Cbd oil for dogs cause aggression

Can CBD oil control aggression in dogs?

To understand the importance of CBD oil it is important to understand the aggression in dogs.

A few dogs develop a forceful character toward different dogs or even individuals. Some of it is hereditary or comes from regional conduct. It can likewise be the aftereffect of an agonizing condition so it merits a visit to your veterinarian to guarantee there’s not a clinical purpose for the aggression. As indicated by PetMD, “Between dog aggression happens substantially more often in non-fixed male dogs. Normal signs generally begin seeming when the dog arrives at pubescence (somewhere in the range of six and nine months old) or turns out to be socially adult at 18 to three years. By and large, between dog aggression is, even more, an issue between dogs of a similar sexual orientation.” You can perceive dog aggression as gnawing, snarling, lurching at others and it can regularly seem unjustifiable to the non-dog proficient. Notwithstanding, things can happen that you’re not mindful of, for example, pampering a more fragile dog while rebuffing the forceful dog. That is simply going to make the dog aggression who’s harassing madder. (Actually like in the schoolyard.)

Dogs just like humans have feelings and they too have feelings. Thus sometimes dogs might behave aggressively. The most common reason for aggressive behavior in dogs is the owner inflicted aggression. Aggressive dog behavior can mean anything from compromising behavior to destructive assaults with unobtrusive body pose changes to vocalization, aggressive looks and gnawing. aggressive dogs that are effortlessly excited should stay away from all circumstances that trigger an acute stress mode, causing aggressive behavior.

Your dog’s tension and excitement state influence his physiological state. Today veterinarians, behaviorists, and positive dog mentors might suggest reward-based training with treats and against uneasiness drugs to assist with combatting hostility.

These blends will assist with making another social state in your dog that is helpful for new learning encounters so effective behavior adjustment can occur. This is the place where CBD might be useful in supplanting nervousness medications that might have long haul incidental effects, or that might be expensive over the long haul.

Some animosity can be overseen, while different kinds of hostility require avoidance. Since animosity in dogs is most occasions eccentric, ensure that kids and other family pets are not at risk.

Concerning any ailments, these should be dealt with first to ensure that they are not the reason for animosity. Owner-related animosity can originate from dread and obsolete discipline strategies that should not be utilized on any pets. Inordinate utilization of discipline will make a dog unfortunate, and cause torment, and result in animosity as protection. All things considered, owner related hostility can come root from a dog aggression being unfortunate of his new climate.

Dogs that might have been mishandled previously, and that have been adopted may set aside time adjusting to new home conditions and conquering their previous history of misuse and disregard. Regardless, social alteration with positive dog preparing might be helpful, wretchedness, and animosity while making another behavior express that helps learn new practices.

Besides aggression that is inflicted from owners, some other reasons result in aggressive dogs. Some of the most common reasons are:

What are the common causes of aggression in dogs?

Aggression due to fear.

With this being the most well-known reason for canine aggression, discover what triggers this in your dog. It’s normally set off by a trigger that a dog discovers fear in which you’d have an immediate reaction of aggression. This is called guarded aggression. Dogs will attempt to get away from the improvement, and if they can’t, they will become aggressive.

Dogs that are chained, restricted, cornered or genuinely held will attempt to move away from the apparent “threat.” For this situation, it’s important to distinguish the fear first and to eliminate it. Furthermore, discovering what the first exposure was to the threatening trigger is significant, because dogs might display fear at the main exposure which later forms into aggression.

Aggression due to food.

Various dogs at shelters will show food aggression. This is displayed during feed time, around dog treats and bones, and human food when food is being ready or eaten.

Aggression due to maternal instincts.

Maternal aggression is seen when mother dogs are excessively defensive of their puppies. Aggression is coordinated toward different dogs or individuals. This can likewise influence females with pseudocyesis or can allude to female dogs that show aggression toward their puppies, and even give indications of barbarianism. This might be hereditary however will in general influence more females just after their first litter. A limited quantity of aggression is ordinary, most particularly during weaning.

Aggression to assert dominance.

Sometimes dogs might be aggressive to assert their dominance over others. They can try aggressive ways to dominate other dogs, pets or even humans. This is generally seen more in male dogs. This is hard to address, and circumstances that might bring about aggression should be controlled.

Should you be using CBD oil for your dog?

Veterinarians should lessen pressure in aggressive dogs and treat pain from any wounds or ailments like osteoarthritis. All things considered, consistently examine with your veterinarian substitute strategies for pain treatment, since customary techniques like narcotics, nonsteroidal mitigating drugs(NSAIDs), corticosteroids and different medications might be endorsed as the main choice for pain the executives.

