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How to Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs

Shibashake cares for a male Shiba Inu named Sephy and a three-legged female Siberian Husky named Shania.

Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs

Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs

My Dog Is Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

It is always a bit strange to me that we expect our dogs to be social butterflies. People often get very embarrassed when their dog barks at another dog, growls, or vocalizes in any way.

Indeed, it is more natural for dogs to be wary of other dogs. After all, when a wolf pack sees a new wolf in their territory, they will chase him away. In fact, wolves are very protective of their territory, and dogs can be as well, unless they are trained otherwise.

Some Aggression Can Be Normal

Even then, we should not expect our dogs to like all other dogs. Some dogs just do not get along. Other dogs may get along when they are young and start showing dog-to-dog aggression once they have matured. Just like us, dogs grow up and change based on their experiences, training, relationships with others, and their natural temperaments. Even dogs that live together and seem to get along very well may sometimes exhibit aggression with each other.

What to Know About Aggressive Behavior

This article seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Where does aggression between dogs come from?
  • Why does a dog show aggression to another dog?
  • How do we stop dog-to-dog aggression?
There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off dog to dog aggression.

There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off dog to dog aggression.

Where Does Aggression Between Dogs Come From?

Often, it seems like dog-to-dog aggression comes out of nowhere. One day, our dog is best friends with the neighbor's dog, and the next day, they are in a no-holds-barred fight. Where does the aggression come from? How can best friends suddenly turn into bitter enemies?

It Starts With Warning Signals

Although it may seem to us that our dogs start fighting for apparently no reason, that is frequently not the case. There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off the aggression. In addition, dogs don't usually launch into an all-out aggressive attack on another dog without some initial warning signals.

In fact, dogs usually start communicating with each other from afar through body language and some vocalizations.

Butt action is ok when trust has already been established.

Butt action is ok when trust has already been established.

Example of a Warning Signal: The Butt Sniff

My Shiba Inu can sometimes get aggressive with other dogs. In particular, he does not like new dogs coming over to sniff his butt. Butt sniffing requires a fair amount of trust because the dog is allowing someone he does not know to put their teeth very close to his sensitive areas, and far away from his own teeth. The dog doing the sniffing could easily attack and seriously wound the other dog before he could even respond.

When meeting another dog, my Shiba usually has loose body posture until the other dog starts to approach his butt region. Then . . .

  • He starts tensing up and shows the other dog that he is uncomfortable with that butt action.
  • If the other dog does not back off, Shiba will usually lift his lip and start a soft growl.
  • If the other dog still does not back off, Shiba will quickly turn around and air snap.
  • If the other dog still does not back off, a fight may occur.
If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog.

If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog.

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Humans Misinterpret These Signals

Since we do not speak dog, we often miss all of this useful information. Instead, all we hear is the bark or the growl. We interpret this as dog aggression, get embarrassed, and start punishing our dog for actually doing all the right things.

My Shiba gave many warnings to both me and the other dog, and it is only after we ignored all of his warnings that he contemplated using his teeth.

If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog.

Why Does a Dog Become Aggressive Toward Another Dog?

Dog-to-dog aggression can be triggered by a wide variety of stimuli. Furthermore, whether a particular trigger causes an escalation into aggression also depends on the current mood of the dogs, energy levels, and the other surrounding context.

Common Triggers

  1. Competition over resources.
  2. Self-defense from a perceived threat.

Dog fights frequently occur over food, toys, territory, or reproductive rights. That is why it is against the rules to bring a bitch in heat to a public dog park. This can very easily start a fight among the male dogs as they compete for rights over the female. Dogs may also fight to claim food and territory.

For example, both my dogs get along very well. They even have their meals together. However, when I give them a high-priority item, like a bully stick, I separate them. This lets them work on their bully sticks in peace, without having to worry about them getting stolen. My Shiba Inu is a big-time scamp and he really likes stealing things just for the hell of it. If he tries to steal my Siberian Husky's bully stick, that might trigger a fight.

Context Is Important

Note: What causes an aggressive episode is highly contextual. For example, my dogs can eat together without any problems because to them, the regular food is not worth fighting over. However, if they were both really hungry, then it may be a totally different situation.

