Dogs That Don't Get Along with Other Non-family Dogs
If your dog is aggressive to unfamiliar dogs, it
can severely limit where you can take him and what activities
he can enjoy. If your dog is a grumpy Gus, you may find
it difficult to take him hiking, may be prevented from
enrolling in doggie day care or a training class, or from
even being able to walk your dog in your neighborhood.
There is no one reason why some dogs can’t play
well with others. Reasons range from breed tendencies,
to a bad experience with another dog, to a lack of socialization
either during puppy hood or adolescence. Some dogs simply
enjoy intimidating other dogs.
You must first manage your dog’s environment so
that he can’t harm other dogs. Perhaps this means
no off-leash time for now.
The difficulty in working with these problems is being
able to create situations in which your dog can learn how
to behave. You can not rely on spontaneous encounters with
other dogs (such as on a walk or a dog park) because you
can’t predict how the other dog is going to behave,
nor can you control how the beginning of the encounter
occurs and be able to end it at just the right moment.
Some communities have special classes for dog-to-dog
aggression problems. Be sure to evaluate these classes
carefully. Some have great success rates, while others
are poorly managed classes that only give dogs a chance
to practice more aggressive behavior.
Drop us an email at help@HelpingFido.com,
and we’ll send you our free handout on Guidelines
For Selecting a “Growl Class" to help you
decide if a class you’re considering enrolling in
is well run.
What are realistic expectations for working with these
problems? Some dogs can eventually learn to play well with
others, and participate in social groups. For other dogs,
perhaps the best you can expect is to be able to control
and manage your dog on leash in the presence of other dogs,
such as when you are walking your dog in a park or in an
on-leash training class.
Your biggest responsibility is to prevent your dog from
hurting other dogs. If necessary, muzzle your Fido if he
must be in a situation where he might bite another dog.
We recommend wire
basket muzzles from Morrco.com. NEVER leave a dog alone
PRODUCTS FROM HELPING FIDO THAT
WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND, PREVENT AND RESOLVE DOG-UNFAMILIAR
DOG AGGRESSION PROBLEMS
First, it will help you if you understand canine aggressive
behavior from a scientific viewpoint. Start by reading
of Articles on Canine Aggression.
To effectively work with and manage your dog’s
threatening and aggressive behaviors, you must be well
versed in canine communication signals. There is no better
way to learn how to ‘read’ your dog and be
better able to recognize behavior signs that indicate your
dog is going to “mix it up” with another than
our Canine Body
Postures DVD. Used in many professional
Next, watch our DVD, “Understanding
Canine Conflicts” that zeros in on the most common reasons for these problems
and helps you begin to get a handle on the problem.
Third, listen to our interview with Ms. Pia Silvani,
CPDT on “Rehabilitating
the Canine Contender: Helping Dogs Get Along Better with
Pia has conducted “Feisty Fido” classes at
St. Hubert’s Dog Training Center in Madison NJ for
over 10 years and provides great insight for you on how
to handle your feisty fido.
Cap™ will be a most useful tool
for you. Essentially a comfortable hood that filters your
dog’s vision, it will help your Fido be less reactive
when he sees other dogs and make it much easier for you
to manage his behavior as well as have a better “starting
point” for behavior modification. The Calming Cap™ can
be worn under a muzzle.
We also recommend reading the booklet “Feisty
Fidos” by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
If you need professional help with your dog’s behavior,
be sure to read our Guidelines for Finding a Dog Trainer or Behavior Consultant first.