With both intense and constant pain, a blend of medication and nondrug techniques might be powerful in treating pain. That is the place where cannabidiol pet items might be valuable for aggressive dogs. CBD might be valuable in treating a variety of ailments in dogs. It has numerous cell reinforcement properties and is wealthy in regular mixtures like terpenes and flavonoids. Studies show that flavonoids, for example, luteolin and kaempferol that are found in hemp items cause a disturbance in malignancy cells.

Moreover, choosing a full-range hemp oil that utilizes the C02 extraction technique takes into account a top-notch CBD pet item with 100% no THC. Many elements go into the buying of a top-notch CBD pet item. All things considered, the main thought is if a CBD item utilizes a confine or a full-range oil. A full range of oil is the most powerful and is gotten from the whole plant. It is likewise of unrivalled quality and should be the main quality CBD oil that you buy for your fuzzy dearest companion. Before utilizing CBD on your dog, whether or not or not he’s inclined to aggression , examine it with your veterinarian. Utilize the right CBD pet item with the right intensity so that it’s viable and safe. CBD measurements will shift among dogs with weight, size, and ailments becoming possibly the most important factor. A veterinary supported CBD pet item guarantees 100% security and viability.

Get going with low CBD measurements, and step by step move gradually up until it’s compelling. Instead of conventional uneasiness drugs, CBD as a characteristic and remedial enhancement is valuable to all dogs.

Hemp is the cannabis assortments that are developed as a horticultural yield, and contain low measures of THC(tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is governmentally unlawful in some countries on the off chance that it contains a higher sum than the O.3% however, it’s been supported for both sporting and clinical use in some western countries. For all CBD pet items to be safe, they need to have under 0.3% THC. CBD is regular, safe, and is obtained from hemp and cannabis. Most CBD dog items will utilize CBD from hemp. All things considered, there are no “high” and dogs won’t devour THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, bringing about psychoactive impacts with your dog getting “high”.

CBD dog treats and non-GMO, CBD oil colours, and even CBD pills or containers, when managed to dogs, may assist with facilitating nervousness and aggression. Remember that CBD without THC won’t give your dog a “high”. CBD nutraceutical pet equations are 100% protected without incidental effects. CBD has a quieting impact, and may even have a synergistic impact. CBD influences the endocannabinoid framework in dogs and actuates a calming impact in your dog by interfacing with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Today, various examinations exhibit the advantages of CBD for pets. A 2019 University of Colorado investigation discovered that 89% of dogs treated in the review with CBD oil, had a decrease in the recurrence of seizures. The report furthermore says that”The CBD item utilized in the review was gotten from the hemp plant, which has 0.3% or less of the psychoactive part of cannabis, THC. The compound isn’t viewed as cannabis and can be utilized for research purposes.

Another review clarifies how CBD assists with joint agony and irritation. “Harvard Health Blog adds that CBD applied on the skin could assist lower with tormenting and irritation originating from joint inflammation. A pharmacokinetic concentrate on CBD organization found that “CBD initiates stimulant like impacts equivalent to those of imipramine. These impacts of CBD were likely intervened by the initiation of 5-HT1A receptors,” using PubMed-NCBI.

Wendy Hendriks

This is Wendy Hendriks From iClean Internationals Ltd. Life-long learner, committed to working hard at self directed learning environment.

Cannabis sativa L. may reduce aggressive behaviour towards humans in shelter dogs

Among the phytocomplex components of Cannabis sativa L., cannabidiol (CBD) has a recognised therapeutic effect on chronic pain. Little is known about the veterinary use of CBD in dogs. Even less is known on the effects of CBD on dog behaviour, especially in shelters. The purpose of this study was to determine if CBD affects stress related behaviour in shelter dogs. The sample consisted of 24 dogs divided into two groups that were created by assigning the dogs alternately: 12 dogs were assigned to the treatment group and 12 to the control group. Extra virgin olive oil, titrated to 5% in CBD was given to treated group; the placebo consisted of olive oil only, dispensed daily for 45 days. Behavioural data were collected using the ‘focal animal’ sampling method with ‘all occurrences’ and ‘1/0’ methods for 3 h: before (T), after 15 days (T1), after 45 days of treatment (T2) and after 15 days from the end of the treatment (T3). Treated dogs showed reduced aggressive behaviour toward humans following the treatment (Friedman Test: χ 2 = 13.300; df = 3; N = 12; p = .004; adj. sig. p = 0.027), but the difference in the decrease of aggressive behaviour between the two groups was not significant (Mann–Whitney U test, T2–T: Z = − 1.81; N = 24; p = 0.078). Other behaviours indicative of stress, such as displacing activities and stereotypes, did not decrease. Despite some non-significant results, our findings suggest that it is worth doing more research to further investigate the effect of CBD on dog behaviour; this would be certainly valuable because the potential for improving the welfare of dogs in shelters is priceless.

