Dog attack cases to humans and dogs are the result of competitive aggression (food or object acquisition or defense), or non-competitive aggression (territorial or self-defense). There are many causes of competitive aggression, but typically, it is rooted in bad decision making on the part of the dog owner and a lack of proper training. Self-defense aggression, however, often finds its beginning in the dog’s genetics which predisposes it, as it matures, to develop an unwarranted fear of humans and dogs outside the family. When this type of dog encounters a perceived threat, it frequently uses aggression, rather than flight, as a defense.
Regardless of which form of aggression used, if your dog is successful in its use, it will repeat the behavior in the future. Eventually, continued success will make aggression the “go to” behavior for your dog in conflict resolution, making it a danger to your family, friends, strangers, and other dogs.