Some Dogs Are Born Dog-aggressive, Imo


Well-Known Member
Ahh yes but manufacturers do use scientists.

And I still stand by my comments. I know that I agree with everything you say, but I am not explaining it in a way that you understand that, I, understand what you are saying.

Yep Ive seen dog-aggressive dogs. My ex had one. She was genetically that way. I did not realise this until I met her mother. Both of them reacted to most dogs without warning, without reason, any all kinds of environments and situations. Blade's mother, like I mentioned waaay above, was eeeeeextreeeeeeemelyyyyyyyyy dog aggressive, for no apparent reason and she snapped in miliseconds. At a show, surrounded by other dogs, she was generally wound up, highly strung, but for some reason she spotted some dog she had never met, way way across the show grounds, past heaps of other dogs, and she bloody went at her. That dog had no idea Blade's mum even existed til they were in the middle of a full on scrap. I have worked with a lot of dogs - in breeding, vet nursing, and kennels. I do believe I can read even very subtle signs in dog behaviour so I do understand what dog-dog aggression is like.

I do agree that it is how theyre wired. I do agree there doesnt [to us?] seem to be any 'why' theyre like that.


Well-Known Member
I do understand what dog-dog aggression is like.

And by this I mean, it is not like normal dogs being aggressive. I mean it like, I know what it is because it is so different. It happens without warning or reason. I mean I understand it, more like I know that I have experienced it.


Well-Known Member
Merely saying that theyre dog aggressive, because they dont like dogs. They dont want to be near them, or have their company for any reason

And this isnt entirely incorrect. Just trying to put it into words that everyone else may understand, when they finally get in here!

Coz I mean, if Buddy is dog-aggressive to some other dog, you would say that Buddy pretty much doesnt like that dog, he doesnt want to be near him [ie, he wont tolerate the other dog's presence, although he will approach and attack?] and doesnt want his company. So Im thinking maybe you mean, Buddy is not dog-aggressive because he doesnt like dogs/their company/their presence. Sorry that is not what I meant. I am wording things wrong. 'Because' seems to be the key word where communication falls..


Honored Member
thud...i can't believe anyone agreed with might be only one who does, but, still, i found one person who agrees with me.
I think I generally agree with you too. I don't see any reason why aggression shouldn't be heritable OR perhaps it would be more correct to say that I think the underlying causes of aggression could well be heritable.

We had two rescue dogs (BC and mutt) that displayed mild dog aggression and the mutt also displayed occasional human aggression. The BC I'm sure was simply bad past experiences but the mutt was schizophrenic and used to go for things without any reason, his eyes used to quite literally turn red and he'd go beserk, he did get better but you could never trust him. I've heard that this red eye is not uncommon in cocker spaniels. The aggression is not targeted solely to other dogs but it does suggest that there is some heritability involved.

Prey drive is not necessarily linked with dog aggression. I could imagine Zac (a sighthound) killing another dog but it would not be dog aggression (though the victim's owner would probably disagree), Zac could simply see a small fluffy animal and kill it without any malice aforethought. This is prey drive not dog aggression even if the victim is a dog. In my experience labradors and spaniels often behave like prey animals and are vulnerable to attack by other dogs as a result, again this is not necessarily dog aggression.

Some animals with what is loosely termed "strong prey drive" were actually bred to fight/protect rather than hunt (eg/Rotties were guard/cattle dogs NOT hunting dogs). Obviously it sounds better to say they have a strong prey drive but how many rotties/dobermans/English bull terriers etc really want to hunt prey rather than fight it. If dogs can be bred to fight/protect it suggests that there may be a genetic predisposition in some dogs to have the potential to be more aggressive, for example a rottie and a labrador could physically do each others jobs but you don't often see labs as guard dogs or rotties as guide dogs/retrievers though I have met individuals of each breed that could have a try!

I would also suggest that the rarity of dog aggression in certain breeds is another indication that it is heritable or genetically predisposed in some way.


