Why Do Dogs Hassle?


1 Answers

Frances Bott Profile
Frances Bott answered
Dogs hassle because they are hard wired to jockey for position in the pack. In the wild, dogs live in packs and are led by a top dog and a top bitch with the rest of the pack in a very definite hierarchy. This means that the lower down the pack a dog is, the harder it is to get food, so consequently a dog will hassle to get a better position.

Often this behavior is displayed when two dogs meet each other; they will circle each other looking for signs of dominance in the other dog. The dog that thinks that it has the upper hand tends to hold its tail high, and its hackles will be raised. If both dogs believe that they should be top dog, they will exhibit more and more aggressive behavior until either the other dog backs down or there is a fight to settle the issue.

Sometimes there will be no confrontation because one dog will automatically assume the position of underdog. This behavior is indicated by the tail being tucked between the legs; backing away from the other dog and even rolling over onto its back to show the other dog that it is completely submissive.

In this instance the worst thing that a human can do is to encourage the underdog to face up to the other dog, or tell the top dog off for being dominant. This will just make them both confused about their roles in the pack and could result in them fighting.

If the worst happens and they do fight, do not try and separate them; their aggression could turn onto you because they believe that you are joining in the fight.

Signs that dogs may fight:
• Two or more dogs with hackles raised
• Two or more dogs with tails raised in a rigid stance
• Two or more dogs growling and showing obvious signs of aggression, like drooling.

Answer Question