In the butt-sniff case, my dog was trying to protect himself from a perceived threat, i.e., the other dog placing his teeth close to my dog's sensitive parts. What is perceived as a threat will be different for each individual dog. Therefore, it is important to carefully observe our dog and listen to what he has to say. If we can identify his aggression triggers, then we can start to help him get over them.

Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania are best of friends.

Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania are best of friends.

Aggression and Dominance

A trigger event causes conflict between two dogs. This does not necessarily mean that the conflict will escalate into a fight. If one of the dogs is willing to submit to the other, then that is usually sufficient to resolve the conflict.

For example, my Siberian Husky is a more submissive dog. Whenever there are any real conflicts, she will usually submit to Shiba Inu by rolling onto her back and exposing her tummy.

Dog fights usually only arise when both dogs are unwilling to submit. In this case, they resolve the conflict with their teeth. This is why dogs with more dominant personalities are more of a challenge to live with because they will stick to their guns and not back down. Others must acquiesce to their position. The same is also true for people with more dominant personalities.

When I got a second dog, I made sure to get a dog with a more submissive personality. My Shiba Inu has a dominant temperament and gets along better with more relaxed, playful, and submissive dogs.

Dog fights usually only arise when both dogs are unwilling to submit.

Dog fights usually only arise when both dogs are unwilling to submit.

How Can We Stop Dog-to-Dog Aggression?

In cases of dog-to-dog aggression, it is usually very helpful to hire a professional trainer. A professional trainer can observe our dog in real-time and catch body language that we may miss. This allows us to effectively interpret our dog's interactions with other dogs and identify the source of his aggression.

Methods That Have Helped With My Shiba Inu

Some things that have helped me deal with my Shiba Inu's dog-to-dog aggression issues:

  • Always stay calm and always have a plan. If we become angry, fearful, or frustrated, our dog will pick up on that energy and become even more stressed.
  • Create as many neutral experiences as possible. If nothing happens every time we see another dog, our dog will learn to be more relaxed in the presence of other dogs.
  • Do not let a dog practice aggressive behavior. The more he practices aggression toward another dog, the more likely he will repeat that behavior in the future.
  • Set our dog up for success. Only let him greet friendly and relaxed dogs that we are absolutely sure he can handle. This helps to build our dog's confidence and helps him better handle greetings with other dogs in the future. It will also help us build our own confidence.
  • Desensitize our dog toward other dogs in a controlled training environment.
If a dog keeps having negative experiences with other dogs, he will ultimately resort to using aggression to protect himself.

If a dog keeps having negative experiences with other dogs, he will ultimately resort to using aggression to protect himself.

Dog Socialization

Dog socialization has recently become the new it thing. Dogs are often forced into social situations that they are uncomfortable with. However, if a dog keeps having negative experiences with other dogs, he will ultimately resort to using aggression to protect himself. Successful greetings condition a dog to enjoy the company of other dogs; negative greetings teach him to be anxious or fearful of his own kind.

  • If we continue to force our dog to meet unbalanced dogs or dogs with conflicting temperaments, we will only worsen his dog-to-dog aggression issues.
  • If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, confident, happy, and relaxed dog.
If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, happy, and relaxed dog.

If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, happy, and relaxed dog.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Comments

Rita on August 21, 2020:

My son's Rhodesian Ridgeback 120 lbs (Fenris) keeps sniffling my 15 lbs poodle mix (Mocha) who growls and snaps his disapproval ** my son tells him "no", he is separated and we have use a water spray bottle but the behavior continues any suggestions?

Linda on July 25, 2020:

My dog sees neighbors dog coming towards my house n my dog runs n attacks

Kris on July 18, 2020:

I have a mastiff and my brother lived with me with his chocolate lab for 4 years. He has moved out and my dog was supper sad and whiny. It’s been about 3 weeks and now my dog is trying to attack him and is being very mean to the lab now. What can I do and why is it this way now

Sophie on June 04, 2020:

My dog , has had his nuts off. He is a big dog very strong. When I walk him he doesn't like dogs coming up to him in his space. He gets nasty and barks at them or growls at them. Until they go away. Sometimes they don't react and sometimes they bark back. He rarely is friendly to other dogs. Only ones he met as a puppy who he likes and plays with when he seems them. He'5 now. He loves his family and doesn't like to be left gets a bit needy. He is highly sensitive dog, very affectionate to his family and owners doesn't like dogs that much.

