Some Dogs Are Born Dog-aggressive, Imo

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tigerlily46514, May 23, 2011.

  1. sara Moderator

    Facinating article by:

    (Quoted from the article)
    "The information within these FAQs has been provided by David Ryan, Chairman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). The advice offered is recognised by the ASAB Accreditation Committee as reflecting good practice by those working in the field of clinical behaviour in companion animals.
    The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) is the leading professional society in the United Kingdom for the study of animal behaviour."

    Here's the link
    http://www.apbc.org.uk/articles/dog-aggression-FAQs

    Now this article is talking about aggression in general, not specifically dog aggression, but principals hold true, imo
    jackienmutts likes this.

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Great article, Sara!!
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Oh, that is an interesting article, and does reflect the widely accepted current 21st century views on dog aggression. LIke i said, evvvvvvvvvveryone accepts that idea, everyone. No one even questions if this is true.

    Very widely accepted notions in the article, yes indeedy!!! but, not one single study done is mentioned in the link. Not even one. Absolutely no science is in that, and yet, everyone DOES believe, the dogs,
    somehow,
    become PERMANENTLY damaged by some issue,
    to the point they can only be managed or controlled
    but
    not completely cured of their lifelong aggression,
    as a result of some even minor incident.

    but, dispite the authority of the author,
    there are too many millions of dogs proving him wrong.

    millions of dogs are properly raised
    and turn out aggressive.
    Many millions of aggressive dogs, are raised,
    side by side
    with other dogs who turn out fine under "the mistakes made" by the human.

    just the one turns out aggressive. The other dogs must be too dumb to notice the human's errors...
    Or, the human who has sequentially raised dozens of 'normal' dogs, but, suddenly, somehow, messed up raising this current dog so much (although no trauma occurred) that the dog is then rendered aggressive for the rest of it's life.

    or, the 1000s of dogs who 'should be' aggressive, having lifetimes of abuse or neglect or zero socialization, yet, are just fine, not aggressive AT ALL.

    We can make the inherently shy dog
    and the inherently aggressive dog
    a lil bit better
    or
    a lil bit worse,
    but,
    we can't create one,
    nor can we completely cure an inherently shy or an inherently aggressive dog.

    For all who are interested in dog aggression, there is a group for that, to avoid derails
    of THIS tricks-centered group
    .http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/k9aggression-support/ <---I find this forum difficult to navigate initially, took some getting used to. But, it's one focus IS dog-aggression, so we can discuss it without feeling badly for ruining a tricks-centered site.

    There is currently much discussion there, on this very topic, "can a dog be born aggressive" (the way the inherently shy dog is)
    with many who DO specialize and live with dog-aggressive dogs, all agreeing that too many experts make this statement, that permanently aggressive dogs are 'created' by humans, or, in part by humans, with absolutely no studies or science to back up their claims, and tons of evidence against that theory....it is just never questioned, it's so widely accepted as "fact" by even the most educated and brilliant dog behaviorists, with absolutely no proof...

    So the current, widely accepted theory is, "dogs are damaged by humans" but, is quickly losing ground to Caesar Milan's theory, "the aggressive dog is manifesting the human's inner issues"........lol. Now THAT one, is becoming widely accepted. sigh.

    still, there are too too many holes in that current theory, (as well as Milan's theory, too). Too many 1,00os of dogs who were raised well, socialized properly, yet, turn out dog-aggressive against all odds.
    too many 1,000s of dogs, who SHOULD be dog-aggressive, had horrific upbringings, yet, turn out "just fine".

    I do not think we can 'create' a permanently aggressive dog,
    nor completely "cure" an truly inborn aggressive dog.
    We can make these dogs slightly better or worse,
    but
    we can not 'create' one, (even Vick couldn't)
    nor 'cure' one.
    It's permanent.

    Widely believed does not make it a 'fact', nor true. Especially when so so so much common sense indicates there IS 'something else' at play in the development of dog aggression.
    I can post many more 1,000s of articles, all with zero studies done at all, all making the claim that some human error---even by well meaning humans--- was to blame if a dog turns out to be dog-aggressive.
    NO one even questions this notion, and almost everyone balks at it...
    we all "know" it,
    AS IF it is a proven fact if someone who should know about it "says so".
    when in fact, there are so many 1000s of dogs who prove that is just not true.

    In humans who don't behave like their peers--------- for centuries, it was believed that parental neglect or abuse caused all mental illnesses, -----it was an accepted 'fact', and all the top medicos wrote about it convincingly, and with authority,
    and everyone "knew"
    if the child grew up sociopath or schizo = that those parents DID mess up that child up!!! it was a 'fact', that eveyrone "knew",------- (and some still believe that about sociopathy or many forms of schizophrenia, even to this day!!...) UNTIL it was discovered that sociopathy and many forms of schizophrenia, do
    show up on MRIs and P.E.T. scans....
    ....they are organic brain malformations, and were, all along, even when all the top, highly educated experts said the kids were just "raised wrong" or something.

