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Amy Shojai

What Is Alliance Aggression?

By January 15, 2013

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nose to nose with puppyYou've probably never heard of alliance aggression but I bet you'll recognize the behavior when it's described. There are quite a few different categories or "types" of canine aggression. Veterinary behaviorists break them down into not just the behavior but also the circumstances and what triggers the action. By identifying the cause and motivation for the aggression, it becomes more likely you can reduce cases of aggression or predict when they might happen and avoid the triggers.

Alliance aggression happens between friendly dogs, and takes place ONLY when the owner is present. Otherwise, the dogs get along fine. Have you ever noticed that with your puppies and adult dogs? Or maybe you've heard about that with friends? What should you do? Perhaps it's a tiny dog that goes nutsy to drive away the big bruiser pooch--and when that happens, what should you do?

Depending on your reaction, you could actually be encouraging a dog fight by being too nice! Alliance aggression happens when a dog loves and depends on you too much. Learn more about alliance aggression and what you can do in this new aggression article.

Image Amy Shojai, CABC


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