Yesterday my family and I went to my son's baseball game and we took along our two mini dachshunds Derby and Wilson. Immediately I could tell Derby our two year old doxie felt uncomfortable and stressed with all the people around. However, knowing he was a little on edge I kept him close to me and tried to get him to settle down by offering him a rawhide. After he lunged at a kid running by, I became a bit upset at him, because acting aggressively towards kids is unacceptable. I decided to take him away from the crowd so we went for a short walk towards to the soccer fields.
I saw another woman walking her two dogs, one was off leash (one of my biggest pet peeves). So as luck would have it the unleashed dog ran towards us. This made Derby very nervous and he immediately started showing signs of aggression, so I picked him up to avoid a dog fight.
As the other dog got right behind us Derby was trying to escape from my grip and his frustration and anxiety was through the roof. I gave him a little "bounce" as I was holding him and told him "NO" in a loud voice, within seconds he lunged towards my face and bit me on my lower lip.
I was in shock because I am his most favorite person in the world, my feelings were hurt and I was bleeding heavily from his bite. Luckily I didn't have to have stitches, no dogs were hurt and I learned a few things from this experience.
Here's what I learned:
Redirected aggression is a lot like frustration-elicited aggression with the exception that the dog need not be frustrated. Redirected aggression occurs when a dog is aroused by or displays aggression toward a person or animal, and someone else interferes. The dog redirects her aggression from the source that triggered it to the person or animal who has interfered. This is why people are often bitten when they try to break up dog fights. When a person grabs or pushes a fighting dog, the dog might suddenly turn and bite. Another example is when two dogs are barking at someone from behind a fence. Sometimes one will turn and attack the other. Male and female dogs are equally prone to redirected aggression, and this type of aggression occurs in both puppies and adults.