Aggression in dogs revisited


Jones-Baade, R. and McBride, E.A. (2000) Aggression in dogs revisited. In, American Veterinary Medical Association Annual Convention, Salt Lake City, USA, 2000.

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Description/Abstract

Aggression in Dogs revisited

Clinical animal behaviour therapy has now reached a stage of development comparable to human psychology in the early part of this century. At present, the perception of animal behaviour varies with country and culture and this results in differing definitions making international dialogue difficult. This was clearly demonstrated by a discussion on separation anxiety in Birmingham in 1997.

At the same meeting, Karen Overall pointed out in her lecture that it is essential to try to agree upon a structured set of uniform definitions so as to facilitate the international exchange of knowledge. This would promote a reduction in the differences in the cultural perception of animal behaviour which already have developed and indeed still are developing, and potentially arrest and reverse them.

In this talk the author proposes a new look at aggression. At present, aggressive behaviour is usually either defined by the stimulus that triggers the behaviour or according to the object against which it is directed. Consequently, there is a high degree of overlap in the current set of definitions, leading to confusion simply because the same type of behaviour is at the root of a number of apparently different definitions.

By taking an ethological approach it is possible to formulate a cohesive model which allows aggression to be considered in the context of the underlying cause rather than according to the stimulus or the object at which it is directed. This approach opens opportunities for replacing emotionally charged expressions such as dominance aggression with neutral scientific terms. This, in turn, could lead to a change in the perception of aggression in dogs, promoting a more emotionally relaxed approach to dog aggression with the promise of a more successful way of dealing with it.

This will be demonstrated by some interesting case histories.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Keywords: aggression, dogs, behaviour problems
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Q Science > QL Zoology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Cognition
ePrint ID: 57898
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:40
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/57898

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