Why Is My Dog Aggressive To Other Dogs?

Many people ask me why is my dog aggressive to other dogs? Aggressive behavior in your dog can be a major issue, it can make it almost impossible to take your dog on walks, take your dog to the park or be in public with your dog at all.

A dog that is aggressive toward other dogs has the potential to be very dangerous, after all, if your dog is aggressive to other dogs, and this behavior goes unchecked, there may be a future problem with your dog being aggressive towards children or even adults.

In the last few weeks I have had several people send me e-mails through our contact us page asking why their dogs appeared to be aggressive around other dogs. There are several reasons why this can happen. Today we look at some of the most common reasons.

  1. Lack of socialization.
  2. Fear of other dogs.
  3. Lack of training.
  4. Protective instincts.
  5. Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs.

Lack of socialization.

Lack of socialization with other dogs can cause dog to be overly aggressive, all dogs have the instinct to build their place in the pack, to be the top dog. In some cases a dog may act aggressively around other dogs because it has not been properly socialized around other dogs.

Your dog may not understand that it is ok just to be around other dogs and not be competing for a higher place in the pack. Your dog’s pack is your family and once he understands that he does not have to compete for his place in the hierarchy with stranger dogs he will be much more relaxed around other dogs.

Dogs have an etiquette or way of behaving with each other that they learn from the time they are puppies. If your dog has not spent much time around other dogs then he may not know the correct way to behave around other dogs.

He may not read canine body language well or he may think other dogs are being aggressive or offensive when they’re not. This is a common problem with dogs that aren’t well-socialized when they’re young. The period of socialization is from birth to 20 weeks.

Why is my dog aggressive to other dogs image

Fear of other dogs.

A fearful dog trying to keep another dog away. If your dog has a timid or fearful temperament then he could become aggressive around other dogs to try to keep them away.

It doesn’t matter how big or imposing he is, your dog might feel very scared when he meets some new dog.

This could make him feel like he has to show some aggression to try to scare the other dog away. Fearful dogs are sometimes more prone to biting people, too.

Lack of training.

An untrained, poorly-behaved dog that needs to learn manners. In some cases a dog can behave aggressively because he is untrained and doesn’t have any manners.

He may be young, for example, and lunges at every dog he sees. He hasn’t been taught that this is not proper behavior.

With some proper training your dog can learn how to be around other dogs without looking like Cujo the killer dog. Your dog can learn good manners, how to interact properly with other dogs, and how to be calm and relaxed when meeting other dogs.

Good training can teach your dog that he doesn’t need to react with aggression when he encounters other dogs.

Protective instincts.

A dog that feels it needs to protect the owner from other dogs. Some dogs behave aggressively because they think they need to protect their owners from other dogs.

Some breeds are more protective than others but this is not good behavior. The dog needs to learn that, unless the situation calls for real protection, he should not behave aggressively.

A good way to manage this type of situation is to train your dog to bark, snarl or act aggressively on command. So, unless you give the command, your dog has no good reason to protect you. You can train your dog to a verbal command or hand signal.

In all of these cases, training and socialization can help the dog overcome the problem with inappropriate aggression.

Stop dog aggression toward other dogs.

The best way to train out aggressive behavior toward other dogs is to start desensitization method, build trust and use positive reinforcement and be consistent with your obedience training.

First of all, your dog must be desensitized to the visual stimulus and reaction brought on by seeing another dog. You can start this by having short trips to the park and keeping your distance from other dogs. Just stand and make your dog sit by you and observe other dogs from a safe distance, for example from 50 feet away.

Sitting and observing at a safe distance will show your dog that you are not threatened by the presence of other dogs. Each time you go to the park be mindful of the distance and close it in over time. As you work together as a team, using positive reinforcement and rewarding your dog for appropriate behavior you will build a very important level of trust.

Knowing how to work with your dog and giving him the appropriate behavioral cues will give him something else to focus on in the presence of other dogs and animals. It is important to keep your dog and other dogs safe at all times while you are working and to work at a speed your dog is comfortable with.

Always use positive reinforcement, reward your dog when he or she is displaying the appropriate behavior, give them plenty of attention or reward with their favorite treat.

Stay patient and work with your dog and this will help manage your dogs aggressive behavior. We hope that you have learned how to manage this type of behavior and will never wonder again, why is my dog aggressive to other dogs?

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  1. This article is beneficial in many ways as it also helps those without dogs. People are less likely to be threatened when out and about near dogs if your tips are heeded . This is a very informative article and I am sure other people with aggressive dogs will find it helpful too. Thanks 🙂

  2. It’s easy to let a dog behave when it’s been trained and desensitised. As pet owner, you have a big responsibility towards keeping your animal companion happy and active so that it does not become a problem for other people and other dogs/pets.