Renee on April 24, 2020:

I have a 10 month old puppy springer spaniel and whenever she gas a ball , if another dog puvks it up or even goes near her she snaps and nearly bites thecother dog. I dont know how to stop her aggressive behaviour?! Ive tried looking online but shes fine when people take a ball from her its just her being possessive towards other dogs

Penny Mickolick on April 05, 2020:

My dog who is 4 keeps attacking my dog who is 8 yrs old and hurting her the older dog is not fixed and the younger is. They are both females i dont know what to do

Tommy on May 21, 2019:

Article had to be written by a female.

Almost every woman I have been around, wants to neuter males. Looks like they have testicle envy instead of penis envy.

I've owned and trained dogs my entire life,(hunters) and a neutered dog us useless to me except as pet.

It is about dominance. An intact male is usually trying to establish dominance and if the others don't submit, you can have a scrap.

Gloria on March 30, 2019:

I have 2 fixed male dogs 4 &2 yrs. Always got along. Recently well go after each other to be center of someone attention especially if someone just comes home from work. The older is (15#) and younger (5#) I'm so afraid that the the little one is going to get really hurt or worse. They any other time seem to like each other in their play, sleeping and just sitting with us on the couch hanging out. We tried the ignore them both when we come in but didn't help. Any suggestions?

Barbara on December 09, 2018:

My son's dog does not listen to the warning signals my dog is giving him. My dog will turn up his lip and give several low growls, but the other dog doesn't not catch the clue and leave him alone. What can we do to teach the other dog to listen to warning signals?

Dogs attacked on September 26, 2018:

Yesterday on our walk, my 2 dogs attacked another dog who was barking viciously. They pulled the leash out of my hand. The most troubling part was an old man was knocked to the ground. I was able to pull my dogs off and I believe no one was hurt. The man got up and walked away without a word. I apologized profusely, but was unable to help him since I could not let go of my dogs. I asked the man if I could do anything and he never said a word. i do not know where he lives. I don't feel it was my dogs fault, or mine, except I couldn't hold onto them. His dog is the one who started barking. That said, it really isn't anyones fault and it is unfortunate it happened at all. Although, his dog stayed by his side and did not pull from him like mine did from me. At this point I can take 2 walks or be sure to look ahead and avoid any situation that could be bad. This man is old and he did try to move away when he saw me, but it wasn't far enough and I should have gone a different direction. We all learn from our mistakes, but what do I do now, how do I train and avoid this as I'm obviously not strong enough for 2 strong dogs who have a mission.

Amy on September 23, 2018:

My dogs is alone walker and when I was walking my dog another dog was near me dog and my dog when nice to omg let you kill you grr help please

Karin on September 17, 2018:

Our dog has always played well with other dogs lately he has been very aggressive and has attacked other dogs. This is a huge concern as we have small grandchildren

He is 2 and always has been a gentle giant now I am nervous, any thoughts

Kim on September 08, 2018:

My bitch is 3 I can’t let her off the lead as she keeps going for other dogs I can’t understand as she never used to be like that she had not been neutered but I don’t know what to do as she is not like it with the dogs she knows

Amanda on September 02, 2018:

I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT he explores by biting. It will bite and chew everything. My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

Deborah on September 02, 2018:

My springer who is female always goes out running in the park with her sister and an older dog s terrier they all love it when a dog comes near them their behaviour changes they see the dogs off when we see a dog appproaching we will put them on a lead

Shibamom on August 19, 2018:

My Shiba (1.5 yo female) bit my Bichon (10 yo female) and caused a 2 inch bite wound that needed to be sutured. I don't know what triggered it but there was a tennis ball Shiba liked and Bichon happened to be near the tennis ball. I don't think Bichon was interested in the tennis ball but Shiba went after Bichon. I also have a 12 yo male Shih Tzu. Shiba used to bully Shih Tzu but Shih Tzu is more assertive now so Shiba doesn't bother Shih Tzu. Shiba has been aggressive but she has never bitten another dog. I am concerned what I can do to improve their relationship so this won't happen. Shiba is in a crate when Bichon and Shih Tzu are free roaming. Bichon, despite the wound she suffered, can approach crated Shiba and bark once or twice but never viciously. On the other hand, Shiba gets really defensive, barking incessantly with high pitched voice. I trained them to eat in the same place (separate bowls) so there has never been a fight over the food. At this point, what would you suggest that I do to keep them get along?

