Prevalence of different aggression types and assessment of related determinants in a population of Iranian domestic dogs

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research, Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward Island, Canada


Prevalence of different aggression types and some related risk indicators were studied in 434 dogs
presented to the School of Veterinary Medicine at Shiraz University over a one-year period (From March
2010 to June 2011). After taking case histories and examining all dogs, related questionnaires were
completed for each dog and the nine classical types of aggression were evaluated. 25.3% of all cases had
bitten at least one person or animal during their life. The most frequent aggression type was conflict
(dominance) aggression (36.6%) followed by fear (20.9%) and protectiveness (20.9%) aggression,
intraspecific (7.8%), medical (3.9%), redirected (2.6%), pain (2.6%), maternal (2.6%) and predation
aggression (1.9%). Sex, age and indoor/outdoor keeping had a significant effect on conflict aggression. Males (P<0.001), more than 2 years of age (P=0.001) and outdoor dogs (P=0.02) revealed significantly higher levels of conflict aggression. The majority of the cases did not understand obedience orders of the owners and needed more training to obey properly. Raising the level of socialization of the pet and owner’s knowledge about training principles may reduce these behavioral problems in Iran.