Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Other Dogs

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Let's think about what we wanted in our dogs back in the day? Why humans and dogs formed such a close bond? And how does that affect how well your dog gets along with other dogs?

It’s no fun having a dog that’s straining at the end of the leash and barking ferociously at every passing dog. You know it doesn’t have to be that way. There are 100’s of 1000’s of dogs who can calmly walk past another dog. But why doesn’t your dog like other dogs?

It is very distressing when your dogs seems to dislike the company of other dogs. After all, you didn’t sign up for an “aggressive” dog when you got your 8-week old puppy! And society’s expectations, our expectations, seems to be that all dogs should be friendly and get along. So when our dog acts anti-socially it can be a very difficult thing to deal with.  Why do some dogs not get along with other dogs?  What can we do to help them?

Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Other Dogs

Let’s think about what we wanted in our dogs back in the day? Why humans and dogs formed such a close bond? Our dogs were supposed to tell when a strange dog or animal came onto our property. Because this usually meant that our livestock or family would be in danger. So a dog that was super social and friendly just wasn’t doing the job a dog was supposed to do. And today, many of our dogs still exhibit those traits. So, it’s important for us to understand that your dog is being a dog.

Most animals, naturally, aren’t everyone’s friend. Do lions allow stray lions to join their group? NO! What about horses? NO! Rats, maybe? Nope! What about wolves? No again! Monkeys? Have a guess… Even your cat doesn’t like the other cats in the neighbourhood. In fact few animals enjoy meeting strange animals (or people). Their family is their group, and we are trying to go against the very grain of who our dogs really are!

Super social dogs are often rude and over the top. Because the behaviour they are displaying is not normal. Though it is something we might think is desirable. It’s not. And most of the problems we as dog owners face today is because we are trying to fit our dogs into a mold that they are not.

How can you help your dog?

Firstly, the best thing you can do for your dog and other dogs is not expecting them to be friendly and social with all other dogs. Other dogs are not there to exercise and entertain your dog. You are. Your dog would be a lot happier and feel more fulfilled if the expectation to interact with every strange dog or animal is removed and instead, you teach your dog to ignore everything other than you.

Most of our problems with our dogs are caused by having the expectation that they should be social. So how does this cause problems? You take your puppy to puppy class and your puppy bullies the other puppies in class. This makes your puppy feel strong and can lead to aggression later in life. The puppies being bullied are also more likely to become aggressive, because it’s the only way that the other dogs will keep their distance. Ok, you fluked it and got a social little pup, who is happily playing with another puppy. You watch with a smile on your face. The only interaction you have with your puppy is stopping the play and ending their fun. Not only that, but you called your puppy to do so. And you just have a puppy who has learned that it’s not fun to come back when you call!

So change the script. Make sure the class instructor knows that you will remove your puppy during play time. Puppy class is great for the freebies, and your puppy will learn to see the other puppies, but they don’t have to play with other puppies to be socialised. I did this with my Delta when I got her. And she turned out fine. I didn’t even take Raven to puppy class, instead opting to do her socialisation myself (if you are worried about how to do this, we have Puppy Socialisation Kits Available, contact us for more details about how you can get yours).

What if you have already got problems?

Bring your dog to a dog training class, like The SolutionK9 Manners Academy where your dog will learn how to behave around strange dogs and people. It’s a safe place for you and your dog to learn to get on the right track. We recognise every dog is different and it’s our sole purpose to help you and your dog to work together as a team, and help you undo all the things your dog has learned that is not ideal.

Your dog isn’t having any fun feeling stressed out, scared or frustrated around other dogs, and neither are you. So the sooner you can help your dog learn how to cope, the better! And then the more you can enjoy your dog! What are you waiting for? Your dog isn’t going to get there by themselves. They need help! Contact us now and tell us how we can help you enjoy life with your dog more. Because, life is just better with an obedient dog!

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Hi, I'm Luzelle! I help dog owners, just like you, learn how to enjoy your dogs. Because not only will you benefit as your dog's guardian, but your dog will feel happier and more fulfilled as well! The reality is that naughty dogs aren't fun to take anywhere. And I know your dog really wants to be a good dog, they just don't know how! So, stop getting frustrated and embarrassed by your dog's bad behaviour, and give us a call! Because Life is just better with an obedient dog and good dogs have more fun!

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2 thoughts on “Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Other Dogs”

  1. If your dog has had limited exposure to other dogs, he may resist socializing with them. Aggression is a common symptom of a lack of contact with other dogs. To get your dog feeling more comfortable around his canine counterparts, start with dogs that you already know are trustworthy. If your dog behaves himself, reward him for his polite behavior in the presence of the other dog. Gradually work up to rewarding the dog for being close to the other dog, getting closer and closer each time. Of course, the best way to remedy this is to have your leashed dog interact frequently with other leashed dogs.

    • I disagree. Are you speaking from experience or are you quoting from someone else?

      I would not use the method you’re suggesting, because I don’t find it helps dogs at all. In fact, after trying MANY different ways, I’ve found that way does more harm than good.


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