Some Dogs Are Born Dog-aggressive, Imo


Honored Member
//”But it raises questions like how did they determine if the dogs, they used, are aggressive?”//
GREAT GREAT QUESTION!!! Loved it! Science DOES much love to quantify, measure, and be very precise and exact, so your question, how DID they decide which dogs are aggressive, is a most excellent and thoughtful question, one which I DID post a link to, a test used by veterinary scientists to decide which dogs were to be included as aggressive dogs.
(actually, having many scientist pals, i know, scientists MUCH love to crack on each other, if one is seen as NOT adhering to "The Scientific Method", whihc is worth a google if you are not science buff, to get idea of HOW science determines what data means or does not mean)

The researchers focused only on otherwise healthy dogs who had lifelong ongoing, permanent aggression, which was not amenable to rehab/training/etc.

Here are a few links, from a researcher team, doing tests to sort out which dogs will be considered aggressive dogs:
using an agression test: (done in the Netherlands!)
using a questionaire:
Researchers at Texas A&M coolege of veterinary medicine, comparing owner complaints vs what they see in their behavior laboratory: (not exactly the same thing as you asked about, but interesting jsut the same)
and this one

Ahh, now I get it!:D Shouldn't be reading when I'm supposed to sleep...I did read that first post, but it didn't sink in, I guess.


Honored Member
//”Can you recognize an agressive dog from birth on?”//

Another most excellent question!! A very very few ppl say yes, but most ppl say no. I don’t think so myself, but, like I mentioned, I did find a list posted by a breeder vet, on how to select puppies least likely to display dog-aggression later on in life. I will post this article, if you'd like to look it over, but, it has no corresponding research, ---so you can take it for what it's worth-----------still, it's interesting.

See, I just don’t find the idea of a dog having a disorder which is not evident in the puppy, that remarkable of an idea, but, I now understand, that most ppl can not wrap their minds around the idea of an inborn disorder that does not show up at birth. If it shows up later, it must be ‘caused’ seems to be a common mindset about dog disorders.
I know about this way of looking at puppies, it is used here too. But I am a sucker for the ones who are different... I am ususally the one to go home with the smallest, or the shy one:D
I still don't how I managed to pick Jinx from her litter, as one of her sisters stuck in my mind a very long time. She was the runt of the lot, and did turn out to be a real beauty.
Another sister had a white head(not a good sign, since it CAN predict blindness or deffness) That was one of the reasons I did not choose her. SHe is perfectly fine though and in her behaviour, she is truly Jinx her twin. I am in contact with her owners and they show amazing similarities.


Honored Member
//”Anyway, I don't think the articles change my mind about the aggression”//

So, you read the evidence, the research, showing a consistent physical difference in dogs who show aggression, and shyness, and choose to ignore it? I always wonder how ppl do that, do you think the veterinary researchers from Cornell University, as well as researchers from all over the world, all just flat out lied?? Or do you think they all just got it wrong/made errors in their measurements or what?

:D No, it is just a matter of not wanting to accept that there are so many dogs that have this defect. To me a dog is a pure creature and I think humans tend to destroy pure things.
But there is hope!! Since I have jumped in on this threat I have come across a whole lot of things to think about and link them to things I had never thought about. I am not saying this the way I want to...

I know that agression is getting worse in some breeds, who are supposed to be gentle, like the Golden Retriever. I did post about the Briard getting more aggressive...
So I know it is inborn in the breed.
I did not know it is therefor also inborn in an individual dog.
DUH!!! How stupid am I.
I simply did not link the two together, because I had never thought of it.
So reading your posts is opening my eyes to really see and understand, what I already know, but didn't think about.
Do you get what I mean? Human brain is a strange thing:rolleyes:

And I remember my mother always saying: dogs are not born aggressive, they are MADE agressive. So I have been brought up with this idea.
Thinking about Rakker, our agressive dog, I know he was born with a defect in his brain. And oh my, could he have been dangerous if he had been owned by someone else...
His aggression was the reason, he was put to sleep at 6 years of age. We were moving back to the Netherlands and rehomed him with our neighbours, who knew him very well. But he became more and more aggressive, to the point, they had to chain him up and throw his food at him, because they could not come near him anymore.

