All dogs have one or the other form of aggression, and to a certain degree this is completely natural. However, since our pets are domesticated, we should expect a certain amount of calmness from them. The most common aggression behavior problem that dogs show is called “territorial aggression”. To summarize the definition of territorial aggression, it simply describes a dog that goes absolutely crazy as soon as a stranger approaches its home.
What encourages a dog to show such aggression?
As we have already mentioned, it is quite natural that your dog wants to defend his home and make it known that the territory is his territory. However, the following scenarios can cause your dog’s aggression towards his territory to escalate:
- a dog’s aggression is always increased when, for example, a delivery person approaches the house and then, after delivering a package, leaves the territory. Your dog actually believes that he has driven the stranger away, and this in itself leads to more aggression.
- when driving a car, a dog with extreme territorial aggressiveness tends to bark incessantly at every person he sees and every moving object in front of the window. He says to them: “Stay away, this is my territory! And of course, no one will approach the car, so your dog actually thinks he is “winning”. Therefore the dog will bark even deeper to celebrate his victory.
- another very common reason why a dog may increase his barking and aggressiveness is when he starts to act up and bark at the door (for whatever reason) and the owner starts yelling at him to silence him. Most dog owners are not aware that yelling at their dog means nothing more than creating more aggression. A dog will think that you “support” his aggression towards the approaching stranger or delivery person.
- A fourth reason why a dog may have a higher level of territorial aggression is whenever it is isolated or confined, when there are guests and strangers in the house. When you first think about it, it seems very reasonable to take your barking dog with you and lock him in a room or box when you have guests. During this time, however, your dog can smell the “intruders” and since there is nothing he can do about it, the level of aggression can increase dramatically and cause stress and anxiety, which naturally leads to more behavioral problems.