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Cannabis sativa L., also commonly known as hemp, has provided fabric, oils, food and rope for humans for thousands of years 1,2 . It has also been widely used for its medical and psychoactive effects 1,2 . It has more than 489 chemical compounds including terpenes, hydrocarbons, ketones, aldehydes and phytocannabinoids 3 . The two best known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While the second one is responsible for the psychotropic and toxic effect, both in humans and animals (e.g., 4,5,6,7 ), CBD has no psychotropic effects and has a low toxicity 8,9,10 . Due to its high tolerability 8 , it has been increasingly used in clinical trials for humans and animals (e.g., 11,12,13 ).

Despite the discomfort that many veterinarians feel in proposing cannabis-derived remedies to pet owners 14 , CBD is gradually becoming an important tool for the treatment of pain, inflammation, seizures and anxiety (e.g., 14,15,16 ). In 2019, 14 1940 veterinaries were interviewed: of these, 1806 (93,1%) discussed the use of CBD with owners for management of pain, 1341 (69,1%) for anxiety and 1089 (56,1%) for seizures. Although the use of cannabinoid products to treat animals’ behavioural problems in domestic animals has been recently increasing 17,18 , there is scarce literature on clinical trials to evaluate its effectiveness. Deiana et al. 19 tested different compounds of Cannabis sativa, finding that CBD reduced obsessive-compulsory behaviour in rats and mice. In the same year, another study showed that administration of CBD reduced marble-burying behaviour in mice 20 .

Few studies have assessed the effect of CBD on dog health and behaviour. Deabold et al. 13 studied the pharmacokinetics of CBD in dogs and cats. Their results suggest that orally administered CBD in dogs was not detrimental with a time gap of 12 h or more between one administration and another. Similar results were found by McGrafth et al. 16 : dogs tolerate CBD well if fasting and postprandial bile acids remained stable. Gamble and collaborators 15 found that a CBD-based treatment decreased pain and increased activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.

CBD interacts with organisms through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In vertebrates and invertebrates, the animal’s ECS is a biological system interacting with both endogenous cannabinoids and the exogenous plant molecules derived primarily from hemp 21 . The ECS owes its name to the previous discovery of some elements’ ability, which constitute it, to interact with THC. In mammals, the ECS is very complex and modulates different kind of organism responses 21 . Through the two principal receptors (CB1 and CB2), it takes part in the anti-inflammatory process 22 , in the management of anxiety 23 , in the immune function 12,24 and in lowering pain 25 . This system is also involved in maintaining homeostasis for different organs and in modulating the nervous and immune systems 21 . Even if 26 and 27 demonstrated that CBD has a low affinity for CB receptors, it is an agonist of 5-HT1A receptors 28 . These receptors are part of a class of receptors (5-HT) that usually interact with serotonin 29 and are strictly associated with physical health 30 , mood 30 and stress [reviewed in 31 ].

Stress is a mental, physiological, or emotional state characterized by a factor that is altering the homeostasis of a living organism 32 . For mammals, the response to a stressor, which can be physical or emotional, as for example infections, burns or anger 33 involves the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis reactivity (e.g., 34 ), resulting in an increase of circulating glucocorticoids that could result in stress-related disorders 35 .

For dogs, entering a kennel represents a stressful event (e.g., 36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43 ) due to several stressors including exposure to a new context or social and spatial restrictions (e.g., 44 ). In many countries like Italy, where sheltered dogs cannot be euthanased except for health reasons or proven dangerousness according to the law, it is our duty to guarantee them an acceptable level of well-being. There is still a debate on behavioural indicators of dogs’ low level of welfare when in kennels 45 ; however, there is no doubt that displacing activities 46,47,48 and stereotyped behaviours 47,48,49 are both indicators of moderate to high level of anxiety, and consequently discomfort, as well as of pathological behaviour in dogs; in addition, persistent aggressive behaviour, out of context, can be considered a pathological behaviour 50 . As defined in 46 , ”Displacing activities are behaviour patterns (mostly body care activities) characterized by their apparent irrelevance to the situation in which they appear. […] Displacement activities tend to occur in situations of psycho-social stress”. Aggressive behaviour is part of all species’ behavioural repertoire; the ultimate causes that led to its evolutionary selection concern function in intra-and inter-specific competition 51 ; in other words, aggressive behaviour has evolved to allow individuals to be competitive for obtaining the resources necessary for their survival 52 .