So now I am putting two and two together and I am finding, that I AM changing my mind.
Thank you so much for this!:notworthy::D


Honored Member
Katz... please don't make the same mistake as I did...
I have done this with my dog and his behaviour only got worse. Of course your dog is not the same as my dog, and maybe it would work for him.
But my trainer has taken this form of dominating completely out of her program. She did so, because she had to conclude that it does not work for most dogs.


Honored Member
At Anneke, i so so so understand, the difficulty in accepting the idea that dogs can be born to be aggressive, with the wiring in place, so that the dog lives with an entirely different balance of hormones, chemicals, serotonin, dopamine, etc than other dogs do.

Me, i think when it dawned on me, the dog is wired wrong, i think i did go through a bum-out period of time AT FIRST, but, then, something good happened in how *i* saw Buddy's problem, hard to explain, but, i felt better. My frustration with my own inability to 'cure' him went away. I even now have a sense of humor about his problem.

BUT I DON'T WANT TO CONVEY that i have 'given up' on buddy, i KNOW i can make Buddy better, or worse, and i also believe that to be true of *all* dogs with problems, whether their problem is caused, or inborn.

A LIL BIT BETTER, or a EVEN a lot better,:)
and we all know we can sooooooooo make them WORSE!!:mad: LOL, that is true!

I myself don't find accepting the idea that buddy's aggression being permanent-----(like the lifelong aggression found in millions of other dogs) as a depressing idea. Well, maybe, yes at first i did, but, then, i came to see it in an entirely different light, and i STILL work to help him become his best self. He IS BETTER!!! But, he'll always be my lil gangsta, and that is how it is. And i am MUCH better at helping prevent reactions, and handling his reactions, too, i've learned a lot from Buddy. Me and Buddy are BOTH 'better' ha ha!!

I have a mentally challenged relative, who will never ever join a Mensa club, but, he can still learn *some* things, so we all work to help him become his best self that he can be, and our accepting his limitations that he ws born with, actually makes it EASIER to work towards reasonable goals for him, and it makes accepting the set backs, easier, cuz, he was born that way. But, if we thought he was just being a slacker, or if we were annoyed with our own selves for being unable to improve him much, well, if we did not accept his limitations, well, i imagine we'd all be upset all the time that he "just wasn't getting it", or, that we just weren't good helpers.

also, i ALSO do think *some* aggressive dogs can be created, but those dogs, who have "learned" a maladaptive behavior, can also UNLEARN it, if they had 'normal' brains all along, like 95% of Michael Vick's dogs all rehabbed fine, once they got away from there and were treated right.

SO, i won't argue with anyone who says *some* dogs can be made aggressive, however, we humans can not create a PERMANENTLY LIFELONG aggressive dog who can't be rehabbed.

There's just tooooo many dogs, puppies, who have suffered horrible abuses, yet,
turned out just lovely.

There's just toooooo many dogs, puppies, who were raised perfectly well, yet,
turned out aggressive, or supershy.

but, if it is inborn, THEN it all makes sense. all of it.

and when i read up on the physical differences found consistently in aggressive dogs, and the reverse findings found in the "anxious" dogs (do they mean the shy dogs?) being consistantly abnormal, well, then i felt pretty convinced this is inborn..... cuz Humans can't impact the number of serotonin receptors in a dog's skull. We just can't.

ANYWAY, FUN discussion, let me know if you have any questions, cuz, you DO ask really good questions!!


Honored Member
Also, i don't have anything to say about an entire breed being labelled as aggressive, except, that each dog is an individual. I'm only discussing INDIVIDUAL dogs being born aggressive,
not an entire breed being labelled as aggressive.
I know some pit bulls who are total lovebugs, love all ppl and all dogs, and i know some Pomerians who bite eveyone they see. So we have to try to meet each dog as an individual.

Yes, it's true, in USA, the dog who bites ppl MOST OFTEN is the golden retriever. HOWEVER----------i think this is because the breed is wildly popular, so that breed is AROUND PPL more than any other breed, and also, that breed is most often put next to small children, who may accidentally provoke a dog into biting. I also think, many dogs, sooner or later, may reach their limit on what they can and will tolerate, ha ha, and that same dog, if he didn't have a two year old trapping him into a corner poking his eyes, may never have ever bitten anyone.

I also don't think *all* dogs who have ever bitten, can be labelled "agressive", there CAN BE extenuating circumstances for the dog who has only bitten one person, etc.


Honored Member
yes, Katz, feel free to post about your dog's behavior, either here, or feel free to start your own thread on whatever it is you are worried about your dog, so it wont' get 'lost' in this 10 page thread!! ha ha

I so agree with Running Dog's reply about the trainer doesn't sound really good to me, either.
Here is a thread, on choosing a trainer, that you might find interesting:
(anyone can hang out a sign "dog trainer"...and they are NOT all equal in ability or skill or idealogy or methods, nope, trainers are NOT all equal!!)


Honored Member
//"Our police K9 handler says I definitely need to alpha roll him a few times when I see him changing."//

OH NO! that K9 guy is another dog whisperer fan, :poop:turn off the dog whisperer,:poop: he is toxic, and DO turn on "It's Me or the Dog" with Victoria Stillwell.
Please don't do this alpha roll. It only adds further to your dog's lack of confidence or trust, it will NOT create a calm dog. In the wild, alphas do NOT do this to others.

//"I try to keep him well exercised and seperated from the others...I am sure no one else would put so much work into him."//
I'm sure your dog IS lucky to have YOU!! AND you are not alone, Actually, there are a TON of us out here, all working to help our dogs become their best selves ever.

//" I certainly show no fear around him or allow his poor behavior,,,,,,,,,,,,,"//

This smacks of dog whisperer, too. the old i mean old-ER theory on dog aggression, used to be, (well, it still is popular): "the dog was abused/neglected/not socialized/was OVER socialized/was frightened/was stared at too hard by an older dog/was yanked by his collar/etc etc" is *why* a dog is aggressive, however, Caesar Milan has begun hypnotizing USA that the reason the dogs are aggressive, is,
cuz the dog is manifesting his humans secret inner issues.:ROFLMAO:

There is absolutely ZERO research to support this theory, either.....

still, i find Milan's theory even more hilarious than most of OTHER theories.........!

What, if Bill has 4 dogs, and only ONE is aggressive, does this mean the other 3 dogs are too dumb:notworthy: to pick up on Bill's secret inner issue? rofl.

I know some pretty weird, high-strung ppl who have marvelous easy going dogs.

Us being calm does NOT prevent our aggressive dogs from reacting, however, i do think, if our dog is upset, and we also freak out, we could "add" some extra intensity to our dog's reactions. But the dog is reactive, cuz he his brain is wired wrong. NOt cuz you are not confident enough, or whatever.

An aggressive dog is NOT caused by the human's personality, so you can toss that one out the window. Even flat out abuse, can't create a permanently aggresive dog. Many many stories of puppies and dogs found severely abused, but turned out JUST LOVELY!!

I know some very confident ppl who have messed up dogs, and i know some jerks who have lovely dogs. Dogs are not "manifestations" of US, but they are their own unique individual selves.

(that the dog "manifests" his human's inner personality problem:ROFLMAO:) must have amused some scientists, and so they did some tests,----------- to prove, the human's personality had nothing to do with helping out a dog who is aggressive:
turn off the dog whisperer---he'll only mess you up.


Well-Known Member
When my dog approaches other dogs he raises his head, curls his tail higher and puffs up. He goes directly toward them and chest bumps them. If they retreat before he gets there he either leaves them alone...or if they are unlucky he will grab their necks. He has injured one of my dogs. The behavior started early this summer. Most of the time he is good natured. This is not an everyday occurence. He never backs away from a dog he is meeting. He has never tried to bite a dog while we are out and about but he is always in his sled dog mode, harnessed and flying. I sometimes wonder if it is partially because of the slower summer training schedule. They do not run if weather is above 60. Earlier this summer he actually ate a bird and always seems to be searching for the next bird or rabbit....he actually nearly cause us to wreck as he tried to take off after a turkey feather that blew past him. He jumped sideways and bolted after it, while in tandom lead with my shy Alaskan Husky. She was startled by the feather (it was kind of big!) and did not want to go near it. When we left he constantly kept rechecking the area where it flew too until we were out of site of the location. My dogs are used for bikjoring and wrecks hurt!!! We avoid them LOL.


Honored Member
Umm, well Siberian Huskies are the one breed I have met that have bigger prey/chase drive than the sighthounds. I know one that catches songbirds and on one horrible day chomped up a chicken in a farmyard :oops: ALL while walking on leash! There is another local pair that hunt deer - their owner is very irresponsible and physically can't hold on to the dogs at the best of times. But prey drive is totally different to dog aggression, two of the above huskies LOVE other dogs, one is dog aggressive.

I'm nonplussed by the chest bumping, do you mean he barges them holding his head high above their back and neck? It doesn't sound like classic dog aggression though, it sounds more like a dominant dog with a communication problem. Hopefully someone will come along who understands a bit more than me but if you are using the alpha rolls, I really would stop. An alpha roll will (maybe) teach the dog that YOU are boss but it will also teach him that the way to prove HE is boss is to pin other dogs (and maybe you) on the ground by their necks...


Well-Known Member
Woohoo! I just wanted to let you all know my "dog aggressive" is MUCH better!!! I owe this to hard work and LOTS of time. I simply increased his his doggie friends to times away from his kennel. I ordered a book on my kindle about rehabilitating shy dogs and made a list of the behaviors mush like they do for the fearful dogs. I noticed his aggression was primarily in his kennel or right when he got out of his kennel. He now gets out of the kennel before the other sled dog to release his burst of energy prior to our runs. My husband has taken an interest in bikjoring with me so that has helped.


Well-Known Member
This has fixed the problem at home for the most part but we still watch him close while encountering other dogs, read their body language before allowing any kind of meet...and never let him pause while running to meet a dog as his energy level is on GO GO GO. Still need work on meeting strange dogs...but better!


Honored Member
I know I'm late on this thread but I totally agree that some dogs are just born with dog-aggression or other aggression, but I think most dogs with aggression are like that from abuse, bad experience or unsocialized.
I have had a highly aggressive dog who was socialized around other dogs and humans starting about 8 weeks maybe a little older. He came to my little brothers baseball games were kids were running around screaming dogs everywhere and he was perfectly fine with it. He would often play with other dogs and had a best friend that was a wiener dog. With baseball season over we stopped going when it started back up he, Domino was wanting to kill every dog in site and no he did not just wanted to fight he wanted to kill every dog in sight no matter how far away. For the most part he was probably aggressive cause our other dog/his dad would bite and attack him as a puppy after a while we had to keep them separated cause Domino would attack out of fear of his dad. So he may have been naturally aggressive and being attacked could have osculated it or it may have just been from being attacked.


Honored Member
You say, initially, Domino got on well with other dogs, at age 8weeks on and as a puppy, but then later on, Domino displayed dog aggression....did anyone memorizie HOW OLD was Domino when he first acted aggressive to other dogs?

//"...but I think most dogs with aggression are like that from abuse, bad experience or unsocialized."//

of course you think this!!:ROFLMAO:
everyone thinks this.

It's almost heresy to NOT think this. Feathers fly if the accepted meme is even questioned!!

It's like the old children's book, "The Emporer's Clothes":ROFLMAO: .
We are told this, by everyone, absolutly everyone, even dog authorities, everyone says this, why would you even question it?
But science disagrees.
These aggressive dogs have physical abnormalities in their brains and bloodstreams. ALL of them.
and NO 'normal' behaving dog has ever ever been discovered to share these same abnormalities, not one dog. If there is such a dog, he has never been discovered in all the studies done, by multiple geneticist research teams from all around the world, not one such dog has ever been discovered.

but even common sense should make us question the theory.
There are 1,000s of dogs, well socialized in proper manner, never suffered any abuse other than to have to wait to get their biscuit,
they manifest aggression.
There are 1000s of stories of dogs, rescued from the worst abuse you can imagine,
they stand there, loving everyone and all other dogs.
sure, sure, "abuse" is why dogs are aggressive.

No doubt, we can take a dog with a normal brain, and get him to act aggressively..........for a while. but, once he is rescued from the abuse, he rehabs quite readily. LIke MIchael Vick's dogs, almost all rehabbed beautifully and quickly back to normal behavior, dispite a lifetime of abuse.


Honored Member
Woohoo! I just wanted to let you all know my "dog aggressive" is MUCH better!!!
Great news Katz.
Well done for identifying the likely flashpoints for your dog's aggression and finding ways to manage his behaviour (y)(y)(y) I just wish more people took the time to work with their dogs like you have.


Honored Member
Domino was about 8 months old maybe older when he became aggressive. I'm not sure if he was like this because he was attacked by his dad or if it was just how he was born, but he was best friends with Missy, his mom.

Like I said before I do agree with you that dogs can be born aggressive or shy.(y) I say that I think that a lot of dogs are aggressive because they weren't socialized is because I've noticed not a lot of people take their dogs out on walks anymore or to the park. Basically everyone in my neighborhood has a dog only me and my next door neighbor walk out dogs my cousins who live in my neighborhood my walk their dog once a month and never take them anywhere are aggressive they bite at joggers and bikers one actually bit my mom they are also very mean to my dog. I think this is because they never get out to get rid of there energy. This is why I think a lot of dogs have issues because of owners, but I may be totally wrong. I'm very much aware that there are many dogs out there who have awesome owners but are aggressive because that's just how they were born.


Honored Member
//"Domino was about 8 months old maybe older when he became aggressive. I'm not sure if he was like this because he was attacked by his dad or if it was just how he was born, but he was best friends with Missy, his mom"//

Most of the dog-aggressive dogs i hear about, all have some dogs they do love. My dog is dog-aggressive, but, he has wide circle of doggie pals he LOVES!!! It is *most* (not ALL, but *most*) UNKNOWN dogs that set off a dog-aggressive dog):mad:

yes, 9 mos old is typical age of onset for inborn dog aggression. Some dogs, like yours, do have humans who notice it a bit earlier,
and some dogs, especially if owned by homebodies who don't get much company nor walk their dogs much around UNKNOWN dogs, don't report til it as late as 12 mos old, but, the overwhelming majority of humans notice it at about 9 mos old. (IN OTHERWISE HEALTHY DOGS)

by 12 mos old, most of these dogs are being brought to trainers, or vets, etc, and these ppl, since they've all been hypnotized that abuse "causes" dog aggression, are racking their brains to remember what "abuse" or "lack of proper socialization" they did wrong.

Almost all humans do come up with some "event", that they feel "triggered" their dogs aggression............. if they think back very very hard, they find one, and say THAT day is what ruined their dog for life. sometimes, the events they report sound ridicously trivial, yet, the human clings to the notion, that THAT day is what ruined their dog's inner brain and bloodstream for life.
"Oh, must have been that time a dog scared my puppy...":unsure:

"oh, must have been that time, my dog got bit by another dog":unsure:

while somehow,
these same ppl manage to overlook alllllll the dogs who DID suffer horrible abuse, MUCH worse than a dog scaring or even biting their dog, yet, THOSE dogs, who DID suffer horrible abuse,
love eveyrone and other dogs.:ROFLMAO:

makes no sense.:rolleyes:

yet, most ppl seem to struggle with the concept,
that a disorder CAN be inborn,
yet not manifest IMMEDIATLEY upon birth.

