There are basic pointers to knowing when your dog is showing aggression towards other dogs on walks. Most basically, your dog would put on a straight face and not act anyway friendly. Soon enough, you begin to clearly see teeth and hear growling sounds.
Before your dog begins to display aggression, he must have giving some warnings through his body language. Some of these warnings could be the forward perk of his ears. Here, his ears are not flapping as usual but perking straight forwards. The same goes with his tail.
As a mark of warning, your dog would certainly not be wagging his tail. His tail would be in an upward erect position; this certainly tells the other dog to back off. You dog could also resort to staring the other dog in the eyes. Your dog is simply trying to pass a message to the other dog that he isn’t intimidated by him.
These signs show that a dog is showing aggression towards other dogs on his walks.
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Why Is My Dog Aggressive
A dog who was not socialized at the early stage or had never been taken to socialize with other dogs is very prone to showing aggression towards other dogs. This is simply because he has not been taught and has never experienced interacting with other dogs like himself. Hence, his first reaction to other dogs is aggressive.
Dogs, however, act aggressively for different reasons. These reasons could vary, and are most times dependent on different external and internal factors. Some of the reasons your dog is being aggressive towards other dogs are:
Exhibiting Guard Instincts
Every dog is on high alert and tends to be aggressive when he sees another dog. A good percent of a dog’s reaction to seeing an unfamiliar dog depends on how the owners of the dogs make the scenario look like. Dogs are very perceptive animals and would most likely act out based on their perception of their owner’s mood.
If one or both of the dogs’ owners act tensed up or nervous around each other, the dogs pick up on this mood and react in a defensive manner. This is mostly triggered by a sense of protection for their owners.
When your dog sees another dog that he is unfamiliar with, the first thing that will be on his mind is to be on high alert, as the other dog might pose as a threat to you -his owner. Hence, it is mostly advisable to take your dog to approach another dog when the owner of the other dog gives you the assurance and the go-ahead.
Here, you are sure that if the other dog misbehaves, his owner is able to handle him appropriately, as you also would, if your dog behaves inappropriately.
Dogs would definitely want to sniff each other out at the first instance. In a case where your dog is an older dog, after sniffing, he feels a need to show and assert dominance over the younger dog. At this point, your dog tries to become intimidating and begins growling and snarling at the other dog.
Your dog could also be aggressive to a dog that is smaller in size. His size could be intimidating and he literally leverages on it to send the other dog into a “hole of fear”.
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Your dog might act aggressive when another dog on a walk comes too close. He begins to growl at the other dog, acting very possessive of his territory; in this case, your dog is feeling dominant and wouldn’t like to share his space with an outsider dog.
At this stage, your dog is simply trying to communicate to the other dog, marking his territory. Scolding your dog at this point, might not get the desired result because he could get more riled up and growl even louder.
Fear Or Anxiety
Just as humans sometimes tend to be on the defensive when they feel outnumbered or disadvantaged, dogs also tend to do the same. Your dog might be exhibiting aggression towards other dogs because of fear or anxiety.
If your dog feels threatened by the presence or size of an oncoming dog, he literally takes on the defensive and begins to show signs of aggression like barking and snarling at the other dog. Depending on how skittish your dog is, he may go as far as trying to launch at the other dog.
Your dog might be exhibiting aggression towards other dogs based on a past experience he had with a dog. The other dog might have injured him or intimidated him and he tends to be on the defensive at the sight of another dog.
As his owner, especially if you adopted him at a grown age, make a mark to find out information about his history to really ascertain the reason for his aggressive attitude. If this is the case for your dog, it can certainly be controlled by desensitizing your dog against the bad impression he has of other dogs.
Take him out more often to see lively, happy and less threatening dogs.
Why Is My Dog Aggressive To Other Dogs On Leash?
This case is known as Leash Aggression and is usually triggered by tension or frustration. If your dog is showing leash aggression, he is basically not happy nor excited to be meeting another dog while attached to a leash. He feels refrained when he wants to launch at the other dog but is held back by a leash.
This graduates into frustration and anxiety and results into full blown aggression – barking and snarling and launching. This could be easily controlled by you -the dog owner but in an extreme case, you might need to consult your veterinary doctor for a medical perspective and to test your dog for any psychiatric trait.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Attacking Other Dogs On Walks?
Introducing your dog to training classes would be very helpful. The dog is taught different things to help him behave better around his environment – people and other dogs. He would be taught to interact better with other animals and also to obey verbal commands. Intensify training periods in severe cases and never forget to reward obedience to a command with a treat. Teach your dog to obey commands like ” Sit”, “Quiet”, and the likes.
Also normalize wearing a muzzle for your dog when going on your walks and train him to feel comfortable wearing it. Occasionally go out without the muzzle and if he goes without attacking a dog, reward him with a treat. Now, he knows that he gets a treat for everyday he walks without attacking another dog.
It is of utmost importance that you know your dog’s temperament – know if your dog is one that is quick to get angry and aggressive and be prepared to handle any given situation. As his owner, you must pay attention to his behaviors in the home since, he might sometimes portray subtle signs of aggression within the home.
If you notice any attitudes that call for a check, consult your veterinary doctor immediately so that your dog can be tested and medications can be administered duly.
If his attitudes are not medically related, then you know to take appropriate precautions and begin trainings to help improve your dog’s behavior towards other dogs.
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