Some psychoactive medications, including herbal supplements or pheromonal products, have been used to lower the level of anxiety of dogs (e.g., 53,54 ), but no other studies have evaluated the influence of CBD on dog behaviour. The study was a clinical trial and its purpose was to determine if CBD treatment can decrease disturbed and stressed behaviour in shelter dogs, in terms of decrease in displacing activities, stereotyped and aggressive behaviour.

Materials and methods

Animals and housing

The subjects of this study were 24 domestic dogs (20 neutered males, 2 unneutered males, 2 spayed females) with various kind of behavioural problems, randomly drawn from a list of animals matching the inclusion criteria. The behavioural problems were diagnosed by the kennel’s veterinarians working for the Local Health Unit and the Municipality of Rome. The criteria for selection were: age between 1 and 10 years (estimated by standard veterinary methods); physically healthy; presence of behavioural disorders (detected by the veterinarian); permanence in the shelter for at least 9 months (Table 1). The latter item was included in the criteria to avoid biasing the results by measuring behavioural responses due to acute stress; in fact, the literature reports that dogs entering the shelter have different behavioural, physiological and immunological responses due to acute stress 36,45 . The different sex ratio of the selected dogs was due to the shortage of females that met the parameters for the selection and, at the same time, presented behavioural problems. Eighteen of the dogs were mixed-breed and six were clearly purebred-derived dogs (one Bull Terrier, one Bull Mastiff, one Italian Mastiff, three American Pit Bull Terrier).

Table 1 The 24 dogs selected for the study, their weight, principal behavioural disorder, group and dosage.

The selected dogs showed severe behavioural disorders such as compulsively licking the cage walls, chewing on objects until they were destroyed, coprophagy or having attacks of aggression such as to lead to self-injury; none were under therapeutic, pharmacological or behavioural treatment.

Every day the shelter operators monitored the dogs to spot symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea) of possible health issues; such occurrences were registered and reported to the responsible veterinarian.

The study was carried out in the dog shelter “Muratella”, the municipal dog shelter in Rome. The dogs were housed in single cages of 4 m 2 with an indoor and outdoor area. The cages were cleaned twice a day, before food distribution. All the dogs could go out in a fenced area (10 × 3 m) adjacent to their cages. A few of them were taken out for a walk inside the shelter by the staff and/or volunteers. Given that changing dogs’ daily routines might be an additional source of stress for them 55 , we maintained their lifestyles through the study.


We calculated that the minimum sample size (shelter dogs’ population = 400; prevalence of stress signals in shelter dogs = 90%; power = 0.80; alpha error = 5%; n1/n2 = 1) was 10 individuals in each group, alternately assigned (group A = treated; group B = control); we include two additional individuals for each group to address possible drop outs.

The dogs belonging to the treatment group were given a CBD based oil while the dogs belonging to the control group were given a placebo. Both were administered every day before the usual meal in the morning, for 45 days. CBD based oil consisted of an extraction from aerial parts and inflorescences of the plant Cannabis Sativa in organic extra virgin olive oil to the proportion of 150 g of Cannabis Sativa inflorescences and aerial parts in 1 L of oil. The extraction was done using the “Naviglio” extractor, titrated to 5% in CBD and THC absence. The placebo consisted of extra virgin olive oil only.

The dosage to each dog was calculated as follow: 1 drop of oil/2 kg of weight, i.e. 5 drops of oil were administered to a dog that weighed 10 kg, 10 drops to a dog that weighed 20 kg and so on. The percentage of body fat was calculated for each dog by means of the conditional body score (BCS): in case of obesity, dogs were given an extra 20% of drops (Table 1).

With and without CBD, the oil administration did not require any kind of particular interaction since the oil was mixed with some meat; in any case, due to their behavioural disorders, most of the dogs did not allow any form of interaction with humans. However, the operators were instructed not to alter the usual quantity and quality of daily interactions.

Behavioural observations

The observations were carried out live by two previously trained observers, blind to which group (treated or control) the dogs belonged to; an inter-observer reliability test was conducted prior to the trial. The behavioural observations were conducted by a single observer each time who sat in front of the cage; observers did not interact with the dogs, so the dogs became rapidly accustomed to the presence of the observers. The time period of observations ranged from September to December 2018. The 24 dogs were observed exclusively in their home-cage for 12 h each, for a total of 288 h. Before starting the administration of CBD based oil and the placebo, each dog was observed for one hour a day for three consecutive days (T), at three different times of the day (morning, between 8:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. hours; lunchtime, between 12:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. hours; late afternoon, between 3:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. hours). Twenty-four hours after the last day of T, the treatment began.

The collection of behavioural data was repeated in the same way in the following intervals: from the 15th to the 17th day (T1) and from the 43rd to the 45th day (T2) of the administration of treatment; from the 15th to the 17th day (T3) after the end of the treatment.

The ethogram utilised for data collection during behavioural observations consisted of more than 100 behavioural patterns (described previously in 43 , see Supplementary Information): by means of the focal animal sampling method 56 , the behavioural patterns of each dog were recorded in a check sheet, utilising the “all occurrences” and “1/0” methods (60 s interval) 56 . The “all occurrences” method provides the number of times a dog shows a specific behaviour (for example the number of times it scratches himself), while the 1/0 method gives the number of predetermined intervals (in this case 60 s) in which the dog exhibits a behaviour (e.g., the number of intervals in which the dog barks) 56 .

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Statistical analysis

The behavioural patterns utilised to collect data during the observations were grouped into categories (Table 2), generated on the basis of information drawn from the literature 41,42 and repeatedly used in the past by our working group 43,57,58 . Since the numbers were not normally distributed, to compare the behavioural frequencies recorded in the different times (T, T1, T2, T3) for the control and treatment groups separately, we utilised the Friedman test, a non-parametric alternative for a repeated-measures ANOVA, and the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. To compare the difference between treated and placebo group, we utilised the Mann–Whitney U test. A p value of < 0.05 was used to determine significance.

Table 2 The behavioural patterns utilised in this study grouped into categories. For the description of the behaviours, see Supplementary Information.

Data analysis was conducted using the IBM SPSS software.

Ethics statements

This study was approved by the Animal Welfare and Protection Office of the Municipality of Rome, which is responsible for sheltered dogs according to Italian laws, and by the Sanitary Local Health Unit Rome 3, which is responsible for the health of the sheltered dogs.

Neither anaesthesia nor euthanasia, or any kind of animal suffering, was part of the study. The protocol was carried out in accordance with the relevant Italian guidelines and regulations.


The inter-observer reliability was measured and it corresponded to r = 0.99 on 5 dogs (9 behavioural patterns).

No dogs showed disease symptoms during the study, except for one dog (Gargamello, under treatment) that had a single episode of diarrhoea, during the second day of T2, which disappeared without pharmacological intervention; so we did not exclude this dog from the study. In this study, dogs well tolerated olive oil both with or without the addition of CBD.

The median aggressive levels at T0 looked different for the two groups, but the test for homogeneity applied to the treated and control groups at T0 revealed that this difference was not significant indicating that there was no significant difference in the median level of aggression in the two groups at the start of the study (group A: median = 6.0, IQRs 17–0.75; group B: median = 2.0, IQRs 4.5–0; Mann–Whitney U test, T: Z = 48; N = 24; p = 0.150).

Aggressive behaviour towards humans decreased significantly over time in CBD treatment group (Friedman test, T, T1, T2, T3: χ 2 = 13.300; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.004). However, in the pairwise comparisons, only the T0-T2 comparison was significant (p = 0.004, adj. sig. p = 0.027) (Fig. 1).

Aggressive behaviour towards humans of dogs treated with cannabidiol (CBD) at the start of the study (T), after 15 (T1) and 45 (T2) days from the beginning of the treatment, and 15 days after the end of the administration of CBD (T3). **p < 0.05; the black bars within the box plots indicate the median; the dots represent the outliers.

On the contrary, in the control group the aggressive behaviour towards humans did not decrease due to the administration of olive oil (without CBD) (Friedman test, T, T1, T2, T3: χ 2 = 6,268; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.09; Fig. 2).

Aggressive behaviour towards humans of dogs receiving olive oil as a placebo at the start of the study (T), after 15 (T1) and 45 (T2) days from the beginning of the treatment, and 15 days after the end of the administration of olive oil (T3). The black bars within the box plots indicate the median; the dots represent the outliers.

The reduction of aggressive behaviour toward humans was marked in the treated group, but the difference between the treatment and control groups in the decrease of aggressive behaviour towards humans was not significant (Mann–Whitney U test, T2-T: Z = − 1.81; N = 24; p = 0.078; Fig. 3).

Difference in aggressive behaviour towards humans at different times (T = before the start of the experiment and T2 = 45 days from the start of the experiment) for dogs treated with cannabidiol (CBD) and dogs in the control group (receiving olive oil as a placebo). The black bars within the box plots indicate the median; the dots represent the outliers.

Concerning the stress related behavioural patterns (stereotyped behaviour and displacing activities), our results did not show any effect of CBD on their frequencies (Friedman test, T, T1, T2, T3: χ 2 = 2,136; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.545; Fig. 4; χ 2 = 0,479; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.923; Fig. 5).