IMPOSSIBLE! They say, they even GET ANGRY if you suggest it as an option, as if you've insulted dogdom.

everyone agrees, the very complex herding behavior of many border collies, IS on the dog's DNA.
The mutated malformed hip in the GSD, does not show up in the litter box, but IS on the dog's DNA.

Many disorders or behaviors, that ARE born in,
do NOT manifest in the litter box.

I get impression,
that despite all the top geneticicsts, and veterinary research teams, who all identify the exact same anomalies in aggressive dogs,
for ppl to believe dog-aggression can be inborn,
the infant dog must display it in the litter box!! rofl!!!
THAT's the whole problem in getting humans to accept a dog CAN have an inborn problem (or skill) which does not manifest in the litter box. It HAS TO show up "right away" or it can not be on the dog's DNA, is what many ppl seem to think,.
the bad hips of many GSDs do not show up in the litter box....
the worlds best herding border collie, won't show any urge to herd in the litter box....
a great sighthound won't go chasing prey while in the litterbox.........
yet, these behaviors ARE set to go off LATER------------as the dog begins to mature, -------by his DNA.

but aggression, if it doesn't show in the litter box, it "can't be inborn" is how most humans understand it, :ROFLMAO: dispite allllllll the research that shows aggressive dogs ALWAYS but ALWAYS have mishapen amygdalas in their brains,
and abnormal levels of serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, zinc, and omega 3 levels in their bloodstreams,
to name a FEW of the PHYSICAL abnormalities found in ALL aggressive dogs, but NEVER found in "normal" dogs.

There are physical differences found in ALL aggressive dogs,
but never ever found in dogs who behave "normally".

it's born in.
we CAN take a 'normal' dog, and create a TEMPORARILY aggressive dog,
sure we can! but those dogs revert to 'normal' brained behavior quite readily.

the born in aggressive dog,
will be aggressive for life, on some level,
we can CERTAINLY make aggressive dogs BETTER, or WORSE, but we can't create one that persists his whole life dispite many therapies to heal it. that kind, is born in, and has been proven to have physical abnormalities in his brain and bloodstream.

and dog-aggression (towards other dogs) does tend to manifest at about 9 mos old or so.....


Staff member
I firmly believe that aggression can be born into certain dogs. My two Boxers can be proof to that.

When we went to TN for these pups we also recieved their brother, Axel. Jinx was given to my mother and I, Axel was given to my dad as a truck dog and Isis was given to my brother also as a truck dog. My dad and brother drive semis and like to have one dogs with them in the truck so they don't get lonely.

Jinx was brought to Petsmart everyday and was allowed to play with both people and animals at the local nursing home. A lot of socialization was put into making sure she was okay around everyone.
Isis was with my brother's truck most of time socializing with other truckers and their dogs. She had an excellent recall when playing and was welcome into many of the truck stops because of her manners.
Axel was with my dad and regularly met up with Isis and my brother. He was also allowed into truck stops and many truckers loved playing with him.

Isis and Jinx are both human and animal aggressive (I would say it started around 10months). Axel was fine with both people and animals til his death (He died at 11 months from a blood clot). I heard from others that got their litter mates. At least 3 others were aggressive as well, more so than Jinx and Isis. Two of the other puppies were just like Axel, perfectlly okay with humans and animals. I'm almost positive that there was a gene of aggression in this litter.


Honored Member
//"I currently do believe people-agression is taught/ learned, a result of not being socialized, something, so far as i know right now, and ppl agression IS VERY highly curable. My own dog was also ppl=agressive, but, we cured him of that 100%."//

I now disagree with my own remark, above. My above remark applies only to dog-aggressive dogs, not shy dogs.
I have learned more about the shy dogs. Not all shy dogs become ppl-aggressive, but, shy dogs do have the primary target of humans. Shy dogs are wayyyyyy more likely to bite humans, than dog-aggressive dogs.