Staff member
In the other thread I wrote a disagreement... here's the reason, I dont thing dog aggression in and of itself is a born trait. I believe it's a manifest of certain personality traits. With the example of Blade's mom, it's her personality that drives the DA she's a high strung dog, which has manifested (with apparently no help from her humans, which is entirely possible) into spectacular DA. With Oliver, it's his fear. he was obviously born fearful, and then he had to fight for everything he ever got, in order to survive, so surprise, he's DA, and because of his fear, he's an extremely difficult rehab.... he's also a terrier with a very high prey drive, which doesn't help the matter.

I do believe that you all are correct though in the fact that DA dogs are not always made that way, there's not always a trigger, but dogs who are naturally DA, can have that attributed to a personality. I dont believe that DA IS a personality, in and of itself... if you understand me.

But that's my experience, and my research, so far.

I used the example of the Irish Terrier breed in my last post on the other thread. They are a breed with common DA problems... but that's not their personality. They are high prey drive terriers that are extremely loyal and protective, usually very confident, and constantly test their world (including the humans in their life) but, if you can read and understand body language, tou can see the test and if the other dog reacts to the test, the IT will take the challenge.

I think a part of Oliver's issues are the testing of other dogs, he ALWAYS tests other dogs, to see if they'll react to his obvious threat... uggh!

I sort of aggree, and disaggree at the same time. I dont believe that it's a stand alone personality trait, I believe it's a manifest of a personality.


Well-Known Member
Going by Sara's post then, it is possible that Buddy, being a Border Collie - and all the BCs I know are pretty highly strung and have high prey drive, [wait for it, Ill try and find the link for herding dogs being high prey drive], that these traits then predispose Buddy to being dog-aggressive? He is genetically predisposed to being dog-aggressive?
But, my ex's dog and her mother were Labs, and they were pretty dog-aggressive. The father of the ex's dog was not dog-aggressive at all. The ex's dog quite possibly was genetically wired, from her mother, to be dog-aggressive. But where did it come from in the mother then? As the mother was purebred Lab, which arent generally known for being aggressive in any way. I say this because, learned dog-aggression cannot be genetically passed on. Maybe the mother learned dog aggression and then the ex's dog learned dog aggression from her mother. But none of the other pups in the litter were dog aggressive?
So, going by Sara's post again, maybe the ex's dog had other attributes, as did her mother, which made it more likely that they could become dog aggressive. So maybe it wasnt the dog aggression that was passed on, but other personality traits that made it more likely for those two, to become dog aggressive.


Honored Member
I admit, i am kind of lost on the "like" dogs /don't "like" dogs/don't want dogs company as a reason for dog-aggression. I really am.
If, instead of saying "Buddy is dog-aggressive" you prefer to say, "Buddy does not like most dogs" i guess there is no harm in that. I say it that way myself most of the time, since so few ppl truly understand dog-agression.
but it does not change the reason he is dog-aggressive----------->his brain is wired differently.

at the risk of repeating myself
to me, dog agression, true, inborn dog-agression is a brain wire malfunction/error. The true, inherently dog-aggressive dog, was BORN with a brain that is wired to be dog-aggressive.
there are other types of dog-aggressive dogs, like i said, some are trained to be, some get that way through abuse, but i think some are BORN that way.

and again, my Buddy, who is VERY dog agressive, LOVES playing with other dogs. so i am kinda lost. sorry.

Re: the animal testing, most scientists are against it. Lab techs employed by manufacturers, are not same thing as scientists.

still, some animal testing is done, that i *might* support, on a case by case basis, for extremely good reasons. (like eradicating polio).
but not for cosmetics, etc, which is a large portion of animal testing. I am NOT including animal testing, where the scientists merely studies the animals ability to learn something, or stuff like that. I mean testing where the animal is tortured.
but now i can't recall how we got onto that, it is not the cause of dog aggression. And having many scientist pals, ALL of whom are animal lovers, and passionate about saving animals, and being HUGE lover of science, maybe i am biased, ha ha! I LOVE SCIENCE!!!

when I think of scientists + animals i think of THESE kind of researchers: (all these articles are about animal behavior) {from a science group i belong to)

this group i belong to, also has an activism thread, and a thread for petitions/alerts to help save animals. Most of my scientist pals are so passionate about animal welfare, they are complete vegans, too.

so i stand by my statement, the vast bulk of scientists LOVE animals, and are THE ONES working to SAVE the various species!!!!

