The majority of dogs exhibit aggression out of fear. Especially rescue dogs or shelter dogs may have pre-existing fears that you may not be aware of nor was the shelter. People also have fears that stem from prior bad experiences that others have no issues with. Remember that pets are each individuals just like people and no two are alike. The important part is to understand your pet’s fears and work to overcome them.
You may need to retrain yourself if things such as raising your hand to throw a toy causes fear in your dog. You can roll a toy instead of throwing overhand to help ease that fear.
Always approach slowly and don’t intentionally scare your pet by startling them. Some dogs love this type of play and others can react with biting, growling and snarling.
Remember that growling, running away and trying to bite are all defensive maneuvers. Ask Dr. Flanders if you have further questions about fearful aggression in your pet.