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Name: Santha
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: Australia
Date: Fall 2011

What type of aggression classification would you give a dog that attacks other dogs with out any signs or provocations?


In my experiences of breeding and raising several (related) Jack Russell Terriers, I've observed it is a matter of perceived threat. By this I mean either the aggressive dog IS threatened in some way, or the aggressive dog PERCEIVES a threat when one might not actually exist, and the dog lashes out.

I've seen that most of the female dogs I've had did not get along with each other. My explanation for this is that each of them has a relationship of trust and concern with me, and they see another female dogs as a threat to that "relationship". Oddly, all of the female dogs I have had have gotten along ok with each of the males I've had.

Threat to relationship is one possible cause. Threat, or perceived threat, to territory or survival (food) could be another reason for sudden unpredictable aggression. Finally, if a particular dog is punished in some way, the dog may later lash out at one of the other lower-status dogs in an effort to regain its "self esteem".

These opinions come simply from observation, but it includes over 25 individuals and 12 years of observation.

Thanks for using NEWTON! Ric Rupnik


The following URL presents the following list of aggression categories:

This article quotes a page from the book titled: The Power of Positive Dog Training By Pat Miller

The categories are:

Status Relations agression

Fear-related agression

Maternal-related agression

Play aggression

Displaced aggression

Pain aggression

Territorial aggression

Possession aggression

Protection aggression

Barrier aggression


Redirected aggression

There are probably several types of aggression at play here.

I believe you are better positioned to pick the types of aggression you are seeing.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart

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