Use of fluoxetine to treat dominance aggression in dogs

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996 Nov 1;209(9):1585-7.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Dogs / psychology*
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / pharmacology
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Social Dominance*


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine