Analysis of associations between behavioral traits and four types of aggression in Shiba Inu

J Vet Med Sci. 2013 Oct;75(10):1297-301. doi: 10.1292/jvms.13-0082. Epub 2013 May 30.


Canine aggression is one of the behavioral problems for which veterinary behaviorists are most frequently consulted. Despite this, the classification of canine aggression is controversial, and there are several classification methodologies. While the etiology of canine aggression differs among the types of aggression, the behavioral background underlying aggression is not well understood. Behavior trait-based evaluation of canine aggression would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of managing canine aggression problems. We developed a questionnaire addressing 14 behavioral items and items related to four types of canine aggression (owner-, child-, stranger- and dog-directed aggression) in order to examine the associations between behavioral traits and aggression in Shiba Inu. A total of 400 Shiba Inu owners recruited through dog events (n=134) and veterinary hospitals (n=266) completed the questionnaire. Factor analysis sorted the behavioral items from both the event and clinic samples into four factors: "sociability with humans," "reactivity to stimuli," "chase proneness" and "fear of sounds." While "reactivity to stimuli" correlated significantly positively with all of the four types of aggression (P=0.007 to <0.001), "sociability with humans" correlated significantly negatively with child- and stranger-directed aggression (P<0.001). These results suggest that the behavioral traits involved in canine aggression differ among the types of aggression and that specific behavioral traits are frequently simultaneously involved in several types of aggression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Dogs / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires