Analysis of 1040 cases of canine aggression in a referral practice in Spain

Jaume Fatjo, Marta Amat, Valentina M. Mariotti, Jose Luis Ruiz de la Torre, Xavier Manteca

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58 Citations (Scopus)


A retrospective study was designed to assess the prevalence and clinical presentation of canine aggression problems in a referral practice in Spain. One thousand forty canine aggression cases seen at the Animal Behavior Clinic (Barcelona School of Veterinary Medicine) were analyzed. Each aggression problem was characterized according to 7 predefined diagnostic categories. Breed and sex-related risk factors were calculated by comparing the aggressive dogs to a control population. Aggression problems were the most common behavior complaint (52.28% of all canine behavior cases). Owner-directed aggression was the most frequent of the aggression complaints (38.55%), followed by aggression towards other dogs (34.85%) and unfamiliar people (21.95%). A mean of 1.4 diagnoses of aggression per dog were established. Social conflict aggression towards family members was the most common diagnostic category (35.34%). Sixty nine per cent of aggressive dogs were males and 31% were females, from which only 11 and 12 percent were neutered respectively. Two breeds, the English cocker spaniel and the Catalan sheepdog, presented a particularly high risk for aggression in the studied population. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-165
JournalJournal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2007


  • aggression
  • behavior problem
  • dog
  • epidemiology


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