Stereotyped behaviour of dogs treated with cannabidiol (CBD) at the start of the study (T), after 15 (T1) and 45 (T2) days from the beginning of the treatment, and 15 days after the end of administration of CBD (T3). The black bars within the box plots indicate the median; the dots represent the outliers.

Displacement activities of dogs treated with cannabidiol (CBD) at the start of the study (T), after 15 (T1) and 45 (T2) days from the beginning of the treatment, and 15 days after the end of administration of CBD (T3). The black bars within the box plots indicate the median; the dots represent the outliers.

Finally, the analysis of all behavioural patterns of the dogs, related to attention and interaction with the environment (looking outside/observer/volunteer, raising of ears and looking outside/at observer/at volunteer carefully, dozing, sniffing object/observer/volunteer) suggested that the treatment with CBD did not reduce the level of attention of dogs and did not make them less perceptive of the environment and of the stimuli that surrounded them (Friedman test, T, T1, T2, T3. Attention: χ 2 = 6,300; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.09; dozing: χ 2 = 4,361; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.225; sniffing: χ 2 = 3,769; df = 3; N = 12; p = 0.287).


According to the information found in the literature (e.g., 13,16 ), our dogs did not show any of the symptoms referable to CBD intolerance. Daily monitoring of the health of the dogs under observation allowed us to evaluate any eventual pathological responses to olive oil, CBD or both. Given the occasional and rare occurrence of intolerance symptoms (one isolated episode of diarrhea), it is possible to conclude that the olive oil treatment, with or without CBD, was well tolerated.

Although the difference in the decrease of aggressive behaviour between the control and the treated group was not significant, possibly due to the small sample size, our results suggest that the treatment with CBD could reduce the frequency of aggressive behaviour towards humans and highlights the need for further studies.

There are in the shelter, of course, temporal and spatial limitations that vary from shelter to shelter, which could affect the results. As it is well known 43,58 , sheltered dogs in general and the dogs in this study in particular, suffer from inter- and intra-specific social deprivation, total lack of interactions at night, and lack of exercise because they are in cages. In trying to minimize the number of variables that could have affected the results in such a variable environment, we chose dogs that had been in shelter for at least nine months and displayed signs of chronic stress. In fact, dogs entering the shelter have behavioural responses due to acute stress 36,45 . According to these considerations, the results presented here acquire value since they suggest a possibility of response to the treatment in a challenging environment, that could be even greater in an environment where the limitations described above are less present and the possibilities to control the dogs are greater. Many attempts have been made to classify aggressive behaviour in domestic dogs; 59 combined the descriptive and functional classification system, describing a typical aggression sequence. The same author claims that if the aggression sequence is altered, this indicates that the aggression has reached a pathological level. Additionally, when the frequency of aggressive behaviour is so high that it occurs out of context, becoming unpredictable, it can be considered pathological 50,60 .

The dogs involved in this study were selected because they showed behavioural symptoms that lead to a diagnosis of behavioural disorders and one of the symptoms was excessive aggressive behaviour. Aggressiveness is a very complex phenomenon: the muscles contract, ready for action, the hair stands up, the pupils dilate, the heart beats at a higher rate, blood pressure increases; the rise of the latter carries to all the cells of the body a frantic but surprisingly well coordinated variety of hormones, cytokines and other molecular messengers that inform the cells of the body about the situation: ‘we are going to attack!’.

In general, it would be an erroneous approach to try to ascribe the hyper aggressiveness of a dog to a few causes; moreover, it would be equally wrong and naive to neglect the possibility that the alteration on several levels of the complex system underlying aggression does not cause a chronic state of malaise for the animal. Many of the dogs in this study showed excessively frequent aggressive behaviours. Some of them showed a high level of aggressiveness before entering the kennel, but their permanence in that environment may have increased it or it may have been brought about in dogs that did not present it to start with.

Takahashi et al. 61 suggested that social stress could induce excessive recurrent aggressiveness that becomes maladaptive because it brings about a dysregulation of the immune system. These authors also suggested that the dysregulated immune responses vary according to the rank of the individual, but it was not possible to evaluate this variable in the dogs under study because, due to their high level of aggressiveness, it was necessary to house them individually. What remains beyond doubt is that their behaviour denounced a high level of malaise.

Our results clearly suggest that CBD treatment might be effectively used to improve welfare in dogs housed in a shelter.

