PUBLISHED: CCBS' Investigates Treatments of Canine Aggression

Updated: May 13


March 5, 2020 – The Center for Canine Behavior Studies, Inc. is proud to announce that the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research (Elsevier) has published their research paper titled, “An investigation into the effectiveness of various professionals and behavior modification programs, with or without medication, for the treatment of canine aggression”. The paper was written by the CCBS team of Ian R. Dinwoodie, Vivian Zottola, and under the leadership of President/CEO Nicholas H. Dodman. The paper follows CCBS’ award-winning paper "Demographics and Comorbidity of Behavior Problems in Dogs" published in the Journal’s Volume 32, July–August 2019, Pages 62-71.


The study was constructed to address the most efficacious behavior modification programs, training equipment or technique to determine what approaches stand the best chance of success based on empirical evidence. The study investigated 963 dogs whose owners (n = 800) described as having at least one form of aggressive behavior. Owners were asked which types of professionals, if any, were sought, and the resolutions employed, including training methods and equipment, behavior modification programs and training techniques, medications, and forms of alternative medicine.


“We were surprised to find that a significant number of aggressive dogs had medical problems underpinning their aggressive behavior. Lesson 1: Always check in with your veterinarian first,” says President/CEO of CCBS, Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, DACVB. Of the owners that sought help from a DACVB, a majority (81%) found the advice to be helpful for treating their dog's aggression.


Behavior modifications were found to be the most consistently beneficial approach to treating all forms of aggression. Anti-bark collars, muzzles and response blocking decreased the probability improvement for successful treatment of varying forms of aggression.


“If veterinarians, behaviorists, and trainers avail themselves of the information gleaned from our study, we believe the awful problem of aggression - in all its forms - will be more successfully addressed,” advises Dodman. “This in turn will help keep dogs out of trouble and in their homes for life. That was and always will be our goal.”


The paper is accessible for free until June 28, 2021. View the study results here.


After June 28th, the paper is accessible for free to those associated with an institution, or for a nominal fee: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1558787821000174



Center for Canine Behavior Studies, Inc. (CCBS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of dogs through research, education and support of canine behavior and the human-animal bond. The CCBS team, led by world-renowned Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, discovers what behaviors lead to relinquishment and identifies ways to educate owners so that dogs and those who love them can live harmoniously. CCBS is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization | EIN: 83-0908914