The Physiology of Aggression

The premise is that experiences don’t change the character, but they can modify the behavior. If we analyze the most common causes that lead a dog to be aggressive, we will see that the behavior of every dog is the result of an interaction between genetic and environmental components.

The first to manifest in the individuals character is represented in addition to the logic morphological similarities, from the behavioral characteristics inherited from the parents. The environmental component will be strongly influenced by cohabitation with humans or other animals, from the education that he will receive from the territory where he will have to love, although the given character may not be completely transformed in some way.

If the dog has been genetically printed as a pack leader, it will never be able to pretend to be a follower.

Whoever receives a dominant subject needs to understand the large responsibility they are assuming.

To avoid choosing the “wrong” puppy (at least for the real characteristics), there are different tests that can assess the “reactivity” of the subject. The Campbell Character Test. Like all the tests, it will not give certain answers, but represents an important screening to understand with “who has to do”. In the field of canine behavior, they hear thousands of different opinion, but it’s important to ask yourself if you to have the real answer although it’s uncomfortable, otherwise reassuring answers and make us feel good but it’s a false one. How good it is to hear an answer from an “expert” that dangerous breeds don’t exist, and that gentle methods are the ideal ones! But then, if it’s not true, who will repay us for the unpleasant situations we should deal with our own dog and how will we react to reading that a dog has attacked or perhaps killed an adult or a child? Will we close our eyes and continue to claim that it is always the fault of the person?

It’s enough to see statistics about emergency room visits for injuries from bites to realize that the problem can’t be treated with phrases or with superficiality. The point is that if we assess the puppy with The Campbell Test, we will see that eighty percent of puppies are place within  the “Very Dominant” and “Dominant” zones, and that “Submissive” dogs are consequently very few.

Question: If experts correctly recommend choosing subjects with the most balanced psychological profile (not more than 20%), who should take the others?

Let’s try to identify the psychological profile of the puppy with The Campbell Test and through some simple exercises that it proposes.

The Psychological Profile of a Puppy:

1) Temperament: identified by the speed of reaction against stimulus.

2) Temper: capacity to cope with negative stimulus, both physical and psychological, without modifying the real behavior.

3) Tameness: capacity to accept the human as a superior.

4) Sociality: capacity to interact and search for physical contact of unknown person.

5) Predisposition to be subject of stress.

6) Psychological balance.

7) Predisposition to aggression.