However, if CBD treatment causes a reduction in the aggressive behaviour of the dogs, this effect, in turn, might improve the relationships between the dogs and the staff of the kennel, facilitating dog management and increasing the level of dog welfare; in fact, it has been found that walking on a leash or having physical contact with humans improves the level of dog welfare housed in a shelter 58,62,63 .

Other categories widely used to evaluate dogs’ well-being are displacement activities and stereotypies. They are recognized to be a flag of physical and emotional discomfort in humans and in non-human animals 46,47,48,49 . Our results did not show any effect of CBD on the reduction of those behavioural patterns. In humans, an antipsychotic activity of CBD was assessed and found to reduce the occurrence of apomorphine-induced stereotypies 64 , but the mechanism by which CBD exerts its anxiolytic effects has not been fully clarified, yet. In rodents, an effect of CBD has been found on stereotyped behaviour because it reduced marble burying behaviour following intraperitoneal administration 19,20 , but this effect was not observed reliably when CBD was administered orally 19 . In this study, the lack of effects on dogs’ anxious behaviour attributable to the administration of CBD may be due to oral instead of intraperitoneal administration, as studies on rodents 19,65 and dogs 66 have indicated.

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In this study, we also did not find any effect of CBD regarding the reduction of displacement activities. However, before discussing this lack of effect, a premise is due. Some authors suggested that displacement activities are behavioural constituents of the adaptive stress response 67 ; morphologically, in nonhuman primates these behavioural patterns have something to do with body care: self-grooming, scratching, body shaking, stretching and yawning. They can be associated with different kinds of situations but all situations have in common uncertainty and anxiety as the stressful causal factors 46 ; some pharmacological studies, reviewed in 67 , confirmed that displacement activities (mainly scratching) are a valid measure of stress in nonhuman primates and human subjects. In domestic dogs, an indirect suggestion comes from 58 who found that the frequent display of displacement activities such as self-grooming, scratching and body shaking, are associated with a lower level of antioxidant capacity in shelter dogs. There are very few papers on the effect of different treatments in this behavioural category 68 , for example, did not find an effect of the appeasing pheromone in reducing displacement activities in shelter dogs. Despite the evidence that, through the analysis of some physiological parameters, some drugs reduce the stress level in dogs, such as gabapentin 69 or clonidine 70 , the drug effect on stress-related behaviour has been neglected. Furthermore, no experiments to investigate the neurobiological correlates of displacement activities and their relationships with negative emotional states have ever been carried out in the domestic dog. Thus, in this species, it is not even clear which behavioural patterns can be considered displacing activities that, in turn, are behavioural components of the adaptive stress response, probably causing anxiolytic effects. Future studies should be focused on both these aspects of neurobiology in domestic dogs.

One of the most robust results of this study is that CBD treatment did not decrease the activity of the dogs studied, as already highlighted for other species 20 . This is an important point because a decrease in dog activity could have reduced aggressive behaviour and biased the results. Dogs under treatment displayed the same level of attention towards the environment before and after the treatment.

Future studies should include a larger sample of sheltered dogs treated with CBD in order to confirm the action of CBD on some behavioural patterns, which would increase the level of dogs’ welfare.


In this study, we assessed the effects of CBD on dogs’ behaviour. An administration of CBD every 24 h did not result in any effects on behavioural categories related to stress but seemed to reduce aggressive behaviour. Additional investigations are necessary to widen the sample of dogs and to combine a behavioural therapy with CBD administration. Our results pave the way for further behavioural and veterinary studies to understand if CBD could be efficacious also in the treatment of behavioural disorders.

Cbd oil for dogs cause aggression

Posted by Ian Koontz on Aug 4th 2020

Imagine this; scrolling on your feed, you see a video compilation of dogs. Suddenly, you trigger your interest in wanting a pet. You’ve been thinking about adopting a furry friend for months, preparing yourself physically, mentally and financially. One day, you visit the pet adoption center and meet your perfect match. It’s love at first sight, you go up to him and suddenly you feel the connection. You sign a few papers and take him home. You notice that your dog is a bit of a goof- that’s because all dogs have different personalities. It doesn’t matter what breed, or how small or big they may be. Like humans, dogs develop their traits and personalities from their growth or personal experiences. Some dogs that come from shelters have had horrible past experiences that has given them trauma. This trauma is reflected by their actions. The most common form of act of trauma these dogs project is aggression.

What is Dog Aggression?

