“My Dog Hates Other Dogs – What Should I Do?”
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This is a problem posed by many dog owners who have no idea what is responsible for the dog aggressive behavior their normally sweet pup exhibits when she comes across another canine. Does your dog hate other dogs, or is it just a behavior issue?
Questions to ask yourself:
- When you take your dog for a walk, does your dog bark aggressively at other dogs?
- Does your dog have to be on a leash or else they will lunge at another dog?
- Do you have to stop or turn around if you see another dog coming toward you?
This is an issue that many dog owners are forced to deal with. Dogs that are aggressive toward other dogs can be difficult to control, (please work on obedience with your dog) and can pose a danger to themselves, their owners, and the public.
Anti-Social Dog Behavior
Dogs have a variety of personalities. Some dogs really like other animals, and will get along with any dog they meet on the street. Other dogs will be aggressive towards other animals and people too. Then some dogs are in between; they don’t mind having another animal growl at them or make a fuss, but they don’t like it.
Owners of dogs that are aggressive towards other animals can feel frustrated. They want to take their dog for walks, but they have to worry about what will happen when the neighbor’s dog sees them coming. Or maybe there are multiple dogs in one area, or an owner with a leashed animal approaches them on the sidewalk.
Causes Of Dog Aggression Behaviors
There are several reasons why your dog may show aggression behaviors toward other dogs. Some of these reasons include:
Genetics: your dog could act aggressively because they’ve inherited something from their ancestors. They may also be taking unspoken or non-verbal cues from an owner who is anxious about another dog, or more specifically, anxious about how their dog is going to react.
Protection: Your dog may feel the need to be protecting their territory, and that includes you. Lots of barking, snapping and lunging can result from this. They may not allow other dogs near their property (which again includes you). You want your dog to feel like they need to protect you, but there are better ways of doing this than aggression.
Fear: Your dog may not like other dogs because they’ve been previously attacked by a dog or have been treated poorly as a puppy. This can frequently happen with adopted dogs. If your dog has an abusive past, or even if they have been well treated but left alone a lot, it will likely take time to change their behavior toward other dogs. If you are aware that your dog was attacked by another dog, please take them to a veterinarian so that they can get checked out for any damage done. Then consult with a trainer about how to handle this type of situation.
Environment: Your dog may have been unattended or crated for too long as a pup, and doesn’t know how to act when other dogs are around. They don’t know how to act because they haven’t introduced to other dogs socially in a safe manner.
Health issues: Your dog may be in pain or not feeling well. This is actually a sleeper situation, as you may have no idea if something is really bothering your animal. When a dog is in pain, they often don’t want to be touched or approached at all.
This is not a comprehensive list. Every dog is different. It’s important to realize that your dog isn’t being mean or spiteful because they don’t like other dogs, it’s simply a problem behavior that needs to be corrected.
Insights Into Your Dog’s Aggression
This article is not meant to help you train your dog so that they are not aggressive toward others. It simply gives insight into why this type of behavior might be happening. If you would like to train your dog so that they are not aggressive toward other dogs, please read this article from PetMD.com and decide if you need to consult a professional trainer.
There are many reasons that it seems like your dog hates other dogs. It might be a fear of them, or it could be aggression. If your dog is aggressive toward another dog, you should never try to force a situation where they have to be around one another. This will most likely result in injury to the dog, the owner or both. If you have a dog that is aggressive toward other dogs, he or she needs to work with a trainer who has experience with this problem.
When you examine this behavior closely, you may come to the conclusion that this is most likely a fear response, not an aggressive one. This often occurs when a puppy has their first “traumatic” encounter at a young age, or has been attacked by one in the past.
Reactions Due To Past Interactions
If you suspect that your dog hates other dogs because of something in their past, it’s important for you to work to determine what their behaviors are telling you, and how to deal with them. A trainer who is specifically skilled at working with aggressive dogs can help with this, and help you make a plan moving forward.
Other dogs might be able to sense that your dog is aggressive. If you’re trying to stop your dog from barking aggressively at other dogs, they might continue because of the reaction they get from you – the emotion they feel coming down the leash. This is why an experienced dog trainer is important…they are, in reality, training you, not your dog!
In the end, some dogs are just not friendly toward other dogs, period. In reality, it’s not really a case of your dog hates other dogs. You may not ever have the kind of dog that is happy walking down a city street with 100 other dogs, or go romping in a dog park. If that turns out to be the case, it is your responsibility to keep your dog healthy, safe and happy. Work on making sure your dog gets lots of exercise, and consider choosing a sport they will enjoy.
They love you for who you are, and the reciprocal must be true as well. Browse our training blogs to learn more about how to have a healthy, happy, sociable dog!