Dogs Get Aggressive Due To Depression

A study has been conducted on dogs, which revealed that the dogs bark or bite out of depression and not out of madness.

NHS, every year, treats 3,800 patients bitten by dogs.

Dr. Belen Rosado, of Zaragoza University in Spain researched on the dogs barking habit. He studied family pets and found out that the state of aggression in dogs is due to the lower levels of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, which is present in high concentration in delighted dogs. The reduction in the levels of serotonin chemical in humans causes depression, anxiety and mood swings.

The study will help finding out some ways to rectify this behavioural characteristic of dogs. Also, scientists would endeavour to make anti-depressants for dogs. A beef-flavoured form of Prozac was introduced in 2007 by Eli Lilly Company to alleviate their fretfulness.

Blood samples of 80 aggressive dogs were examined by researchers from two veterinary teaching hospitals. The blood samples were compared with 19 dogs of normal behaviour and it was discovered that the aggressive dogs had lesser serotonin level. Such dogs also had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The major reasons for depression in dogs can be less outdoor walks or leaving them alone for hours.

The study was published in journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.