Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs: Warning Signs, Treatment, & Prevention
The following information is crucial since it provides a summary of canine aggression. If you are dealing with an aggressive dog, you might want to think about seeking help from a professional behaviorist.
Dog aggression toward other dogs is a severe issue. Maintain a safe distance between your dog and any other dogs until they have received a successful treatment; by “safe distance,” we mean the smallest amount of space necessary to remain calm and unfazed.
Even if there is never any physical contact, it is tough to control a dog pulling and lunging while on the leash, not to mention distressing for everyone, and attempting to stop an attack in progress is just unsafe.
Be mindful that any altercation, no matter how little, can result in a fine, legal action, or, most tragically, the hurt or death of your pet or another person.
Here are some crucial details regarding canine aggression toward other dogs.
Warning Signs of Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs
While out for a walk, getting groomed, or even simply at the vet, keep an eye out for these critical signs of aggression toward another dog:
- Direct eye contact
- Hacker awareness
- Embedded ears
- Teeth that were visible to the other dog
If your dog demonstrates these characteristics, gently remove them or distract them.
Nature versus nurture
Your dog’s personality is influenced by both nature and nurture.
Indeed, some dogs were historically bred to compete against other breeds. But because most modern countries restrict dog blood sports, breeders have mostly worked to eliminate aggressive traits from their dogs.
Formerly bred for aggression, these breeds now typically make fantastic lapdogs and family members.
Even though a breed was developed to have aggressive traits, training and socialization frequently influence more than genetics. Similar to that, calm and aggressive breeds can develop aggression when mistreated.
You’re in a great position if you recently brought home a puppy since you can shape their behavior. If you have an older dog who you worry might be dog aggressive, training—or retraining—will be much more challenging.
In such cases, seeking professional advice is the best line of action.
How to treat dog aggression toward other dogs
Most behaviorists use desensitization to treat canine aggression. With professional guidance and enough positive reinforcement, you may gradually reduce the physical distance between your dog and other dogs while maintaining their degree of fear.
Your dog will eventually learn to associate approaching dogs with good things like attention, praise, and treats after putting in a lot of effort and time to get there – generally many months to a year. A behaviorist should be consulted before beginning desensitization.
In the interim, refrain from hitting or screaming at your dog and stay away from a prong or choke collar. Your dog will become more agitated and aggressive due to further aggression and stress.
The last thing you want to teach them is the notion that bad things will always happen when other dogs are there.
How to Prevent Dog-to-Dog Conflict
There isn’t a failsafe way to stop aggression. Still, there are fundamental things you can do to prevent significantly the possibility that your dog will run into a problem:
- Socialize your puppy. Establish supervised playdates for pups and encourage socialization with more mature dogs who are well-mannered and can teach your puppy manners.
- Neutering or spaying your dog as soon as your vet says it’s okay to do so will significantly reduce hormone-driven aggression.
- Always treat your dog courteously, and train them using positive reinforcement. Physical punishment, intimidation, and seclusion only increase a dog’s unease and breed aggression.
Although it is possible to treat dog aggression toward other dogs, doing so almost always requires the intervention of a qualified professional and continuing attention. Making every effort to completely prevent mishaps when you complete your training may be the best course of action.