Scientists have named the main reasons for the aggressiveness of domestic dogs

(ORDO NEWS) — Although dogs are called “man’s best friends”, it is not uncommon for them to behave aggressively towards people and other animals.

Brazilian researchers have studied the relationship between canine aggression and a range of morphological, environmental and social factors.

Historically, dog aggressiveness has been associated solely with breed, but over the past decade there has been a paradigm shift thanks to research linking behavioral profiles to factors such as a dog’s age and sex, metabolism, and hormones.

Now people are increasingly coming to the conclusion that genes alone do not guarantee an “evil” character in a puppy – the early experience of the dog, the social environment and even the personality of the owner must contribute.

To determine what are the main causes of aggressive behavior in domestic dogs, researchers from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) asked the owners of 665 domestic dogs – both purebred and mutts – to complete three online questionnaires.

They asked about the owner, the characteristics of the pets, the environment in which they lived, and any observed signs of aggressiveness in the dog, such as barking or attacking strangers.

The results of the analysis of the completed questionnaires showed that aggression is influenced by many factors – from the gender of the owner and the animal itself (dogs owned by women behaved less aggressively, and females were 40 percent less likely to show aggression towards the owner than males) to the shape of the head (in dogs short-faced dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, were 79 percent more likely to be aggressive towards their owner than dogs with a “normal” face) and dog weight (the heavier the animal, the less likely it is to attack its human).

The researchers also found that dogs that were walked daily with their owners were, on average, less aggressive than dogs that were permanently housed or let out on their own.

And trained dogs unexpectedly turned out to be more aggressive towards other dogs (but not people) than those that the owners did not train in specialized “dog schools”.

Scientists have named the main reasons for the aggressiveness of domestic dogs 2
The Shih Tzu’s short muzzle may provide a propensity for aggression

In other words, the breed alone cannot guarantee that the dog will grow up angry and naughty: its character, like the character of a human child, will be determined by many factors – from the gender and character of the owner to the anatomical features and state of health.

So the puppy of the most “aggressive” breed may never attack the owner in his life. And vice versa, even a lap dog, under certain conditions, can grow up as a “domestic tyrant”.


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