    and even though these are inborn organic brain disorders in humans, they typically do not manifest until the human reaches maturity. I think it makes sense to consider the dog-aggressive brain does sound a lot the same.
    I'd love to see a study that puts actual permanently 'damaged' lifelong dog-aggressive dogs into MRIs!!!

    so, this way, THIS DTA forum can maintain it's focus on tricks training, etc, folks interested in learning more on managing dog aggression can go here:
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/k9aggression-support/message/15984
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Earlier, some people who could not imagine the concept that dogs could be born
    aggressive, asked for 'evidence' or research which supports the notion, that
    many dogs who are aggressive ARE born that way.
    (again---i am discussing lifelong, permanent dog-aggression in dogs, NOT a
    one-time incident, etc)

    Turns out, scientists and researchers do enjoy doing research on dogs trying to
    isolate the gene which could be causing the brain malformations which lead to
    aggression in dogs.
    (i suspect, their long term goal may be in hoping to identify similar genes in
    some human mental disorders which are known and proven to be genetic). HOwever,
    locating the exact spot on a gene/genes which could contribute to such disorders
    is not easily done.

    For example, in human beings, there ARE many conditions KNOWN to be
    genetic,( genetic means "born that way", even if it doesn't manifest until the human matures)
    yet, the specific gene or combination of genes has not yet been isolated. (that i know of anyway).


    Scientists much love trying to locate the target genes for
    conditions,------------ and do find dogs,--------------------
    due to their often very 'small, exclusive gene pool' in many
    breeds,--------------- a fascinating subject to work on for gene location and transference:

    (people who do not enjoy science nor understand 'The Scientific Method' in use,
    may not be able to fully benefit from the reseach reports below)

    To read full article, one must register for an account at whichever science or
    veterinary website i posted from here,------------- ------------------however, i
    *think* all the sites i post below offer FREE accounts and one does NOT have to
    be a scientist to join. (some sites had studies, but, are limited to
    researchers/scientists/vets only, ------------and some sites have sign-up fees(BUT i
    eliminated those research papers from this post).

    But DO LOOK at these~!

    Canine aggressive behavior displays high heritibalilty:
    http://www.vet.cam.ac.uk/idid/detail.php?record=1325

    Behavior genetics of canine aggression:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14574125
    "Aggressive behavior displays a high heritability in our study group of Golden Retriever dogs" (a researcher group's attempt to locate the exact allele or gene or spot on the DNA which is THE gene that causes it)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18066658


    "The serotonergic system is disturbed in different mood and affective disorders, with especially the serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor involved in impulsive aggressiveness and anxiety. The aim of the study was to evaluate the involvement of the brain 5-HT 2A receptor in dogs with different behavioural disorders.....................Significantly (P<0.0056) altered 5-HT 2A receptor binding indices were found in bilateral frontal, temporal and occipital cortical brain areas of the dogs behaving abnormally, with consistently increased BI in impulsive aggressive dogs and decreased BI in anxious dogs. These results provide clear evidence for a disturbed serotonergic balance in canine impulsive aggression and anxiety disorders."...............................(your serotonergic balance is dictated by your genes)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21051063

    BE AWARE, all testing a dog's DNA involves, is swabbing inside their cheek, they are not drilling holes in the dog's brain, okay? hee hee.

    As i mentioned a few times, i myself am NOT certain if aggression towards ppl IS
    inherent, or caused by environment, i readily admit having zero insight into
    this ppl-aggression topic, but this next study below suggests some human-aggressive dogs can be caused,
    and appears to follow different risk factors than the dog-aggressive dog. (of
    course, i am gaining more insight into 'Rage syndrome' and the like, which are
    not covered in the study below)

    I am aware, that my *own* experiences with my own dog may skew *my* perception of
    human aggressive dogs as being 'caused' in some cases. but i think the 'caused'
    type of aggression is NOT permanent. LIke Vick's dogs, were NOT permanently
    dog-aggressive, (caused) and like my own dog's human aggression from being abused (caused). In my
    opinion,
    the 'caused by humans' forms of aggression are NOT permanent, and CAN
    be cured----------while the inborn kinds of aggression ARE permanent, and can
    not be 100% cured. (made better, but not cured).


    My impression of my own dog is, that he was initially human aggressive, BUT
    that his human aggression was caused by his known history of beatings/and
    otherwise than the beatings, his complete lack of ever seeing humans for his
    entire life(lived in cage 24/7 nonstop for years, rarely ever seeing humans at
    all, excpet for the beatings)
    but, my theory about Buddy is: Buddy was born with 'normal' brain so far as
    HUMAN aggression goes, but, WAS born with dog-aggressive wiring in place. That
    is my theory on why his ppl-aggression was curable/not permanent, and why his
    dog-aggression IS permanent.

    Buddy is my own previously human-aggressive dog, who is now 100% cured of his
    human aggression (but NOT of his dog aggression)
    anyway, here are more studies which looked at this topic:


    This next study concluded, in scientifically measured and recorded results, that socialization CAN have an impact on a dog's playful reactivity to new objects for about two weeks, after which both the socialized and the unsocialized group's reactions were the same to 'novel' stimuli...............but socialization as a puppy had NO impact on a dog's fearful reactions towards other dogs or ppl at all:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19996556
    Plus, that one, common sense sort of provided that answer, as we've allllllllll heard of dogs who were seriously neglected and abused, like Vick's dogs, yet, did not become agressive, and 1o0s of dogs who were treated well and socialized and DID become aggressive.
    But still, it's nice when science measures results scientifically.


