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My dog is aggressive with humans: why? How to solve the problem?

A dog's aggressiveness towards humans is extremely problematic because the consequences can be serious. It is therefore urgent to react so that the animal's behavior can be improved so that it stops being a danger. And to find the best solutions for the animal, it is essential to start by understanding how the dog became aggressive because it is not innate. Has he been bullied? Is he in physical pain? Is it irritated? Is he trying to defend something or someone? Let's discover the main reasons why a dog may be aggressive towards humans and the most effective ways to solve this type of problem.

How does a dog become aggressive?

Aggression in dogs is not acquired at birth, but it is established little by little, according to its life history. Here are the main events that can lead to aggressive behavior in a dog, regardless of its breed.

Mistreatment: masters who do not love their pet and scorn it at all times or brutalize it generate fear. The dog is worried, even hyper-anxious, and the anxiety caused by certain situations makes it aggressive because it is the only solution for it to manage this type of situation. When a dog is afraid, its reaction is not preemptive: it is instantaneous, which is very dangerous for its victim who does not have time to take cover.

Irritation: many situations can generate irritation in a dog. Forcing him to do something against his will can make him aggressive after a while. Aggression following an exacerbation is common in dogs that are confronted with children who are heckling or screaming. And even if these animals show warning signs, the children usually do not know how to interpret them and this is how they get bitten, sometimes seriously.

The need to defend her puppies: This is the case with bitches who take care of their puppies. They are constantly watching over their litter and may attack a human who gets too close to the puppies. In a nursing bitch, a human can be a direct danger to her offspring or to herself. She therefore automatically becomes aggressive because she has no other way to react.

A health problem: a sick dog can become aggressive. This is particularly the case if he is in pain, if he regularly has a high fever, i.e. higher than 39°C, which can lead to the suspicion of an infectious focus. Aggressive behavior can also be found in a dog with a hormonal dysfunction and of course when he is suffering from a form of dementia. In these cases, veterinary care is necessary. The professional must first examine the animal and then submit it to various complementary examinations in order to identify the health problem at the origin of this aggressiveness.

Defense of its territory: it is mostly dogs trained to stand guard that show aggression towards unknown or known humans but who exceed certain limits. The animal is only doing its duty. They may attack after giving warning signals.

Predatory instinct: This is the type of situation that can be found in a primitive dog or in a dog that hunts for food. In some herding dogs that have not been properly trained, aggressive behavior towards humans can be found in the same way that they would be with the animals they are supposed to watch over.

Dog Aggression: It's Never Too Late to Act

The first thing to do is to solve the problem of communication between humans and dogs. Indeed, in the vast majority of cases, a dog warns - in his own way - when a situation does not suit him. He expresses his discomfort or irritation by theoretically explicit signs, but some humans do not understand this type of language and persist. It is only then that the animal becomes aggressive. It is therefore important to be observant and to stop imposing on a dog a situation that exasperates him. Signs may include growling, ear position (lying backwards), tail tucked between the hind legs, curled up lips, repeated and rapid licking of the nose...

Aggression in a dog is often the expression of a reaction to a disturbing situation, to an emotional shock. A dog is generally not aggressive by nature, contrary to popular belief. On the other hand, it can become aggressive if it is poorly educated, if it is not socialized or if it has been badly handled by a brutal, incomprehensible, not very patient master or simply one who does not respect his animal. Finally, a malaise as in the case of disease, or even physical and/or psychological suffering, often leads to mood disorders in dogs, as is the case with humans.

Aggressive dog towards humans: what solutions?

The first step is to identify the cause of the aggression and then learn to decode the warning signals in order to better understand them. As a general rule, the dog seeks to avoid conflict, so it warns that a given situation does not suit it.

Then, you must establish a relationship of trust with the dog based above all on respect. A lack of trust makes the animal feel insecure. Similarly, misunderstanding can destabilize the dog and end up making it aggressive towards its owner or another human. It is therefore necessary to be constant in its demands but also coherent and patience is essential. This way, the dog can assimilate the rules that you want to teach him.

