Forums » Behavior

Aggression and Fear

    • 146 posts
    June 9, 2016 10:27 AM EDT

    A participant in our webinar on Aggression submitted this question:

    Is there a pattern of how long a dog can develop aggression from being fearful? Have you seen any studies on this?

    • Moderator
    • 60 posts
    June 9, 2016 1:28 PM EDT

    Great question!  

    Many dogs don't progress from fear to fear-related aggression.  Some do though.  The time from onset of fear to onset of defensive or fear-related aggression can be slow or sudden in onset.  This will depend on multiple factors including but not limited to the animal's genetics, the outside environment, and the epigenetics at play (where environment including diet, minerals, etc actually changes gene expression).  Socialization, training / learning, and interaction history will also impact this.  I'm not aware of any specific research on this question.  

    Warmly, Dr C