Aggressive dog with other dogs: how to solve the problem?

 Aggressive dog with other dogs: how to solve the problem?

Aggressive dog with other dogs: how to solve the problem?

Some dogs show an aggressive attitude towards their fellow dogs, which can be really difficult to manage during outings. The use of complete rehabilitation is then the only viable solution to overcome the problem.

Indeed, the most common cause of this behavior is a lack of socialization during the young years of the dog, or bad experiences lived with his congeners, which is not always the fault of the owner of course but often requires questioning your habits with your companion and long and patient work.

The causes of social aggression

A dog that has not been in regular contact with other dogs when there was still time is likely to become suspicious and aggressive with them and to remain so if nothing is put in place to correct this bias. Thus, the basis of a successful education largely passes through a crucial period of socialization where the young dog must learn the codes of communication with his congeners and thus, know how to distinguish a friendly canine attitude from a bellicose or threatening attitude.

This is why, if you have a young dog, it is essential to make him meet "buddies" in positive contexts of play or walk. Other factors can be at the origin of social aggression in dogs, as is sometimes the case for animals coming from shelters where they have experienced tense and traumatic relationships with their peers or even having grown up in an isolated context without having had the opportunity to socialize with other dogs and adopt their codes.

The socialization of the adult dog

Socializing a dog in adulthood can only be done through a phase of total rehabilitation so that he understands that his congeners do not necessarily constitute a threat. Very often, dogs that show aggression towards others are on the defensive because they are fearful or dominant, but this should not be considered as a fundamental character trait but rather as the consequence of lived experiences (or not ) in their past.

Thus, the dominant attitude in a dog is not fatal because it is a fluctuating and adaptive mechanism. To resocialize an adult dog, it is necessary to make him live the meeting with his congeners as a positive moment to reaccustom him gradually. The keyword is to be constant in these exercises and never get angry or raise your voice, which would only reinforce your apprehension.

A few tips for resocializing your dog

One technique consists of stationing yourself in a place frequented by other dogs, without giving him the possibility of coming into direct physical contact with them, and giving him a treat each time a dog passes by and/or diverting his attention by game or by caresses. Remember to congratulate him strongly as soon as he has let a dog pass without being aggressive. This positive reinforcement will not instill social codes in him but will teach him to tolerate the sight of his congeners and their passage in his proximity, before moving on to the more concrete stage of face to face.

We can then consider controlled encounters with a neutered dog of the same sex and of similar size to avoid the feeling of competition. The meeting must also take place in a neutral place (not at home or on the territory of the other dog) and if possible in freedom because the leash reinforces the relationship of hierarchy: an attached dog often feels "stronger" because it is connected to its master, contrary to what one might think! Finally, if your dog is whole, know that castration is the first solution to minimize dominant or aggressive attitudes between males.

Find friends for your dog!

Once your dog has learned to tolerate the closeness of his peers, the next step is to involve him in activities where he will rub shoulders with other dogs in a controlled context. Dog obedience clubs are a very good option, as he will regularly meet the same dogs there. In addition, you can both reinforce his obedience to have better control over him, while being supervised by canine behavior professionals in the event of a crisis or a fight.

In the same idea, considering group walks with dogs that already know each other can be proven because an aggressive dog will be less likely to attack others in a group context. Be aware that your dog will not necessarily be able to get along with all the other dogs: whether in a club or on a walk, favor the "buddies" with whom the current seems to pass and do not stun him with new encounters at each time. If the problem persists, do not remain distraught and do not hesitate to call on a canine trainer or a behaviorist, who can offer you his help thanks to regular and personalized follow-up.

What to do in the event of a tense meeting?

In the event of a fight between dogs or aggressive behavior such as growling and barking, it is important first of all not to panic. Indeed, shouting or pulling on the leash may make your dog think that there is a danger and that he, therefore, has a good reason to behave in this way. In addition, growling is a means of communication between dogs and it is advisable not to interrupt the exchange so as not to influence your dog's behavior.

If necessary, we can try to divert his attention by continuing on his way and speaking to him in a calm voice: "it's been, let's go". So, even if you sense nervousness in the air, don't immediately jump in and let your stress show. Finally, if you are afraid of confrontation, it is sometimes better to be indifferent and change sides to avoid the encounter, but keep in mind that using this strategy systematically will not change the problem.

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