Attention, any socialization or re-socialization session implies that the animal is muzzled. This gives the trainer confidence, which has a positive impact on the dog's emotional state. It is also important to establish a routine because it is soothing, and to take care to always reassure him. Never go too fast is the rule because you must give the dog time to become familiar with the object of his fear. It is equally important to teach him the basic rules little by little, without rushing, in order to reach a satisfactory level of obedience.

It is also essential to allow a dog to exercise so that he can externalize his aggressiveness. Leaving your pet locked up in a tiny kennel all the time encourages unstable behavior.

We understand that it is totally unconscious not to intervene with an aggressive dog under the pretext that he is an adult and that we cannot change anything. On the contrary, it is always possible and in any case absolutely necessary to modify his behavior. Whatever his breed (and therefore his size) he can bite and become very dangerous towards an adult human but even more so towards a child. Before it is too late, every owner must prevent his dog's aggressiveness by educating him. If he thinks he does not have the ability to do so, he should entrust the education of his dog to an experienced dog trainer.

The Bedlington Terrier, a dog with an original physique

The Bedlington Terrier is the kind of animal you don't forget. You will rarely see a dog with such an original physique. Its long head and short, wavy coat in particular help to distinguish it from other breeds. This dog is appreciated for his joy of living, his gentleness and his calmness.

Characteristics of the Bedlington Terrier

There are no two like it. The Bedlington Terrier reveals an atypical look which signs its difference. Let's talk about its size first. This dog measures on average 41 cm at the withers and weighs between 8 and 10 kg. It attracts all the attentions by its wedge-shaped or pear-shaped head which is not common. The skull is rounded and narrow, the nostrils are cut out and the stop is absent. The Bedlington Terrier has small triangular eyes that are shiny. Their color depends on the color of the coat. In blue and tan Bedlington Terriers, the eyes are clear. In blue dogs, they are dark. And if the animal is sandy and brown, the eyes will be of light hazel color. The ears for their part reveal a pretty velvety texture and are relatively long. They are set low and drooping. The Bedlington Terrier has a thick, felted coat with curls. The coat can be of various colors: blue, sable, brown. The presence of tan markings is allowed by the standard.

History of the Bedlington Terrier breed

The Bedlington appeared in the eighteenth century in England in the eponymous village of Rothbury which is in Northumberland. Moreover with the origin, the dog was called Rothbury Terrier. Very old, it counts among its ancestors the Otter Dog, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier or the Whippet. At the time, the Bedlington Terrier was a sensation for its versatility. It was used to hunt foxes and rabbits, to eliminate rats in the mine tunnels, which were very numerous in the region, and also in sight chases on decoys. On June 20, 1963, the Bedlington Terrier was officially recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). In France, it is almost unknown.

Living conditions and behavior of the Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier has a golden character. It is calm and extremely gentle. On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid seeking it, because it will not let itself be made. However, he will not show aggression. This dog is also cheerful, active and always ready to play, which is why it gets along with children. However, the Bedlington Terrier will not tolerate being mistreated. It's important to teach your little ones to respect him. Since he is very brave, he is a great watchdog.

Diet and major health problems of the Bedlington Terrier

Unfortunately, the Bedlington Terrier can fall victim to several diseases such as retinal, elbow and hip dysplasia, lacrimal atresia and copper overload hepatitis. His life expectancy is on average 14 years, but to be sure that he reaches this age, it is preferable to subscribe to a health insurance that guarantees a better financing of the care.

The Miniature American Shepherd, a dog with an expressive character

It is less known than its ancestor, the Australian Shepherd. And yet, the Miniature American Shepherd has what it takes to seduce dog lovers. Of small size, it develops an expressive character and a lot of good mood. It also has the advantage of being able to evolve in small spaces. But be careful not to lock him up all day long. The Miniature American Shepherd needs to take the air very often to be happy and in shape.

