How your Dogs Behaviour can Escalate:
If you are worried about some of the behaviour your dog is showing, please get in touch to get more information on why your dog is exhibiting these behaviours and if it should be something to worry about.
Your dog is trying to communicate things all the time. They dog it with the way they behave so it's really important that we notice and respond to their behaviour so it does not escalate. These are the stages of behaviour.
Body language is something dogs are doing all the time. Dogs communicate with other dogs and humans through body language. They will approach if feeling comfortable, seek interaction and affection if they trust and a lot of us can identify a dog being friendly but not many people can identify a dog showing signs of discomfort. Have a watch of your dog when another dog or person approaches and see if you can spot signs of affection or discomfort.
Dogs will start with a flight response. If they feel nervous they will try to get away. This can be dramatic (running with tail between their legs) or subtle (pulling their head away or standing slightly behind their owner)
If a dog has been unable to move away they will escalate their behaviour and if they have been restricted from getting away in the past they may skip this step all together.
Reacting to things is normal for dogs to do. If their previous steps haven't been listened to by another dog or person then this can happen. Usually it will start with a low growl or a small snarl.
If a dog has developed anxiety (a fear of what could potentially happen even if it hasty happened yet) then their reaction will be more severe with possible lunging and barking as their anxiety is predicting what could happen.
Warning snaps are a dogs attempt to forcefully move the "scary thing" away. This is usually seen by a dog snapping at a persons ankles to get them to jump away from them. Or at another dogs bum to get them to move away. Warning snaps are not a dog trying to bite, just a dog trying to manage their situation.
A bite is a dogs last resource to manage the situation they feel scared in. They will not use this unless all other communication has not worked.
Please don't let it get to this point. The idea of dominating your dog when they are aggressive or "putting them in their place" just causes you to be a threat to your dog.
When your dog communicates, Listen! They are not being a bad dog, just a scared one.