Ines on June 17, 2018:

Me and my daughter recently adopted an old dog. She’s not in very good shape and has been abused in the past. She’s absolutely lovely with humans and loves my daughter to the ends of the earth, but she hates our other dog. He’s about half her age and very sweet and submissive. He has not once snapped, growled or been mean to her. But every time she smells him (she’s mostly blind and rather deaf) she immediately starts growling and trying to bite him. He runs away whenever this happens. It’s gotten so bad that he refuses to come downstairs (we blocked off upstairs because she could fall and hurt herself). We dont want him to live in fear in his own house, but every attempt we’ve made to socialize them ends with her in time out and him slinking away with his tail between his legs. What to we do!!??!! We dont want to give her away, but might have to if this persists!

Martha on April 26, 2018:

I have been dog sitting for months for a friend of my daughters and she kept saying she was going to get her but now she can't have her where she is staying and my dad does not want her here cause she is aggressive to people she does not know. She was abused years ago and I don't know what to do with her cause I am afraid if I take her to the shelter they will put her to sleep. She has been very sweet to me my mom daughter granddaughter and my 2 grandsons. But I had to gain her respect and she always have separation anxiety.

Debbie Anderson on April 07, 2018:

I got a dog and it does not like other dogs and I just do not know what to do???????????/ Can anyone help me??

Pingsmammy on February 13, 2018:

my dog walks in a pack and has been very friendly but now when a strange dog appears he attacks them ,what can I do to stop this?

Betty on January 31, 2018:

i have a 1. Yr and 3 month old toyfox terrier shelti mix. We also have his 6 month old son. Well i live in a apt. There are 4 apts totall .i opened my front door thinking my daughters boyfriend was here. But it was my next door neighbors son with his very big pittie mastiff pup who is 4 months old. Well as i opened my door my dog was attacking this other dog. THE other dog disnt fight back. ??? My dog barks alot at ppl and cats but he lives with cats and is social to other dogs . I never thought my dog would be the aggressior. The orher dog is ok. Not blood. Nothing but i felt bad? What should i do. OH I KNOW HERE IS A KEY WHY he isnt fixed yet. So can anyone help me. I know he needs to be fixed. Until then what can i do? I never thought he would do this. I think he was being territorial?

crystal subiria on January 06, 2018:

i have a 5 month old puppy and i tried to get her along with my cousins little dog and she ept barking and launching what can i do to stop it

Frank on December 28, 2017:

My daughter is moving in with her 2 year old Cane Corso. We have an 8 year old Westy that does not get along with the Cane. In fact attacks the Cane regardless of the location. Inside or outside and neutral. I can't find a trainer. If I put a muzzle on each dog will this start to solve the problem and get the Westy to not attack? Thanks

Mary on November 30, 2017:

Recently my basenji has become very aggressive toward any dog and has attacted twice I'm at wits end and dont know what to do she is 2 and will be 3 in feb please give me some advice . She has a leash but she wings out of that.HELP

Odile on November 30, 2017:

We have a 11 month old female dog, good as gold. But there is one dog in the village, when our dog sees here she goes wild with anger, we can not stop it whatever we try. What can we try???

We can also sit in a pub, it all goes well and then all of a sudden she goes ballistic!!! It sounds like a fright bark!! What to do about that???

Amber on November 17, 2017:

Please help. I have two small dogs and 2 big ones, I recently just got my second big dog and she plays with the big one, always barks at one of the small dogs but she attacks and leaves serious damage on my other little dog causing us to take her to the vet, we've tried what seems to be everything and it stopped for a little but today she attacked her again and now my hurt dog is under my bed and in a great deal of pain and I'm just so stressed cause I just don't know what to do, note shes also killed my guinea pigs but she was trying to play with them no try to hurt them

Jason on November 09, 2017:

my dog is very protective of my female dog and i think shes in heat and he will attack my other male dog any ideas on how to solve this problem

Jayney on October 27, 2017:

Does anyone know why other, friendly dogs keep advancing right up to my dog even though he is displaying abundantly clear, aggressive body language indicating that he wants them to go away?