Characteristics of the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd Dog is a breed that is still not very common, belonging to the category of sheepdogs and cattle dogs. It is recognizable by its size making between 35 and 45 cm to the withers for a weight from 8 to 18 kg according to its sex and its age. The animal has a head relatively proportional to the rest of the body and shows a domed skull that can also be flat. Almond-shaped, the eyes express mischief, vivacity and softness. They are revealed in brown, amber or blue colors. Sometimes the dog also has speckled or minnow eyes. As for his ears, they are set high, triangular and slightly drooping. Like the Australian Shepherd from which it originated, the American Miniature Shepherd has a medium length coat, wavy or straight. The coat can be red, red-merle, black or blue-merle.

History of the Miniature American Shepherd Dog

To know the history of the Miniature American Shepherd, it is enough to refer to the history of the Australian Shepherd from which it results. The latter is developed in the United States and would descend from sheepdogs from Australia. The American Miniature Shepherd was born from a selection made with several small Australian shepherds. It had to be named as such to be able to compete in competitions, as these events forbid competition to breeds with similar names. It took a long time to establish the characteristics of this breed. The recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC) was only recently achieved. On the other hand, no recognition from the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) has been formalized so far.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd has many qualities. It is an intelligent, attentive and alert animal. It is also very good at herding and guarding due to its shepherding instinct. This dog is known to be active. He will not like to evolve with sedentary masters, because he needs to be constantly exercised. As it is a rather obedient animal, the Miniature American Shepherd remains easy to train. It is also very calm and this can help to conduct work sessions easily.

Diet and major health problems of the Miniature American Shepherd

The Miniature American Shepherd can be affected by certain pathologies typical to the canine species such as elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia or eye diseases. The best thing to do is to take out a health insurance policy for your dog, which will reimburse all veterinary expenses incurred by your dog. As for his diet, there is nothing special about it. Kibbles will do, but they must be of excellent quality.

Canine roundworm: symptoms, cause, treatment and prevention

Canine roundworm is an intestinal parasite. It is very important to treat the infested animal because it may weaken its immune system. In addition, roundworms are responsible for toxocariasis in humans. The dog does not necessarily show any particular symptoms when these worms are present in its intestine, but other signs can alert. In any case, it is essential to treat your pet and take certain precautions to prevent infection.

What is roundworm?

The canine roundworm (Toxocara canis) belonging to the Ascaridae family (ascarids) is a pearly white intestinal parasite. It is the roundworm or nematode worm that is most frequently found in canids. As an adult, it has a diameter of 2 mm but is still up to 18 cm long.

Dogs infested by roundworms: the cause

Each worm can lay up to 200,000 eggs in a 24-hour period. They are then excreted in the dog's feces. Invisible to the naked eye, the eggs harbor larvae that develop within a few weeks. At the end of this period of time, the eggs become infectious for the puppy who ingests them in different ways, namely
  • By eating contaminated soil,
  • By ingesting feces (coprophagia),
  • By licking its fur,
  • By sucking its mother because her milk contains roundworm larvae.
During the gestation period, the bitch also contaminates her puppies because the transmission is done via the placenta.

The vast majority of puppies are infested with these nematode worms and in general, adult dogs are immune.

What causes roundworm infection?

A puppy infected with roundworms has no particular symptoms, except for a slight drop in energy or a more marked decline in general condition. However, in puppies and the most vulnerable dogs, we can notice :
  • A cough if the roundworm migrates into the animal's lungs,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • A change in the appearance of the coat which becomes dry and bristly in some places (we talk about a pricked coat).
On the other hand, it is in the animal's excrement and/or vomit that the presence of these worms can be detected.

The main problem for the puppy infested by roundworms is that its immune system is gradually weakened, which exposes the animal more and more to all kinds of infections. Finally, some infected puppies may be stunted in their growth.

