Dogs bark, growl, lunge, yelp, and communicate in many different ways. Sometimes trying to figure out what our fur-kids are trying to say or accomplish is a mystery. That’s why we are highlighting this article by the National Canine Research Council, “No single factor explains barking, growling, lunging and biting behavior in dogs.” From the article:
“Context turned out to be very important, based on Dr. Casey’s survey. Barking, lunging, growling or biting appeared to be responses to both the dog’s relationship with the person (stranger vs. family member) and to the specific location (inside or outside the dog’s home), rather than evidence of a single personality trait. This meant that a dog that growled or barked at a stranger entering the house might solicit interaction when meeting the same person on a walk. And neither reaction predicted how he was likely to act toward family members.
Dogs may be reactive in one situation, but not be so in other contexts, the authors concluded. The reverse may also be true, all of which is further evidence of the importance of understanding one’s dog as an individual, with his/her own life experience. “Dog owners and members of the public need to be aware that any dog could potentially show aggression if it is anxious or feels threatened,” the authors advise, “even when it has never done so before.”
This article is really worth the few minutes to take to read it. Click here to read the full article.