What makes an aggressive dog?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Dizzy, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Been a study..... Here is an article about it:

    http://phys.org/news/2014-02-aggressive-dog.html

    Be interesting to read the original and see how reliable it actually is.
     
  2. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    This isn't "what makes an aggressive dog," it's "aggressive dogs are."

    A questionnaire where Joe Blow Dog Owner is supposed to tell you if their dog is "aggressive" or not is a terrible way to collect data on this subject. =P
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I think 'barks at strangers' is a pretty broad kind of category. A lot of excitement and fearful behaviors (even dogs avoiding) would fit that category. Mia barks sometimes at strangers but I would in no way call her an aggressive dog.
     
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I think it's kind of difficult to draw any conclusions without seeing the original study.
     
  5. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    No, it's very very easy to know that correlation is not causation. It's a basic rule of scientific study.
     
  6. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    What I'm saying is.... This is a 'magazine' article of a study, I'm assuming they've read bits and regurgitated it. The original was published in a peer reviewed journal, and I know I haven't read it.

    I'm saying you can't draw any conclusions about the study unless you've read it, and we don't actually know THEIR analysis or conclusion or even what they were aiming to prove/disprove.

    I posted the article because it sparked interest and is an interesting discussion ;) I didnt assume it was reliable. I think I even put that in my original post lol
     
  7. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    IMO, "aggressive" is too broad a term. Abrams growls at people that approach the car and lunges and barks at people that approach the house and/or are in an area deemed not normal. He isn't aggressive, however, just blustery. Even during those scenarios, if the person were to approach in a friendly manner, he'd turn into a marshmellow. I *don't* know what he'd do if the person acted threatening as we've never had that come up.

    Although I do agree with the underlying message: a socialized, trained, well bred dog with a responsible owner is likely to be less aggressive than an unsocialized, poorly trained, crap-shoot-genetics, irresponsibly owned dog.
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Only discussion according to what you think? Got it.
     
  9. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Oh dear, one of those days.
     
  10. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Apparently. <3
     
  11. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

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    Yeah Buddy barks at strangers and he is the friendliest dog ever, I think he barks because he is excited LOL. My parents other dog, is a really bad fear biter, so she is tied up when strangers come (usually its only to work on an appliance or something and that's not very often) she was socialized, but she is just one of those dogs who has a very unstable temperament. she is the only dog I have had personally that was like that, the others are very friendly unless there is a good reason not to be ... then i trust their judgment LOL
     
  12. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Will there be mud?

    /backs out of thread slowly
     
  13. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    They didn't, apparently. It looks like they asked if their dogs showed one or more specific behaviors.


    Having said that, it's always better to read an actual study than an article about a study. Which, sadly, hardly anyone ever does.
     
  14. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I love journal articles. I think its because they're more concise and straightforward than books, I hate books.


    Back to the reported 'findings' if there is any truth in those correlations it would definitely help target specific areas of concern and training methods.

    That would be amazing back up to have for people trying to promote things, such as anti bsl.

    I think there should be more work done looking at this sort of thing! Always surprises me how little there is compared to how huge the dog owning population is and all the issues people report about dogs, dog laws etc! Guess no money in it!!
     
  15. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Right. Ideally a study like this would ultimately be used to help guide further research to identify what types of interventions might help dog owners. For example, assuming the article's conclusions about the study are correctly stated... being under 25 years old or getting your dog from a shelter almost certainly doesn't MAKE your dog aggressive. But if those things are "only" correlated, that's still not useless information. Because... why are they correlated? And if why they are correlated can be sussed out, then how can we help mitigate those correlations?

    Something like this should be seen as a pilot study to help guide further research. An initial survey-based study is almost never going to establish causation with anything, but that's not what those studies are for. You have to find a correlation before you can go on to find causation. Most studies find the correlation and leave it at that, unfortunately.

    Maybe a large chunk of dog owners under 25 are owning their first dog as an adult for the first time and are simply inexperienced. Maybe the overall population of dogs owned by people under 25 compared to over 40 are significantly different. Maybe more shelters/rescues need the tools in place to help identify dogs who might have some fearful behaviors and get them a head startst things like DS/CC, then provide those tools to the owners those dogs go home with.

    I think the world would be a much, much better place if everyone had to take some basic epidemiology and biostatistics courses. Alas, I can dream.
     

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