Objective: To evaluate fluoxetine for the treatment of owner-directed dominance aggression in dogs.
Design: Prospective study.
Animals: 9 dogs of various breeds, ages, and either sex determined to have owner-directed dominance aggression.
Procedure: Placebo and fluoxetine (1 mg/kg of body weight) were compared for the treatment of owner-directed dominance aggression in a single-blind crossover study. Owners were instructed to record aggressive and nonaggressive responses of their dogs daily on a canine-overt aggression chart for the 5-week duration of the study. Total aggression scores (linear and geometric) were calculated for each week of the study. The frequency of individual responses was also analyzed independently.
Results: Fluoxetine resulted in a significant (P = 0.01) reduction in owner-directed dominance aggression after 3 weeks of treatment. No particular aggressive response accounted for the overall reduction in aggression.
Clinical implications: Fluoxetine may be useful in the management of dominance aggression in dogs.