When is displaced aggression exhibited by dogs?

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Displaced aggression is aggression from a dog who may or may not result from a specific incident. Often times, a dog will lash out at another dog, or maybe even a person, without being specifically provoked. This aggression could be latent from another issue plaguing the dog such as fear or pain. A dog does not know how to control and properly handle aggression, so often times it will be displaced onto an unsuspecting animal, person or even an object.

In many cases, dogs displacing aggression will have undergone some traumatic event that they are not able to easily move past. Dogs who have been abused or neglected often display displaced aggression; dogs who have been injured or are sick tend to display displaced aggression as well.

Displaced aggression can also take place when a dog does not recognize an object or person, and mistakes them for something they are not. This is often the case with babies, as dogs cannot link a baby with an adult person because they look so drastically different. Due to this fact, dogs often act much differently towards babies and small children than they do towards adults.

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