Tj on October 11, 2017:

Please help me. I was across the street with my father and dog. A dog and a family comes along the road and my dog(a German Shepherd) charges after their dog. In complete aggression. No blood was drawn but the collar of the other dog came off. We apologized and offered to help. No one was hurt but the man was screaming at us to get our dog away— I completely understand why, but he was just standing there when he could have helped. They are pissed at us. I get it that it’s terrifying a big German Shepherd “ attacked” another dog. [ NO ONE WAS HURT NOR THE DOG]. My dog is 3 1\2 and he just can’t get along with other dogs. I really need help.....

Ann on September 29, 2017:

I am the owner of two Yorkie poos and one beagle mix. I have since found a two-month-old pitbull. I'm trying to keep him I just had him neutered but he still has it out for one of the Yorkie males . He bit him a few nights ago before he was neutered. Tonight we had a muzzle on the pitbull just to see what he would do with the Yorkie and he tried to attack me again. Thank goodness he had to muzzle him. Please advise

Tanya Williams on August 26, 2017:

My four pups fighting amongst each other, 3 months old pitbull crossed boerboel

Peyton on August 09, 2017:

I work at a dog boarding / daycare place and we had a 5 month old German sheperd come in and she is very aggressive with other dogs! The owners want her to be social with other dogs but i dont know how to make her want to be social with other dogs

Brenda on June 28, 2017:

I have a golden that is 3 years old. He was abused by his previous owner cracked over the head with something with prongs and kicked into the crate so hard he broke his tail. Anyway I love him but when another dog growls at him he attacks instantly . Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

Stacy on June 18, 2017:

I have 3 dogs, one Yorki, one chion, and one German shorthair. They all three have been buddies for many years. This afternoon the Yorki, Bella, suddenly attacked the Chion, Louie. They have been best friends for over 7 years. It is bizarre. Her tail wags but she becomes viscous and locks onto his neck. He screams. This has never happened before. We seperated them into their crates and we have tried several times to let them be together, but Bella attacks Louie. She wants to smell him first then she is on him.We had just bathed him when it happened the first time. We rebathed him in different shampoo, but she is still agressive and attacks him! She is barking aggressively at the back door to get into him. We don't know what to do. Please help!

Irene on June 01, 2017:

I have 1 yr old husky mix. She is spayed we would take her to dog park and everything was fine until at 10 months old she was attacked by another dog where the owner was not paying attention. My husband and adult son had to separate them. Now she is agressive with any dog that comes near her unless it's a small dog she gets even more agressive if there is more than one dog that comes near her st once she growls and snaps I'm so broken hearted as we are having a hard time enjoying the park any more. We thought by continually bring her she get over her fear but it's 3 mons and not getting better. Any suggestions would be appreciated

Janet on April 20, 2017:

My mother got our German Shepherd 6 years ago as a pup, and raised her as a guard dog. The dog is hostile to all dogs, and men.

Is it possible to make the dog more social? I don't like that she has no connection to any animals except for our cat that she raised as her own, and he thinks he's a dog!

amber on March 20, 2017:

Today My Chihuahua attacked my older dog.. My older dog injured by lick her paw raw my Chihuahua and Dachshund are best friends until today Chihuahua bit Dachshund's leg and wont let go my grandmother had to put my Chihuahua in kennel. HELP.

normally it gentle bites. now it got worse today. She does this when door bells rings or someone at door... We have window that you can see who's at door. She goes to attacked he housemate she grow up with.... :-(

Buddy Rowe on March 19, 2017:

We rescued a 7 year old beagle and German shepherd mix. Our issue is that she doesn't seem to like other dogs. If we don't see them before her she will take off after them. When we do find one that she seems to be calm with. She will normally show aggression very soon after they meet. Any suggestions would help.

