What would you consider aggressive behavior from a dog?

My dog loves going to the off-leash dog park but one of the park rules is that any dog exhibiting aggressive behavior should be removed immediately. What exactly is considered aggressive behavior?

My dog runs up to other dogs while making growly noises with no teeth bared and then trying to make the other dogs run with him and chase him. Sometimes other dogs initiate play with him and he runs with them while growling. Is this considered aggressive behavior? I just need to know where exactly to draw the line.
Bluebell: He’s a 2-year-old German Shepherd mix.

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12 Responses to “What would you consider aggressive behavior from a dog?”

  1. averagebear says:

    Growling in itself is not aggression. Dog A is aggressively trying to mount dog B, and dog B does a warning growl to say "stop it, I will not submit", then walks away. In this situation, dog A (who never growled) is the aggressor, and the growler dog B is trying to prevent an incident.

  2. mason says:

    no he’s jus sayin play with me

  3. mandas says:

    my staffy mix growls a lot while playing, but she is only playing. some dogs are more vocal than others just as some play a little rougher than others. aggressive would be more like snarling, teeth bared, raised hackles (not always aggression), frozen tense stance, head lifted with ears back and a fixed stare(usually they will stare at the other from the side or corner of the eye instead of straight ahead)

    you should also try doing a little research on reading a dogs body language… from what you describe it doesn’t really sound like he is exhibiting aggressive behavior, but you are the one who will have to be the real judge of that.

  4. bluebell says:

    can you take his food away from him when he is eating?? if so he is not aggresive,,is he dominant eg does he hump other dogs he meets?? that is a sigh he wants to be the boss,,i think what your dog is showing is i want to be friends,,come with me and have fun,,he sounds fine,,,what is he anyway??

  5. Righteous James says:

    What is the dog’s posture like? Is his head down? Tail up? These are signs the dog is acting aggressive or fearful.
    Is it wagging? Does the dog initate play with a play bow? Probably just growls when playing.


    here’s a good page on it.

  6. Daniel Kim says:

    That’s aggresive

  7. Keiko♥ says:

    Well, my dog does the exact same thing, but we don’t let him off leash as much. This may be considered aggressive behavior to the people who own the park and might make you leave. You should watch The Dog Whisperer. It’s great, and my dog has gotten A LOT better. If you already do, then just do what he tells you, and you should be able to make your dog better. If you got him recently from an adoption center or something, it might be because of his past, and you just have to gain his/her trust. I hope this helped!.♥♥♥

    (BTW "The Dog Whisperer" is on the National Geographic Channel)

  8. Dan B says:

    humping, teeth snarling, biting, nipping, barking, growlin (in a non play sense), pretty much exhibiting dominant behavior.

  9. ♥Love my BT♥ says:

    I get nervous when I go to the dog park and other dogs growl at my dogs. I don’t say anything though. If the other dog starts reacting badly (nipping, biting) at my dogs, I simply leave. It’s easier to just leave and come back at another time since it rarely happens.

  10. james b says:

    I think they mean towards people

  11. ♥percy-pigs♥ says:

    I would consider aggresive behaviour, barking/snarling with teeth bared. You’ll know when you see it.

  12. Boss says:

    There’s a big difference between play growling and aggressive growling. If your dog is running around playfully, rather than remaining still and stiff, he’s most likely play growling.

    Behaviors I consider aggressive are:
    Beared teeth
    Barking with offensive posture
    Barking with growling in between
    Stiffness when approached
    Frozen stance when toys or food is approached
    Fixed stare

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