My dog is not nice to strange dogs

Posted by Emily
Oct 15, 2008
Hi I dont know if i am just not doing this right but i have already asked for help twice before. Can anyone help me figure out how to help my dog. I have a reservation dog which we found on the side of the road abandoned. We brought him home and have not had any trouble untel recently with other dogs. He is great with people and wonderful with dogs he new when we first got him. Now after 6 months of having him he is mean towards other strangers dogs. He will sniff them and things are great then out of no where he will start a fight. He has not bitten any of the dogs but the desplay is scary for me and the other person. Can anyone tell me how to get my dog to be ok with other dogs? I would really appreciate it.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Dec 29, 2009
Hi Emily

Aggression in dogs most commonly is due to inadequate socialization with other dogs when they were younger. As you don't know the history of your dog, it is highly likely that he has not had much with other dogs in the past, and so doesn't know how to behave with them. It is very hard to try to socialize them once they have past that window of opportunity that was there when there were puppies, but there are ways to prevent him from getting into any dog fights.

Firstly, it is a good idea to get him neutered if possible, as this will lower his testosterone levels and hopefully make him less aggressive.

To avoid the possibility of any fights, it may be wise to muzzle him when out in places with other dogs. There are many muzzles that are won't restrict his panting or interfere with his breathing pattern, although it may take some time for him to get used to it. If you wish to keep him on a lead, a gentle leader will give you a lot of control of his head without having to fight with him. You must be perfectly calm if you do have him on the leash though, as dogs are very sensitive and he will sense it if you are nervous. This will make it all the more likely for him to be wary of the other dog as he feels that it is something that he too should be afraid of, or that he needs to protect you against. If possible, provide him with a source of distraction, so that his focus is on you instead of the other dog. A such idea may be to tell him to 'sit-stay' and 'watch' you until the other dog has passed. Make sure you reward him lavishly and give him a treat afterwards for being obedient.

Lastly, you should reinforce to him your alpha dog status, as if he thinks he is the leader, he may feel the need to protect you against other dogs. You need to tell him that you are the protector of the pack and will deal with situations should they arise.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training. I look forward to hearing how it all goes