Mike on March 19, 2017:

I have two female dogs. Both muts, recently the my older dog (which is 2 years or age) has been growling at my younger dog which is 1 year of age. My 2 year old is older and larger than my other dog, recently my 2 year old has been pushing my 1 year olds head into unbreathable surfaces for a long period of time. My one year old is now finding it hard to breathe after the scenarios. Now today i have me son on the couch with the two year old and my daughter has the one year old. The once year old comes o show affection to my son and then my two year ld starts pressing her head into the couch. About a minute later my daughter cones and my one year old is growling, once i get the dog off of her and place her on the ground she starts snarling and tries to bite her. for a period of time until she calms down the two year old is pushing my dog to the ground in a cornered wall.

It is surely is not shots, my two year old has all of them, but my one year old is just parley 13 months of age. I am taking her to get ll her shots later this week. and maybe diagnose the reason.

Linda Sjoberg on March 18, 2017:

We have a 5 yr old large male golden and 12yr. old female English Setter, if a male dog goes near the female the golden will get aggressive towards that dog at the dog park.

What to do? HELP!!!!!

Rebounder on February 18, 2017:

We have 2 male neutered shiloh shepherds ages 3 and 4 that have both been our pets since they were puppies and have an ideal relationship that includes playing together, sharing food,toys,. - 99% of the time. Our slightly younger dog, who is generally a bit less alert and observant than and accepting of the leading role of our older dog, has developed a tendancy to bite at our older dog's neck when he first sees our neighbor's dog. Our dogs have always bit softly at each other's neck and legs as part of play, but the intensity and aggression of how our younger dog lashes out at our older one for just the first several seconds after it sees our neighbor's dog is a completely different level. It almost seems that he instinctively and instantaneously gets so wound up when seeing another dog while on his home turf. Also of interest - in any setting other than our home (i.e., while on walks, etc.), he does not act in the same manner.

We would appreciate suggestions on what to do.

Thanks

Jackie on February 03, 2017:

I have a chow/husky mix I've had him 8 years, 5 years ago I got a pit bull/bull mastif mix in the last year they have started getting into really bad fights. They had always gotten along great until then. My chow doesn't really like puppies or hyper dogs. When they'd get on his nerves he'd growl or get up n go lay somewhere else. My pitbull was being overly playful one day my chow growled to make him quit n my pitbull snapped n went for his throat n they were in a no Barr fight. It's happened a few times now???

John on February 03, 2017:

I have 2 Victorian Bulldogs. Father(3) Son(1). They were inseparable before. The mother came back to try for another litter & 2 days after she left these 2 got into the first fight. As the days went on more happened and the more intense and kiddy they got. The last one was really bad & bloody. Since then we have kept them separated by means of a baby gate and separate levels of the house. It has been 3 months and still nothing accomplished. We purchased muzzles for both and they still want to fight. Need help. Please, heart breaking.

Nik on January 12, 2017:

My 5 year old Parson Jack Russell was saved from an abusive home, she struggles with socialising when it comes to other dogs on many occasions. She has always had a slightly anxious disposition outside. She had 2 occasions (she made a lovely friend who we sadly never met again on a walk) and a few meetings with other dogs during walks where she has been playful and it's been lovely. But she was attacked by a staffie a while ago when she broke off her lead and ran over trying to play. We've been scared to socialise her with other dogs and she has seems to bark and growl when it comes to meeting them in the street and in passing I think it's particularly due to our anxieties but I'd love for her to socialise with other dogs, to be able to take her to the park, to the beach and have a fully fulfilled life but I don't know what to do to help her. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Brooklyn Doxie Owner on January 03, 2017:

This is such a thoughtfully written helpful article.

Thank you for sharing it.

jabXhook on December 08, 2016:

First time on this site, excuse if this is in wrong spot, sign in is a little clunky, I don't have a comment as much as a question so hope this is right place. We have a big Azorian Cattle Dog (60+#'s, intact, 7 yrs) and a small 11-pound fixed male chihuahua polmerian mix about 11 yrs old. In the last couple yrs the big do has taken to attacking the little one about once every 3 months. The attacks are vicious, but no rag-doll shaking and never any blood (?) - the concerning thing is that there's never overt warning, growling. Usually in a crowded, boisterous space like when ppl just come in the door, or over food in the kitchen. In as sense, as I write, I know what situations to avoid now, but I'm not always around, i.e., ppl come to the door, both dogs rush to the door, I'm away on business. I keep them exhaused. 2 walks per day totaling at least hr per day. Never aggression on walk/runs. Again, am seeing what I need to avoid, but also don't want to lv a stone unturned so am putting out to you, dear humans, the crowd. Thx for reading.