ALSO, worth noting, there are physcians, working FOR the tobacco industry!! Yet, WHO would claim, "doctors want us to smoke tobacco". Money can do creepy things to the morally bankrupt among us.


Honored Member
I sort of aggree, and disaggree at the same time. I dont believe that it's a stand alone personality trait, I believe it's a manifest of a personality.
I didn't get to read your post on the other thread until after I'd posted here. I'm not sure, Do I agree with you? :confused::confused::confused:

I'd suggest that the greyhounds you mentioned in the other thread are not dog aggressive, just not very good at identifying small animals, they'd respond in just the same way to rabbits, hares, cats, squirrels....


Honored Member
whoops, i am way behind.

I think dogs are born with the _______________
to be dog-aggressive.
even if you socialize them,
treat the dog well,
have them around other dogs from birth on,
not have them around other dogs from birth on,
the dog will be dog-aggressive.

now where we vary SEEMS TO BE that word that goes here--->__________. I don't care what you call it, a trait, a personality, a disposition, whatever.

but it is INBORN in some dogs.

doesn't matter what you do to the dog, wellll, you can make it slightly better or worse,
but it is inborn.


Honored Member
My DA dog (dog-aggrssive dog) is very lovable in every other way.
He is NOT SHY.
He is fairly outgoing type.

My DA dog LOVES LOVES LOVES to play with other dogs. (well, the few he has successfully made friends with, ha ha).

he was BORN WITH WIRES PLUGGED IN WRONG, like so many dogs are.


Honored Member
Yes, the greyhound example was kinda weak, i was saying,
are NOT
the same thing.

A dog can have strong prey drive, and NOT be dog-aggressive.
A dog can be dog-aggressive, and not have a very strong prey drive.

it's apples and oranges.


Honored Member
My DA dog (dog-aggrssive dog) is very lovable in every other way.
He is NOT SHY.
He is fairly outgoing type.

My DA dog LOVES LOVES LOVES to play with other dogs. (well, the few he has successfully made friends with, ha ha).

he was BORN WITH WIRES PLUGGED IN WRONG, like so many dogs are.
Maybe I missed something that you said before but this is rather like what our BC was, we simply put it down to his being attacked at an impressionable age before we got him, we never thought he was hardwired to be aggressive. :confused:


Honored Member
*some* dog-aggressive dogs,
like the inherently shy dogs,
have brains that are pre-wired to be that way.
it is NOT a result of mistreatment,
dog brain...some wire plugged in wrong, something.

although, it does not show up on THAT picture, haha!!!!

but, the inherently shy dog,
and the inherently dog-agressive dog,
will always be that way
cuz it is in their brain.


Honored Member
//"s, we simply put it down to his being attacked at an impressionable age before we got him, we never thought he was hardwired to be aggressive"//

yes, EVERYONE does.
absolutely EVERYONE thinks dogs are dog-aggressive, as a result of something done wrong.
AND *SOME* dogs, who were born with NORMAL brains,
can become dog-agressive as a result of abuse, etc. Maybe your dog was a normal dog, who did suffer abuse and turn dog-aggressive. (that kind rehabs easily, though)

but those dogs are easily rehabbed back to normal. LIke MIcheal Vick's dogs, 95% were normal dogs once they were removed from the ring....and fairly quickly, too!!!
But 5% are still, YEARS LATER, *still* dog agressive. Why? cuz i bet they were born that way, is why they can not rehab back to normal.

but, i present the notion,
in that same way
SOME DOGS are born dog-aggressive.

ha ha, the SHY DOGS, when met at age one or two, you would think, "well, THIS dog has been abused!!! look at him duck away from ppl!!" but, he ws born that way.


Honored Member
//"Okay what I am really asking is why you are sure that your dog is inherently dog aggressive? How can you rule out the bad experience in his past? Just curious... "//

darn good question!!!
my dog, has the double whammy, i do believe he was both born that way,
and also suffered abuse. If it was only he suffered, he could be rehabbed, like Vick's dogs were. Most of the dogs rescued from buddy's puppy mill were FINE, NOT dog-aggressive. Yet, they suffered the same abuse as he did.