    "Mounting evidence exists that aggressiveness is genetically and neurobiologically driven......" (in dogs)
    ~College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9170631

    Here is an article, (probably prompted by the latest craze on
    "Aggressive dogs manifest their human's inner issues" fad) turns out---
    --- there is NO CONNECTION between
    the human's personality and dog aggression:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8800257 <-------come on, you gotta admit, that is
    AN ADORABLE topic!! Probably a dog whisperer fan did the test?????
    Keep in mind, science is objective, not subjective. Science struggles to find ways to measure things, and count them, record them, etc. It's not based on emotion, or myths, it is based on evidence and research.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Again, i want to emphasize, that i do believe, (actually i KNOW), we *CAN*
    make our dog-aggressive dogs
    better,
    or worse,
    depending on how we manage them.
    (so don't give up striving for more and more and more improvements!)

    -------------But we can't 100% cure one completely,

    nor can we 'create' a life-long, permanently dog-aggressive dog,
    either.


    That is my opinion, and above are only a few of 100s of articles which seem to support that
    idea. wow, i feel so validated! I came up with the idea based on common sense, but, turns out, scientists and researchers think so too! and they are working to locate THE gene(s)!! Maybe they have found it by now, i don't know...
    some of these articles are pretty old........
    yet, no one seems aware of the research on this. Not even top dog-behaviorists say this....maybe because saying it DOES cause an uproar...?


    IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO THINK and try to learn more,( is my opinion!)

    I now sort of think of Buddy as canine version of an autistic savant, hee hee! He IS a genius, but he lacks social skills due to a malformation in his brain.


    If this is ever definitively proven beyond a shadow of a doubt,
    and if it ever does becomes well known to the general public, even against the din of those who should know better but don't, ------------


    -----if this knowledge that dog-aggressive dogs ARE born that way
    ever gets heard over the widely popular beliefs that aggressive dogs:..................
    "they weren't socialized well"
    "they saw too many dogs in a chaotic setting"
    "they saw not enough dogs"
    "they didn't see any dogs during ________stage of their of life" (fill in your favorite stage)
    "they met aggressive dogs at a young age, and learned lifelong, evil ways from that terrible experience"
    "they were abused"
    "they were neglected"
    "they saw a scarey dog while they were young and just never got over it."
    "their owner has secret inner issues and the dog is manifesting the human's issues"
    etc etc etc etc -------------------
    IF THIS EVER DOES BECOME COMMON KNOWLEDGE----------THAT AGGRESSIVE DOGS ARE BORN THAT WAY-----------------
    the bright side
    is,

    those of us who were blaming ourselves for 'causing' the aggression in our dogs
    by 'whatever' we imagine to have 'caused' it,
    and those of us who are blaming ourselves for being unable to 'cure' it
    completely,
    can consider letting go of any shreds of guilt in the backs of our own minds, in
    our quest to find better and better ways to manage our dog's aggression.



    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident" ~German philosopher (1788 - 1860)


    i sort of think of dogs who turn out aggressive, against all odds, dispite being socialized, treated well, etc etc,
    as being pretty close to self evident that the dog was born that way,
    but, it's nice when RESEARCH supports the idea.

    I now sort of think of Buddy as a canine version of canine autistic savant---------brilliant, but poor social skills, ha ha. He IS who he IS....
    sara likes this.
  6. sara Moderator

    And I will re-iterate once again, I believe it's POSSIBLE but very, very uncommon, the way you're talking most DA dogs are born that way, I do not believe it's that way, and none of the experts I've consulted online, nor the books I've read believe it's that way also. Dogs are born more likely to find something fearful, and more likely to show aggression due to fear, but actually having a brain disorder? likely a very very small percentage.

    That book I recommended to you earlier goes into it, I've had a few links about aggression sent to me from other forums I've queried... they all basically say the same thing, possible but not very likely. I have done a ton of research since you started this thread, and I have yet to change my theory.

    You got Buddy at a year old correct? from a puppy mill? there is no way you can even guess at what went on with him there. you say all the other dogs rescued out of this situation are normal, but possible Buddy was put in with a bully, or attacked outright by a kennel mate at a critical fear period? You cannot even guess at what happened with him, just as I cannot guess at what happened in Ollie's first 6 months.

    I do not blame owners (unless the situation warrents it) as even a strong stare from another dog can induce fear in a puppy born prone to fear, and thus the roots of DA are born. And thus having the initial fear response, it can be very VERY hard to rehab.

    Human aggression is alot easier to rehab, because we can tell new people HOW to approach the dog, or to not and turn thair backs, or whatever that particular dog needs... It's much, MUCH more difficult to rehab DA dogs due to the fact that you cant do this with other dogs.