Dog aggression is the act or behavior connected with an attack. It is a behavioral problem in which a dog growls, snaps or bites. These are common in not just “larger dogs” but any breed in general. Though it can be seen in all breeds, a dog’s behavior is taught or experienced which means aggression depends on the situation a dog is in. There are many reasons why a dog acts the way that they do and it is best that you go to a professional trainer or animal behaviorist to identify the root cause of your dog’s aggression. While aggression can seem scary, it is important that as a responsible pet owner, you must know the aggression cannot be cured overnight. Like humans, one must be patient enough and have a deeper understanding of their pet. Not to worry as there are many steps you can take to change this aggressive behavior. Before anything else, you must know the many signs and symptoms that your dog may become aggressive. Luckily, we have compiled you a list of common signs to look out for:

  • Growling and snapping
  • A rigid body and quickly wagging tail
  • Lip licking or yawning
  • Averting gaze
  • Raised fur
  • Cowering and tail tucking
  • Seeing whites of the eyes

Take note that these common signs of aggression stems from an underlying problem. Be aware of your dog’s surroundings as this can play an important role in determining the underlying cause of your dog’s behavior. There are many ways you can manage your dog’s behavioral problems as well as help them calm down. As a pet owner, one must be patient as it will take time, consistency, and if possible, a help of a professional.

Types of Aggression

In order to fully understand your dog’s behavioral problems, upon checking with a veterinarian, you must educate yourself on the many types of aggression your dog may be experiencing.

  • Social Aggression: This is caused by dogs that lack socialization with other dogs and people which allows them to act in an aggressive manner when faced in social situations.
  • Predatory Aggression: This is a behavioral problem in which a dog behaves aggressively without warning. When you have pets that experience this behavior, it is best to put your children away from the dog as a tiny game can quickly turn to aggression which can cause the dog to bite a child.
  • Redirected Aggression: When a dog is in a dog fight and another person tries to break it up, the dog’S aggression may turn to the person trying to stop the fight.
  • Territorial Aggression: Territorial Aggression is mot likely taught by its owners due to its behavior towards defending its space or your home from intruders.
  • Possessive Aggression: Also known as resource guarding, this is the act in which a dog is protective of their food or valued object.
  • Fear Aggression: When a dog feels that it is in a scary situation, they are fearful. When that fear is triggered they attack when they are cornered.
  • Frustration-elicited Aggression: This type of aggression is triggered when a dog feels restricted on a leash or space.
  • Defensive Aggression: Similar to fear aggression. this behavioral problem is due to a defense mechanism .
  • Protective Aggression: This type of aggression is due to a dog protecting its pact against another animal or person. Usually, a mother dog can be extremely protective over their new borns and may act out at anyone who goes near them.
  • Pain-elicited Aggression: When a dog is injured or in pain, it may show signs of aggression.
  • Sex -related Aggression: When dogs are not neutered, there is a possibility for two male dogs or two female dogs to become aggressive when vying for attention of another dog.
CBD Oil for Dog Aggression

As a responsible dog owner, when your dog is showing signs of aggression, one must immediately take their pet dog to a professional that will train and understand the dog. Behavior modification techniques like habituation, extinction, desensitization, counterconditioning, response substitution and shaping are commonly used to alter aggression in dogs. While aggression in dogs don’t improve over night, a veterinarian may prescribe medications to ease your dog from anxiety or stress. A veterinarian may prescribe medications that contain chemicals that are not good for your dog in the long run. Chemical based medications may lead to side effects. While this is something that may concern you, there are other ways to help ease dog aggression and anxiety. It is best to discuss this with your local veterinarian.

There is a natural approach to this. There are numerous studies staying that CBD oil or hemp oil for dog aggression is said to help ease all types of anxiety like separation anxiety and aggression. CBD induces a calming effect in your dog by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Pet owners are hesitant to try this natural substance but it is 100% safe and will not give your dog any side effects as CBD does not contain THC, which is said to give side effects. Although CBD products are extremely effective these days, it is best to consult your local veterinarian for the right potency so that it may be effective and safe for your dog. CBD dosages vary on your dog’s size and medical conditions, so make sure to take precautions before giving your dog anything without the prescription of the veterinarian. Nowadays, CBD and hemp oil comes in different forms. There are many CBD brands out there that provide soft chews, oral tinctures, dog treat, and many more that guarantee high quality hemp. When giving any CBD products, it is best to have a fixed routine or fixed time just like feeding your dog in a normal everyday basis. This is the preferred method as it is shown to be much more effective than just giving these products at random times. This will help in improving your dog’s aggression whenever their behavioral problem is triggered.

While CBD oil or hemp oil may help reduce stress and ease dogs from their anxiety, professionals with have to teach and train dogs to change the behavioral problem. With that being said, CBD or hemp oil should not replace veterinary diagnosis and behavior modification. This natural remedy may ease your dog from anxiety and will help your dog remain calm but it is also important to seek a professional that specializes in behavioral problems.