Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs

Not all dogs like the interaction and sociality of other dogs.  Some simply are dominant and don’t want to share their space and their life “goodies” including their family and home, while others are defensive, scared or shy.  I liken this to social anxiety disorder in people when people are almost phobic to be at a party or in a situation with large amounts of people. However, curing dog aggression toward other dogs is possible!

The problem is that most owners want their dogs to be social, and ignore the warning signs of dog aggression.  Although some dogs can be socialized and learn to appreciate the company of other dogs, in severe cases some dogs need to be taught how to control their feelings toward other dogs, while living as the only dog or pet in their environment. Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs

Dog On Dog Aggression is a Serious Problem!

Some dogs are genetically preprogrammed to be dog aggressive; i.e. Greyhounds might view smaller faster running dogs as prey or the “bunnies” they were bred to hunt, and other breeds such as some of the larger terriers have been bred to fight other dogs.   Some dogs are even MORE aggressive ON LEASH than they would normally be off leash.

What to Do?

If you are having questions about your dog and his behaviors, take them seriously, don’t discount them and walk blindly into a possible deadly situation!  Safety for your dog and other dogs is the most important facet of dog on dog aggression training.

Next remember that aggression incites aggression, so adding punishment and pain to the situation via painful training collars, and scary tactics such as alpha rolling, will only make things worse for your dog.  Some dogs with dog aggression issues suffer from displacement biting (biting their owners) while being forcefully corrected.

Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs:

First you must employ desensitization, trust, positive reinforcement and obedience training.  First, your dog must be desensitized to the visual stimulus and reaction brought on by seeing another dog.  As you work together as a team, using positive reinforcement and rewarding your dog for appropriate behavior you will build a 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.

Inter-Dog Aggression

Interdog AggressionThis is when dogs within the same house hold become aggressive with one another.  This type of aggression is more common in intact male dogs but can also be seen in intact female dogs and even neutered dogs.

Typically before a severe inter-dog incident occurs there are subtle warning signs; staring, growling, snarling or simply just blocking access to doors or other resources.

This behavior is often considered normal but scuffles and agnostic behaviors among family dogs is not normal and needs to be carefully dealt with. Treating dogs with inter-dog aggression requires acknowledging there is a problem and being willing to make some changes.

Caught early enough and with the use of positive reinforcement the aggressor can be taught through behavior modification to allow the other dog to exist in the home.

The victim must always be protected, and something as simple as putting a bell on the aggressor can let the victim know where he is at all times.  Predictability lessens aggression, and dogs should be supervised at all times.

With behavior modification and positive reinforcement training, even dog aggression towards other dogs can be treated successfully, it may be difficult and it may be a slow process, but it is possible!