any medical condition, start the therapy as soon as possible.

Another important thing here to consider is that we can’t make peace by just training our dog alone. Along with the training of the dog, it is very important to save or protect other dogs from being the target of the aggressive dog. There are some cases in which the older or weak dog has been killed by the aggrieve dogs.

Some dogs love to live in groups, but the potential of aggression and attack is always present when there is a dog to dog interaction. So it is very important, to monitor dog to dog interaction keenly, and take the possible preventive measures so you could have a happy peaceful life with your four-footed friend.