We can NOT 'create" a persistantly dog-aggressive dog, they havea to be BORN that way.

the dogs who are BORN that way, do not ever ever fully rehab, no matter what you do.
the dogs who are normal brained dogs, but suffer abuse, can rehab.
Same as the inherently shy dogs, you can do whatever you want to try to 'create' one of those, but you can't. It is evident at birth.

You might be cruel and get some poor dog to 'act' shy, but, soon as that same dog gets someplace safe, that dog can rehab, cuz it had a normal brain.
They have to be born that way, for it to persist dispite all training/desensitizing efforts, etc etc..

too too too too too many stories,
of dogs whose entire life WAS observed,
who WERE socialized
treated well,
and still turned out dog-aggressive.

at a very young age, too, in puppy hood.

Nothing ever ever ever "cured" those dogs, with known dog lives, observed from birth on.

cuz they were born dog-agressive.

the dogs with INHERENT dog-agression, can not be fully, 100% "cured" ever. It's a hallmark of the inherently shy dog, or the inherently dog-aggressive dog. YOu can get them 'better', (or worse!) but you can not change the way their brain is wired.

NOrmal dogs, who are trained to be dog-agressive, CAN BE rehabbed back, like Vick's dogs. well, most of Vick's dogs. We humans CAN NOT create the kind of ongoing, persistant dog-agression, it has to be hard wired. Even Vick could not 'create' a truly dog-agressive dog.


Honored Member
again, i do want to emphasize, i do believe,
even dogs born either inherently shy
or inherently dog-aggressive,
can be made somewhat better,
or worse,
no argument whatsoever on that point!! i totally agree on that.

you just can't "cure" the inherently shy dog, nor the inherently dog-agressive dog. Not 100%. NOt if it is the kind they were born that way.


Honored Member
and i totally wish to dispell the notion,
dog-agressive dogs,
are manifesting "some inner issue" their human harbors.
wayyyyyyyyy tooo many ways to dispell that one.

THANK YOU DOG WHISPERER for making life way harder for those of us who ARE working with dog-agressive dogs, with hypnotizing all of USA that is the case, when it is NOT!


Well-Known Member
Now Im confused... if you say Buddy does loves to play with most dogs... does that actually make him dog aggressive? As I would believe that a true dog-dog aggresive would be aggressive towards all dogs without reason, with no desensitization or any training. And as he was a rescue, do you know that, in fact, he is not just reacting to something that was 'downloaded' in his past, rather than, 'hardwired' before birth.

Im not saying you are wrong, or dont know Buddy, I am just bringing up some more points of view for the matter of discussion :) And just using Buddy as an example.


Honored Member
Oh, did i say *most*?? if i did, that was a typo!!! Sorry!! NO wonder you are confused.
no no no, Buddy reacts to *most* dogs!!
but, Buddy LOVES to play with dogs, the FEW he has successfully befriended.

but, Buddy learning to be safe, to enjoy, to be calm with dog#1,
does NOTHING to help him when he meets dog#2.
is whole new dog to Buddy. He does NOT generalize, when i can get him, to accept this dog or that dog, Buddy does NOT generalize THAT nice experience, to any other dog, only that ONE dog.

No, MANY if not MOST dog-agressive dogs, have *some* dogs they do accept. Many dog-agressive dogs live in multi-dog households, and love their "siblings" yet, react to all other dogs on a walk.

YOu make good points, but, the reason i do not think this was learned behavior, or only the result of his suffering, is,
he can not be completely cured of it. LIke most of Vick's dog were cured.
It is in his brain. Scroll up and reread, i have editted my last post or two since i posted it.

The other dogs where Buddy lived in a puppy mill, almost ALL of them, rehabbed beautifully, no dog-agression, yet, they suffered the same as Buddy did.
why? probably cuz they had normal dog brains to start with.
Too many stories of dogs whose entire life WAS observed, yet, they turned out to be PERSISTANTLY dog-agressive.
The TRULY inherent dog-agressive dog is PERSISTANTLY dog-agressive, dispite all efforts to rehab it, you can't "cure" that kind of dog-agression. the OTHER kind, the kind of dog-aggression that comes from abuse, you CAN cure that kind, many stories of that, and it does not take long, either, these dogs will revert back to their NORMAL dog brains, if given half a chance.

it is an inborn thing. like the inherently shy dogs.

EDIT---REREAD POST #36, i explain it better there.