    But AGAIN and hopefully you read this whole post. I'm NOT SAYING IT CANT HAPPEN, I'm saying that the likelyhood of a particular dog having been born with a brain disorder causing DA is highly unlikely.

    here's a good link
    http://www.apbc.org.uk/articles/dog-aggression-FAQs

    And read that book I recommended to you (Dog Sense), He is the leading scientist in the field of Dogs.
  7. sara Moderator

    This study said nothing about dog aggression. It is talking about aggression towards owner, and that personality had no affect on the use of non-confrontational methods, AND that 9 out of 10 dogs got better using this method regardless of owner personality. This is a hit against Cesar's methods, not a fan of him.

  8. sara Moderator

    Again this one says nothing about dog aggression, but is talking about owner/human aggression

  9. sara Moderator

    The first quote you gave gives no data at all, and no results, I have no idea why you included it

    the second one is about whether or not the study methods are scientifically accurate, and more study is needed

    In the third quote, all it is saying is that the genes they did study are unlikely to play any part in aggression in golden retrievers

    I am not intending on fighting with you, all I'm saying is that you are reading into these studies what you want to hear, not what they're actually saying. I'm very glad, however that more research is being done, the more we know, the less popular that maniac dog whisperer will be believed!
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    First off, Sara, THANK You for listening to me, and for replying!! I much appreciate the feedback, and the mental stimulation and further thinking that replying to you provides me to explore this theory, giving me new angles to consider and mull over. I'm all for learning, and let me repeat, i am still learning things every day about dogs, nowhere near where i want to be yet.

    And straight up front I want to say, even if you and I never agree on the cause of dog aggression, I like you, I LOVE YOUR DOGS, and admire you deeply as a devoted, knowledgeable, committed, caring dog-lover, even if we never ever do see eye to eye on the cause of our dog’s problems. So, none of my disagreements with you, is personal at all, I WISH I had even HALF of your ability with dogs!!! I do deeeeply admire your work with dogs, you are an undisputed talent with dogs, and so your insight is valuable to me.

    //”the way you're talking most DA dogs are born that way, I do not believe it's that way, and none of the experts I've consulted online, nor the books I've read believe it's that way also.”//

    I completely BELIEVE you, I too, have seen expert after expert, ALL ALMOST invariabley say it is caused by humans, I know you are telling the truth there, Sara, I do not disagree whatsoever. *None* of them ever cite any research whatsoever. Not a one,, zip, zero, nada.

    We have all always just accepted the theory without any research whatsoever.

    The very fact so many dog experts are NOT reading the research on this topic is astounding to me. But, i am a nerd, a real science geek, and not everyone loves nor understands research. But, many ppl believing something does not make it true.

    We also used to believe, for centuries!!! that many forms of human schizophrenia and sociopathy are ‘caused’ by negligent or abusive parents, too, but, today *some* of us have become aware it is also inherited, not ‘caused’ by abuse, (although, these biological disorders do not usually fully manifest until the human approaches maturity, either.)

    But prior to P.E.T scans and the like, all the experts ‘said’ many forms of schizophrenia are ‘caused’ too….see my point there? Much of the public still does believe if someone grows up to have some forms of schizophrenia or sociopathy, that they “were raised wrong”, despite the science.

    Sometimes, with science intervening, we have to accept our old theories were off.

    We have allllll been hypnotized that dog-aggression is ‘caused’, and I do not disagree that it CAN BE caused!! But, the ‘caused’ kind, imo, and research and incidental stories back this up, is not lifelong, not permanent. A ‘normal’ brained dog, can be rehabbed back to normal behavior, because it HAS a ‘normal’ brain capable of normal behavior, like almost all of Vick’s dog were.

    The inborn kind IS permanent. We CAN make these dogs a lil better, or worse, but, we can not create one, nor cure one. We can not rewire a dog’s brain…..

    Now the current rage that a surprisingly large number of ppl believe, is that the owner’s inner issues are being manifested by their aggressive dogs, aka the Dog Whisperer’s theory. The owner is not confident = dog is aggressive.

    To ME, that one seems implausible on it’s face!! A human can have several dogs, 3 are fine, 1 is aggressive or supershy. What, the other 3 dogs are too dumb to pick up on their human’s inner issues??? Only 1 of Bill’s 4 dogs realizes Bill has personality issues?

    Does anyone here NOT know or heard of on news/rescue boards, a dog who SHOULD be aggressive, was abused/neglected, but turned out lovely?
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //”This is a hit against Cesar's methods, not a fan of him.”//

    Yes, I completely AGREE!!:ROFLMAO: The research slams Milan’s theory that owner personality is cause of dog aggression. See, Sara, that is the thing about science, it is unbiased. They measure, count, quantify the data, and post results, not just post opinions. Scientists need data, that’s how they are, that’s what they do, so IF a Milan fan had set about to prove Milan’s theory, the data disproved it. but you are right, it was pure conjecture on my part to suspect the team leader was a Milan fan, but ended up with results they did not 'want'.

