Pheromones and socialization

Posted by JHase
May 26, 2011
I have a rescued swiss mountain/rotty/something that made him smaller boy about 18 months old. He's very hard to socialize. He's pretty great with dogs until they are within reach then he goes super hyper and wants to play very aggressively. The other dogs all respond by flipping out and biting/nipping and I have to remove him from the situation. Does anyone have any experience with pheromone spray or diffuser? I'm just trying to make it easier on him, he wants to play, but he doesn't know how. There seems to be no socialization classes in my area, so I'm a little on my own. Any help would be really awesome. He's a really great, smart dog that's taken very well to all other training. Meeting and playing are certainly very difficult for him. I feel undereducated in socialization of an adult with emotional baggage.


Posted by KOPCaroline
May 28, 2011
Hi Jay,

This seems to be a common problem with bigger dogs. Its relatively easy to deal with though, as long as youre stern and consistent!

As far as pheromone sprays go, I've heard both ways on them. Some people find they work wonders for their animals - one of the girls I used to live with used them for her high strung cats after moving to a different country, and they worked really well, made the cats much easier going. Other people have seen no improvement with them. Ultimately if its something you're looking into, they wont make the situation any worse, so its worth a shot!

You should work hard on training your dog to commands, especially sit, down, wait, come, heel, and enough. Basically the commands youre likely to need in public/parks with him. I've had to work with my own dog, Jackson, for some time now to break him of his habit of rushing other dogs to play - not aggressive, but very overwhelming. We're to the point now where if he's too hyped up to heel properly, he has to sit and wait until the other dog passes, or until the other dog calmly approaches to say hello. He seems to be doing very well with it, so try a similar approach with your dog. Try heel first, with a lead on when you see a dog approaching, and if this still doesnt work, give a sit command and keep him focused on you until the other dog is gone. Keep treats on you to reward him for being good and ignoring the other dog. You should be diligent with this approach, do the same things every time another dog comes up, so that he gets the routine quickly. Jackson caught on really quickly and has shown such big improvements, I hope it works for you too!