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Why are dogs becoming more aggressive???

Recently I wrote an article talking about the significantly increased of dog aggressive cases I’ve been dealing with in the last few years.

Separation Anxiety was always the most common behavior problem I used to treat. But this reality changed, and now, out of 10 patients I see, 7 are suffering with aggressive behavior.

I could be here talking about aggressive behavior for a long time, but I will focus on something that for me is the main reason why we are making dogs more aggressive, HUMANIZATION.

Understanding the shift towards humanization is crucial in dissecting the complexities behind the surge in aggressive behavior among dogs. As dogs assume more human-like roles within households, they are exposed to a myriad of influences that shape their behavior. Factors such as socialization, training methods, and environmental stimuli play pivotal roles in molding a dog's temperament and responses.

One significant aspect of humanization is the blurring of boundaries between dogs and humans. Dogs are increasingly treated as emotional support animals, tasked with providing companionship and comfort to their owners. While this fosters a deeper emotional bond, it can also lead to issues when dogs are expected to fulfill roles beyond their natural instincts and capabilities. The pressure to conform to human expectations may trigger stress and anxiety in some dogs (not all of them), potentially manifesting as aggression.

Moreover, the humanization of dogs often translates into anthropomorphic behaviors, where human emotions and motivations are ascribed to canine actions. While this anthropomorphism can enhance empathy and understanding, it can also lead to misinterpretation of canine behavior. Dogs communicate primarily through body language and instinctual cues, which may be misread or overlooked when viewed through a human lens. Misunderstandings can escalate tensions and contribute to aggressive responses from dogs.

Additionally, the shift towards humanization has reshaped the dynamics of dog ownership, with an emphasis on pampering and indulgence. While well-intentioned, excessive spoiling and lack of consistent discipline can result in behavioral issues, including aggression. Dogs thrive on structure and clear boundaries, and the absence of such guidance can lead to confusion and insecurity, prompting defensive reactions.

Addressing the rise in canine aggression amidst the humanization of dogs requires a multifaceted approach that acknowledges the complexities involved. Education and awareness campaigns can help pet owners better understand canine behavior and the importance of meeting their dogs' physical, mental, and emotional needs. Implementing effective training methods that focus on positive reinforcement and clear communication can foster a harmonious relationship between humans and their canine companions.

Furthermore, promoting responsible ownership practices, including proper socialization, regular exercise, and consistent discipline, is essential in mitigating aggression and ensuring the well-being of both dogs and humans. By recognizing the intricate interplay between humanization and canine behavior, we can strive towards fostering healthy, fulfilling relationships that honor the unique nature of dogs while embracing their role in our lives.

Marco Magiolo is a bestselling author, trainer, and speaker. Connect with Marco on social media and subscribe to future newsletters and updates.

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