    //”Significant differences were NOT found between the personality of the owners of dominant versus control dogs, and owner personality did not significantly affect the outcome of behavior modification treatment……………Owner personality does not necessarily predispose certain individuals to assaults by dominant dogs or profoundly affect their ability to engage in a successful behavioral modification program..”//

    Eggggggggggzactly what I think, too!:D

    //”This study said nothing about dog aggression”// Wha???:unsure:

    False, it is a study on methods which help dog aggression. But, unlike my other articles, it is not about the CAUSE of dog aggression, well, it says it is NOT caused by the human’s personality------yet, Sara, ---THANKS TO DOG WHISPERER--------there are now 1,000s? millions? Of ppl who DO think if only the owner was more confident, displayed more authority, had less issues, their aggressive dogs would be fine.

    From the other linked article in same post, you did not refer to this remark: //”Mounting evidence exists that aggressiveness is genetically and neurobiologically driven”//
    O_o
    Sara, there are ppl who feel a dog being aggressive to it’s owner, or to other humans, IS a form of “aggression”.
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //”, I've had a few links about aggression sent to me from other forums I've queried”//

    I’d LOVE to see the studies and research and scientific data that you have on this to support your opinion. Actual research though, not just some author “Dog aggression is caused by humans”. (That is not a fact, but an opinion.) I’d also like to see the research, actual scientific data, which supports your claim that most lifelong, permanent dog aggression, is ‘caused’ not inherent, and also the research that inborn dog-aggression as an inherited trait is a “rare” trait. None of the scientific research I came across even hinted at this a “rare” trait, AT ALL, (just the opposite).

    //”I have done a ton of research since you started this thread, and I have yet to change my theory.”//

    I completely believe you there, too, I’m not even slightly surprised. Many ppl manage to find ways to cling to what they want to believe. And OF COURSE, you can believe whatever you choose to believe.

    I once thought the same way as you do, and I can respect your thinking on this, as I too, used to completely believe things that dog experts said, without even a question! Til it stopped making sense to me, just wayyyyyyyyy too many “exceptions”…way too many.

    See, Sara, it’s the exceptions, just one after another after another, that got me to wondering. Don’t allllllll the exceptions to your theory also cause you to wonder?(n)

    Sara at least your opinion has a root in a rational thought process, and I think your theory IS true for some dogs, BUT I’ve heard ppl passionately insist their dogs sees ghosts is why they don’t act right:ROFLMAO:….and they will not believe otherwise. To them, that is a ‘fact’ too. There are more ppl who believe this than you’d guess!! No amt of data will cause them to let go of their belief, that their dog is upset due to ghosts.

    If, for some reason, it comforts you to believe Ollie is fearful years and years and years later, not because of the way his brain is wired, but because of neglect/abuse that no amt of your love and excellent rehab (I know, if Ollie stands a chance of a cure, it IS in your capable hands, Sara) can ever undo completely, that is your right to feel however you want to.
    I myself find it somewhat comforting to know Buddy is socially retarded in a way, (in the literal meaning of the word) so I can quit blaming myself for being unable to completely ‘cure’ him.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    You are right, I DO believe Buddy’s HUMAN aggression WAS ‘caused’.
    That is why I WAS able to cure him completely of his human aggression. He IS 100% cured, imo, of his human aggression. IN past 2 years, he has happily greeted all ppl with only joy, happiness and calm behavior. Well, the furry hoods, took some add’l work but he is *now* happy with furry hood ppl, too.:rolleyes:
    I believe Buddy’s brain was ‘normal’ so far as human aggression goes, and that is WHY I WAS able to rehab his human aggression completely gone. He IS CURED of his human aggression, I guess you’ll have to take my word on that, but, if requested, I can ask pals to log on and vouch for this, or even telephone you, that Buddy DOES now love all ppl, even kids. Even ppl in furry hoods.

    But Buddy is NOT cured of his dog-aggression, BETTER, much BETTER, but, Buddy never ever will be right, Sara, even if I could hire Kikopup, Turid Rugaas, Victoria Stillwell, all of them, nonstop for a year, Buddy wont’ be cured of it. I'm sure they could do a lot lot lot better than *i* am doing, but even THEY could not cure BUddy.
    Buddy *can* occasionally (or even “often”) now display calm behavior around unknown dogs, even *i* can do that with him, BUT, without much dog language and effort on my part, Buddy WILL default back to displaying his full-on dog-aggression. His aggression can be *mostly* managed, like type1 diabetes, but, he is not cured. He will never be 100% cured of it, because his brain is wired wrong, and not even Kikopup could rewire his brain.

    Five years from now, I will still be saying Buddy is better, but not cured.

    I have only heard of two(2) stories of a dog-aggressive dog being ‘cured’. One was a very young puppy, and I have only the foggiest of details, I heard it second hand, that’s all I got on that story, but i heard a story of an aggressive puppy who was 'cured' 100%, but never spoke to, nor wrote to, the owner myself, no details on it, sorry.

    The other is a dog I know of thru the k9 aggression board, and she is telling me that her use of a shock collar is ‘curing’ her dog, that he is not *yet* cured, but, “almost cured” she tells me, and she sounds hopeful she will get a full cure if she just stays with the shock collar. That is what she said.....i only know her thru the aggression board, not in real life nor through extensive correspondence, so, there's that.