Ascaris in dogs : what treatment ?

The treatment is based on the deworming of the dog. But not all dewormers can eliminate roundworms. It is really necessary to consult the veterinarian at the slightest doubt so that the puppy or the dog benefits from a specific deworming. The treatment usually lasts several weeks because roundworms are not easy to eliminate.

At the same time, the veterinarian must also treat the problems that result from this nematode contamination. Auscultation is therefore necessary and can be completed by complementary examinations.

Please note that all dogs and cats in the household must be dewormed against roundworms.

How to prevent roundworm infection?

It is imperative to practice exemplary hygiene when owning a dog (or a cat because roundworms (Toxocara cati) also frequently infect small felines). It is essential to limit the risk of infection for family members.
  • Every place where the dog does its business is inevitably contaminated with roundworm eggs. But these eggs are resistant to disinfectants. It is therefore essential to remove dog poop every day from the lawn, the sandbox and the kennel and not to throw it in the recycling bins.
  • Clean every area of the house frequented by the dog several times a week, as well as the dog's bed, blanket, toys, etc.
  • Wash your hands with a suitable disinfectant after removing animal excrements, gardening, cleaning the litter boxes or the kennel and make sure that children always have clean and short nails.
  • If a sandbox has been created in the garden for children, the dog (or cat) must be kept out of it. Ideally, the animal should be taught not to go there, but the area can also be covered when the children are not playing.
At the same time, the adult dog should be dewormed four times a year. Puppies from the age of 2 weeks should be dewormed even more frequently, as should nursing bitches and breeding bitches, and the same applies to cats, cats and kittens. In order not to forget anything, it is recommended to keep the health booklet of each animal up to date.

The contamination by roundworms is a subject not to be neglected because the transmission to the human being is a real danger which affects even more the children when, for example, they carry to the mouth their soiled hands. These worms can be extremely dangerous in humans.

What is a blue merle or red merle coat in dogs?

The term merle designates a coat of a particular color in dogs. Although it is aesthetic, it indicates that the dog is a carrier of a gene that is not without health problems. What does it mean if the coat is blue merle or red merle? Does a dog carrying this particular gene systematically have a merle coat? Let's take a look at it.

Merle coat in dogs: a gene involved

Eumelanin and pheomelanin are the two components of melanin in dogs and genes act on these pigments. In merle dogs, due to a variation on chromosome 10, eumelanin is only distributed in certain areas. We talk about the M allele (for merle) which causes health problems in the dog, and the m allele (for "non merle"). The cause of the merle color is therefore genetic.

This particularity is apparent as soon as a puppy is born. If he is born merle, it is because he necessarily has a merle parent. A single M allele is enough to obtain a merle coat in the offspring since it is responsible for the dilution of the base color which can only be black or red. Thus, we obtain :
  • Either a dog with a blue merle coat,
  • Or a dog with a red merle coat.
There are also dogs with a cryptic merle coat commonly called ghost merle coat dogs. They can very well have only one discolored spot, hence the nickname of hidden coat.

A merle dog (whether cryptic or not) carries the mMc or McMc genotype, while the genotype of a non merle dog is mm.

Physical characteristics of a merle coat (blue or red)

In a merle coat, patches of diluted pigments are mixed with a dominant hue.

The blue merle coat: dominant gray hue with black spots. It may or may not be punctuated with white or tan markings. The blue merle coat offers a multitude of possible shades. The blue is in fact made up of black and white hairs in variable proportion, which gives a more or less clear aspect, and the dress is punctuated with splashes, patches or black flecks.

The red merle coat: dominantly beige with brown spots. White and tan markings may appear, but this is not systematic. The background of the coat is more or less dark since white hairs are mixed with brown hairs of varying intensity from one dog to another. Irregular brown spots punctuate the basic color.

