Is the normally docile Fido suddenly starting to act hostile when you handle him? A new study may explain why: Dogs may become more aggressive when they’re in pain.
The researchers looked at dogs who had abruptly attacked their guardians and discovered that, in each case, the aggressive behavior was caused by pain. Many of the dogs were suffering from the onset of hip dysplasia, an often-crippling disease common in many purebred dogs. (Thanks for nothing, breeders!)
A number of factors—including continuous chaining or crating—can cause dogs to become aggressive. But if Fido suddenly turns fierce when you touch him, an immediate trip to the veterinarian is in order—for your sake and his.