    But otherwise, evvvvvvvvvvvvveryone else I hear about, is pretty much like me. They’ve been able to improve their dog, some only a little, some quite a bit! But almost no one says they’ve ‘cured’ their dog’s dog-aggression. We just can not rewire a dog’s brain completely.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //”as even a strong stare from another dog can induce fear in a puppy born prone to fear, and thus the roots of DA are born”//

    This is your opinion.

    //”And thus having the initial fear response, it can be very VERY hard to rehab”//

    And that one, is provably false, even without science research. Who DOESN’T know a dog who has been severely abused, news stories of a dog saved from horrific situations, yet, is a lovely disposition, as he stands there covered in blood with his ribs sticking out? How do you explain alllllll the exceptions??

    Even Buddy’s story, if you DO believe me when I tell you he IS cured of his ppl-aggression, proves your remark false. Buddy WAS abused severely by humans, yet, he loves all ppl. I would not call his rehab “very hard”, not really, well, not to me. It took less than a year, and dang, I wish I had recorded the time I spent on that project. I DID work on it several times a week, but, to me, it did not seem ‘hard’ but maybe to someone else, they would say it was hard to do. But If your remark WAS true, Buddy would STILL be human-aggressive, right? He has tremendous abuse/neglect by ppl, from birth on.

    //”Human aggression is alot easier to rehab, because we can tell new people HOW to approach the dog, or to not and turn thair backs, or whatever that particular dog needs...”//

    There are dog owners who would disagree with you. Even Tx_cowgirl is working hard to rehab a shy rescue to be more comfy with humans, she has made tremendous strides, has some very very proud moments of high and remarkable achievement, but, (unless something has changed since last she told me), her shy rescue dog is still shy/fearful, ----better, but still shy/fearful, managed as well as anyone could, but, still shy/fearful, not ‘cured’. Tell Tx it is “easy”, okay?

    I’ve readily admitted, repeatedly --- I do consider *my* opinion on human-aggression could be skewed by being able to rehab Buddy. Supershy/fearful dogs are not as common as dog-aggressive dogs. Dog aggression is the number one complaint on all general dog-help boards, and #1 heard by vets, and #1 reason dogs in USA are euthanized, (more than cancer and all other reasons combined!!)

    But, i also agree rehabbing ppl-aggressive dogs IS easier than DA dogs, but still, there are tons of ppl who have NOT been able to rehab their shy dogs, or ppl-aggressive dogs, despite being able to ask the ppl to do this or that. Even years of this, the dog is still shy/fearful, or shy/aggressive, or just plain ol human-aggressive. (I do not know if *all* ppl-aggressive dogs are also shy dogs??? do you know about that? i don't know..just now crossed my mind as i am typing....)

    The k9 board I belong to, has several of them with that human-aggression complaint, and in correspondence, they *seem* to be doing all the right things, and have tried various behaviorists. (One or two, I could tell, are probably making their dog worse, choke collars and such.) But, like I keep saying, I don’t have a real strong stance on whether or not human-aggression can be inborn or not, I need to learn more on that topic. I’m open, I’m still learning.

    I do believe the supershy dogs are born that way, and many breeders can vouch the pup shows up that way in the litter box, and often from the exact same sires or bitchdogs.

    IF a dog staring hard at a puppy could induce decades of fear for the entire rest of it’s life------if that *WAS* the ‘cause’----------how do you explain puppies who survived much worse abuse than “a hard stare” but did NOT grow up shy?
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah, now I am reading your article, “link” yes, yes, articles with experts spouting their opinions are a dime a dozen.

    Sara, that is NOT “research”, at all.

    My vet swears Purina is a good dog food, as do many vets!!! Despite his education, and decades of owning and being around dogs, he vouches for purina.. I can even locate higher ranked, top vets who will swear Purina is fine for dogs. Or top notch breeders, who feed Purina. Just because many ppl believe something, does not make it a fact.

    That was an opinion-piece, Sara. Research has citations at the bottom. Not one study has been done or even cited by the author. There is not even ONE footnote at the bottom of the article.

    That is not research or science, sorry. And I have NO DOUBT you could post 1,000s of similar articles, all making unsubstantiated claims of their opinion. No data whatsoever, except their insistence that some dog staring hard at a puppy ruined irreparably for it’s entire life, no matter what rehab is done.

    The book sounds awesome, I will see if our library has it, I note he cites Caesar Milan as a ‘resource’….hmm. Does the author DO or even cite any studies or research at all? Sorry, but I don’t much buy Milan’s hypnotizing vast swaths of USA to believe the dog is “manifesting the human’s inner issues”………makes no sense.

    Why does only 1 dog out of the family’s 4 dogs notice that one of his human pack has “inner issues” and that(?) is what causes the dog to bite other dogs or ppl?? What, the other 3 dogs are too dumb to notice that one of their humans has "secret inner issues"?? is why the other 3 dogs don't bite other ppl?

