Aggression Part Three – Redirected Aggression

18 11 2008

What Is Redirected Aggression?

Redirected aggression is also known as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This dog behavior is usually seen when two dogs are fighting, and someone tries to interfere or break them up.  Both dogs have their adrenaline pumping, and they are already wound up to fight when someone tries to step in and break up the fight.  One or both dogs may turn their aggression from each other to the person who interferes.  Other types of aggression (territorial, fear, etc.) may be the initial cause that results in redirected aggression toward a person.

What Are The Signs?

Remember, there was an initial aggressive act that results in the redirected aggression.  With this, there are no signs to look for, since you should be aware of the pre-existing aggressive actions.  You must work to treat/recover from the original aggression.

What To Do?

Since there is an underlying cause that may not be immediately apparent, this is a very dangerous type of aggression, and it is often very misunderstood by humans.  Often, people do not stop to think about what caused the redirected aggression, because they do not know what the original cause is.

Some people will use an air horn or water hose to stop the behavior, and they remove the dog from the situation.  The sudden distraction will break their concentration on their aggression.  If the dog does not calm down immediately, it is best to put him in a quiet, dark room for awhile while he mellows.  Once he is calm, allow him to come out for food, potty time, and play.

The most important thing to remember is DO NOT DISCIPLINE!!!

Contact a professional as soon as possible.

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