Merle dogs (blue or red) have for the vast majority of them minnow eyes or blue eyes.

Marriage between two merle dogs : forbidden by the SCC

The marriage between two merle dogs leads to double merle puppies with, in addition, invasive white, which considerably increases the risks :
  • Heart disease,
  • Of blindness,
  • Deafness.
This invasive white can also be seen in dogs that do not have a merle coat since the genes involved in the coding of the white are not related to the merle. But the problems to be expected are identical. So-called "invasive white" dogs are not confirmed and therefore do not receive a pedigree. They should not be bred either since they do not conform to the breed standards.

In the same way as for the invasive white, a puppy born from two merle parents presents a dysfunction of the central nervous system. That's why he may be blind or deaf.

Note that the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) prohibits "merle x merle" marriages namely B. merle x B. merle, B. merle x R. merle, R. merle x R. merle and this, since July 11, 2017. Only the marriage between a red tri or blue tri (of mm genotype) and a blue merle or red merle is allowed.

Merle dress: the breeds of dogs concerned

Different dog breeds are affected by this genetic issue.
  • Border Collie,
  • Collie,
  • Australian Shepherd,
  • Corgi,
  • Beauceron,
  • Dachshund,
  • Shetland Shepherd,
  • Pyrenean Shepherd,
  • Chihuahua.
Adopting an animal is a long-term commitment. Before welcoming a dog with a merle coat, you should not decide only on aesthetic criteria. You have to be sure that you will be able to deal with the problems that this may entail in terms of animal health and budget for the owner, as veterinary procedures are becoming more and more expensive.

The Alpine Dachshund, sporty dog, tireless player

Although it is low on legs, the Alpine Dachsbracke is a great sportsman appreciated for its friendliness and its lively expression. It is a tireless player, affectionate and versatile in work. They are great pets, provided they get regular exercise and plenty of exercise.

Characteristics of the Alpine Dachshund

The Alpine Dachsbracken is a low-legged, robust dog with firm muscles and strong bones. Its height at the withers varies between 36 and 38 cm for a weight of 16 to 18 kg according to the age and the sex. The dog develops an elongated and solid trunk, a deep chest, a moderately sloping croup, a broad and short loins and a straight back. It has a domed skull. The head is completed by a strong muzzle and a black nose. We will not fail to mention its eyes with black eyelids and dark brown iris. The ears are without folds and set high. They have rounded tips. The Alpine Dachshund has a short, close-lying and relatively dense coat. The coat can be black with red-brown or dark fawn markings.

History of the Alpine Dachshund breed

The Alpine Dachshund is not a recent breed. On the contrary, dogs with similarities have been mentioned since ancient times. The Alpine Dachshund is said to have originated in Germany, but in the past was known as the Mauersberg Hound. The breed is derived from the Dachshund and the Austrian Black and Tan Hound. The Alpine Dachshund won the heart of Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg who could not part with his dogs. The best known story about the breed is that the sovereign had the basset hounds in Turkey and Egypt during his hunting expeditions. The official recognition of this breed by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) only came in 1975. The Alpine Dachsbracke is little known outside Austria and Italy.

Living conditions and behavior of the Alpine Dachshund

Its small size does not prevent it from being an inveterate sportsman. The Alpine Dachshund has a strong endurance. This dog is not at ease if it is not constantly in action. It is therefore not made for sedentary masters, because it will need the maximum of walks daily. This dog is not made for a city environment and will prefer a life in the country in a house with a large garden. However, if there is no other choice but to live in the city with him, he will have to get used to it as soon as possible. The Alpine Dachshund is a gentle dog, pleasant in the family and with children. He is friendly, alert and full of courage. It can also be used as a guard dog.

Diet and main health problems of the Alpine Dachshund

The Alpine Dachshund develops an important robustness allowing him to be protected from diseases. It lives between 12 and 15 years provided that it is fed a diet appropriate to its size, age and physical activity.