    I say--- and researchers measuring serotonin say--------------------- “there is something different about that 1 dog’s BRAIN”.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //”This study said nothing about dog aggression”//
    True, this study is focused on dog aggression towards humans, but, states, even about human-aggressive dogs --------------------------------> // “Mounting evidence exists that aggressiveness *IS* genetically and neurobiologically driven”//

    I myself haven’t studied up human-aggression in dogs the way I have dog-aggressive dogs, as it is not a problem in *my* own home. Anymore.

    But, if the research indicates even human-aggressive dogs have an inborn brain malfunction, do you see how my point IS being supported,--------------- that DOGS CAN BE BORN WITH INCORRECTLY WIRED BRAINS ---- that produce too much of this chemical/hormone, or not enough of that chemical/hormone??? (a dog giving a puppy a “hard stare” can not impact his brain function and wiring, that is genetic.
    MUCH of dog behavior IS genetically driven, actually. You can take a maltese and train it for years, it still probably won’t herd very well. i haven't checked, but, my guess is, they have not located the exact genome or allele that makes border collies herd, either, ----------------yet, i bet most dog bloggers would agree, it's in their GENES....if a behaviour as complex as herding can be genetic,
    why is inappropriate-aggressiveness so hard to contemplate as being on a gene?

    You will have to work very very very hard to curb a beagle from baying out loud, it’s in his genes.

    It’s hard to find a lab who doesn’t love the water, if he’s given the chance. MUCH of dog behavior IS in their genetic makeup….i think even you would have to agree with that, right????)
    No matter what that particular study group of dog’s ‘target’ for aggression IS,---------- be it humans or dogs,--------- if the evidence is there that the dog’s aggressiveness IS genetically and neurobiologically driven,----------- my theory is still supported by actual research!!!-------------- just this research team studied the neurochemistry of human-aggressive dogs instead of dog-aggressive dogs.

    THE POINT IS, the veterinary researchers at Cornell discovered that the aggressive dog’s brain IS wired wrong, it's producing incorrect or abnormal amts of certain hormones and chemicals, --------and the researchers discovered adding in extra chemicals/drugs did not cure it, either. (to put it in layman’s terms.) Still, it was an admirable effort on their part, I thought.
    A pill would be nice…but, maybe if they keep trying, they CAN discover a chemical (pill) that will counter-balance what the dog's BRAIN is doing wrong....
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"Again this one says nothing about dog aggression, but is talking about owner/human aggression"//

    OH, wait, i misunderstood you at first reply above, sorry, but no, Sara, look it over again, and like i said, you get full article free, too. It is about aggression in dogs.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9170631

    Sara, they ARE referring to DOGS in the remark below, not humans.

    //"Disproportionately severe or unpredictable aggression is less likely to respond to treatment. Mounting evidence exists that aggressiveness is genetically and neurobiologically driven. Research in other species, and early research in the dog, suggest that aggression may be reduced by drug therapy to modify brain neurochemistry"//
  18. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I note you did NOT comment or even try to take on the scientists conclusions in some of my links, wonder why not?

    This next one, even in the summary, without logging in, you can see science being used, (as you disliked summaries which did not put much details of their studies into the summary itself), this next research group of geneticists does more of that.

    Like this one, I thought was very compelling:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21051063

    //” The serotonergic system *IS* disturbed in different mood and affective disorders, with especially the serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor involved in impulsive aggressiveness and anxiety. The aim of the study was to evaluate the involvement of the brain 5-HT 2A receptor in dogs with different behavioural disorders………
    …… A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to determine cut-off values at which optimal sensitivity and specificity are achieved and to evaluate the general performance of the BI in reflecting the state of the dog, i.e., impulsive aggressive, normal or anxious. Significantly (P<0.0056) altered 5-HT 2A receptor binding indices were found in bilateral frontal, temporal and occipital cortical BRAIN AREAS of the dogs behaving abnormally, with consistently increased BI in impulsive aggressive dogs and decreased BI in anxious dogs. These results provide clear evidence for a disturbed serotonergic balance in canine impulsive aggression and anxiety disorders……………… The 5HT-2A binding index of the right frontal cortex appears to be a valid biomarker in differentiating the studied canine behavioural disorders……..”//

    I wonder if by “anxious” dogs, they mean shy/fearful dogs?

    still,:ROFLMAO: Caesar MIlan will say that dogs with the messed up occipital coritcal area of their brain, is just manifesting his human's secret inner issues, (which IS beginning to replace the previous theory that some big dog stared at the puppy too hard and thus, irreparabley damaged it for life.)
  19. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    This topic is a confusing one for me. The only thing I am certain of is how human behavior can effect dog behavior.

    I am NOT saying that human behavior is ALWAYS the cause, or the ONLY cause, or that no inborn traits have any effect. I am simply saying that I know human behavior can have an effect, whether large or small, on an animal's behavior. Because that is the only factor that I am sure of, I do not ever try to use any other route when trying to advise a pet owner with a problem. If I'm not 100% certain and confident in something, I am not going to offer it as an option.

