According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Virtual Pet Behaviorist, aggression is most common and most serious behavior problems in animals. They go on further to say aggressive dog behavior might include showing teeth, biting and shaking, bite with enough pressure to cause a bruise, protecting their territory, and much more.
I recall an incident with my Toy Poodle. My children were preparing to go to school. A little boy came by to walk with them. My Toy Poodle did not like him. To my amazement my toy poodle had cornered the little boy in a corner, was growling, and would not let him move. I did have to check my poodle. That behavior was not acceptable. Normally my toy poodle and my Doberman were very gentle with my girls. There was never a problem with them. He definitely did not care for this boy. My poodle was very protective of the girls, even more so than the Doberman.
I did not realize it at the time, but my Toy Poodle had many aggressive behaviors. I now recall leaving him in the car for a moment as I went into a store. Even though I cracked the window for him, when I returned the windows were all steamed up from him barking at everyone that passed by.
During a previous dog attack, I was very relieved to see my poodle’s aggression come out. My niece took our Doberman puppy outside to poop. At that time, my Doberman puppy was slightly larger than the Toy Poodle. Therefore, they both were still small. We always take the animals out on a leash. Unfortunately, a Pit Bull came into our yard. All of a sudden I heard my niece screaming, “Betty, Betty, Betty.” It was not in her normal voice, but rather a high-pitched voice. I looked out the window to see this pit bull swinging my Doberman puppy back and forth in the air. The pit bull had latched on the back of my Doberman’s neck. It happened so quickly. My niece still held onto the leash. She never let it go. I rushed out of the house with the first thing I saw to grab, which was a belt. As I hit the Pit Bull, it seemed to be effortless, he was not letting go.
Finally, he dropped my Doberman. I swept her up in my arms and started running up the stairs to my house. Keep in mind, the Pit Bull decided to follow me. Before I could get in the house, my toy poodle busted out of the front door and jumped in between the Pit Bull and me as I turned around, I noticed the pit bull had stopped in his tracks. My toy poodle showed all of his aggression as if to say, “Get off of my property.” I saw all of his teeth and he started drooling at the mouth. It really reminded me of a wild wolf. The pit bull slowly backed down off the steps and started running up the street. My Toy Poodle chased him. I was so proud of my poodle. He was my hero. My Doberman trembled. My Doberman puppy did need medical attention and received several stitches, but this was one time I was glad my poodle protected his territory. I will never forget that day.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Virtual Pet Behaviorist