    That being said...
    I am currently pursuing an Animal Business degree, and I'm in some classes that are all about genes and behavior and factors of all kinds that effect an animal in various ways. I have only just started these classes so I really can't say anything, except that I will have this conversation with a few of my professors to see what they think.

    I really do believe that Zeke would be a shy and fearful dog no matter what happened from the beginning. He is just an incredibly timid dog. I definitely agree that dealing with people issues is easier(not EASY, easier), because you can tell a person, "Don't look at my dog, just walk around about ten feet away." and they will understand. But try to tell a dog, "Hey, my dog isn't crazy about you, would you mind ignoring him and just walking ten feet away?" So dealing with dog issues is more difficult simply because of the communication barrier. You can't tell another dog how to interact best with your dog.

    (By the way, slight thread derail....Zeke made a new FRIEND! After lots of tennis balls, he let her in the yard(WHOA!) and brought tennis balls right up to her and was completely relaxed around her. YAY ZEKE!)

    Anyway, back on inborn aggression....
    A confusing topic for myself. I know that many many many traits are inborn, and I know that many of those traits could make a dog far more prone to aggression. I do not know, because I have not studied it or tried extensively to find information on it, if aggression can be an inborn trait. But, because I have not studied it, I also believe that it is possible. It is an interesting theory, and one that I hope to look into much much more in the future, but as of right now all I know is human interaction with animals and their effects.

    Right this second I have to do some homework and scheduling for work, so I can't thoroughly read the articles listed here, but I will definitely get to it and maybe have better input.

    Thanks for the sources everyone!!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    I think that part of the problem is that there is an element of truth in most theories and heritability is neither simple nor independent of environment.

    We tend to think of genetic inheritance as being kind of, you have the blue eye allele or the brown eye allele. Most of genetics is not as simple as that. For instance human height is genetically controlled, but there is not a allele that says 6'4" and another that says 5'6" :D height is controlled additively and if I recollect correctly it's on several different chromosomes. But to make it even more complicated height is not only controlled by genetics, it is influenced by the environment (in this case nutrition).

    The following is not fact, it is a theory/explanation that seems (to me anyway:ROFLMAO:) to fit the facts.

    Strictly speaking dog aggression could be a symptom of high serotonin levels and the serotonin levels are controlled by the dog's genetics. For arguments sake lets say that there is a relationship between high levels of serotonin in the brain and dog aggression.

    The chances are that there are not alleles for "high serotonin levels in the brain" and "normal serotonin levels in the brain." High levels of serotonin could be caused by (just 2 of a possible myriad of examples) too much serotonin being made (or too fast) or too little serotonin being broken down (or too slowly) and these could be caused by any number of malfunctions - not enough receptors, too many receptors, the receptors holding on too long, too much tryptophan (building block of serotonin) available, serotonin not being removed from the brain... and then each of these malfunctions could be caused by any one of a number of potential problems with the genetic coding for one tiny step of the normal process. To make it even more complicated some dogs with higher serotonin will have several of these problems, some will have just one, some dogs will make serotonin too fast but will compensate by breaking it down faster, some will have too much tryptophan but will break it down instead of making more serotonin, some will have a few "bad" receptors but mostly good, some will have all bad receptors... and so on. This means that even the "high" serotonin brained dogs will not all have the same levels of serotonin in their brains.

    In the dog's (and yours) brain serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Just by being released into the synapse and linking with the receptor on the other side it carries an instruction or accesses a memory. Just to make things even more complicated what is built into our brain is affected by our experiences. So a dog can access a memory only if he has had the experience to create the memory. But there are also instinctive reactions for which the dog does not need to have had a previous experience.

    So in our completely theoretical super serotonin brained dog his aggressiveness will be affected by exactly how high the serotonin levels are AND sometimes by what stimulus he receives. A very high level of serotonin will probably mean that he is going to be aggressive whatever happens, he might still need a trigger, but for a dog living on his nerve endings like this even his first ever sight of another dog will be enough. A medium high level of serotonin might mean that he could be fine but he is super sensitive and freaks at things that a "normal" serotonin pup wouldn't notice and build nasty memories to access so becoming aggressive, a just a little high level of serotonin might mean he'll be fine if he is in a loving home but if he senses prolonged stress/aggression in his owners he'll turn savage. A dog with the highest levels of serotonin would never be rehabilitated whereas the medium high dog might be with careful handling. A dog with the medium high level of serotonin could be affected by owner behaviour and it's experiences with other dogs. Then just to make everything even more complicated there are dogs with normal serotonin levels that learn to be aggressive for whatever reason. This "normal" aggression is possibly what becomes abnormal in the presence of high serotonin levels.

    This theory is in line with dog breeding genetics - some sighthounds want to chase more than others (some can be trained not to, others can't, some are fine until they have their first chase etc), some border collies are more herding obsessed than others (some are scared of sheep), some beagles are noisier than others, doberman/greyhounds may turn on their owners when stressed, etc.

    As far as I can see this theory also allows everyone to be right... :ROFLMAO: But it does depend on the level of serotonin correlating with the severity of aggression.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.

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