Confused on October 24, 2016:

I adopted a dog from the shelter three days ago. He is a year and a half old flat coated retriever and has responded well to all the people in my life and is a fast learner. He is still working on leash training and interactions with other dogs. I have kept his dog interacting only to other dogs he sees on walks and normally he just wags his tail.

Today my roommate brought home a dog from the shelter (yeah I KNOW) and my dog is NOT HAPPY about the situation and suddenly became aggressive. What can I do?

2 dog owner on October 02, 2016:

I have two dogs, a 6 yr old bichon and a 11 months old blue nose pit, both boys. I came home one afternoon and I see my bichon trying to hump the pit. I also noticed that the bichon became possessive of the pit. Whenever I would go pet my pit, the bichon will show his teeth at me and try to bite me. Wonder what the problem is?

MicahsGlass on July 27, 2016:

My 1.5yr old Pit mix River does the same thing as the Shiba when her butt gets sniffed by larger dogs that she doesn't know at the dog park. She gives plenty of warnings, but some of those big goofy dogs just don't take the hint. What do I do?! I have to be careful because she is a pit mix and that comes with it's own stereotypes to begin with. River slowly lowers her butt to the ground while snarling while her behind is being sniffed. If her bett hits the ground, she will spin around and chase off the dog while snarling, snapping and barking. I don't want her to en up attacking another dog because she is fearful... Any help would be appreciated!

Debbie on July 13, 2016:

I have to 8 month old lab mix. The male has started to stare down his sister but not in the early morning or evening. they get along very well during those times. Seems to be mid morning and afternoon. The male likes to play by himself while my female is more a social butterfly. So usually they have conflict. Sometimes the female with back down other times no. I watch them so i can break up a pending fight. Or at least I think a fight. They use to eat together not anymore. Bu my male had to food restricted then slowly introduced back to food. that is when the guarding of food started for the male. Treats have always been an issue so I supervise treats. They can do commands next to each other eat rewards next to each other but then again they are watching me not each other. I am lost as what to do. I do have an appointment with a vet behavioralist on friday. plus they to go to doggy day care 3 xs a week and no issues there, they do not even play with each other.

Bodhi on July 08, 2016:

I have a 4 year old lurcher. Outside of the home he will show aggession to all dogs, from the largest to the the smallest, to even the most friendliest of dogs. I know muzzle him on walks. However we also have another dog who is very docile who he lives quiet happily with ..... Also, he shows no aggression to any dogs that are bought to our home by friends to visit. He only shows aggression to dogs outside, even friendly ones he meets every day?? Any ideas on what is going through his head ?

nicole on June 12, 2016:

I have a 6yr old shih tzu chua hua . This last year she is showing more aggression to dogs her size. If we go to the dog park she has to be on a leash because i don't trust her with other small dogs. We have another dog, pompoo , she is fine with him and other dogs that come to our house,only on walks that she will be aggressive with other dogs her size. Not sure what to do about it, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou

Debbie W on April 07, 2016:

I have 2 collie mix dogs, we found them under our cabin and believe they were feral and maybe left behind because they were sickly. After they got better and come out from behind the couch I noticed they snap their teeth quite a bit, sometimes getting in big fights where I would throw a blanket on them to stop. They are now a year old and they are now aggressive to other dogs including puppies. One bit my daughters dogs ear, when her dog moved away and was crying the other tried to attack it twice, had I not been there to stop and push away I worry she might has seriously hurt or killed my daughters dog. Why when her dog was crying in pain and moved away from them would she go after her?

Rustly36 on November 10, 2015:

I have a 2 year old cocker and have recently introduced a 14 week old cocker pup. For 90% of the time they play really well. Mouthing, growing, rolling round with each other but it is most definitely play. However, on occasion, things get out of hand and too rough. The growling changes tone and it looks nasty, although they have never bitten each other.

Any advice please.

shibashake (author) on September 07, 2013:

For more serious cases of aggression, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer.

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/

Some things that I do to help my dogs get along-

1. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I supervise my dogs very well especially during play and meal-times. If there are any conflicts, I resolve them in a fair and consistent manner before things escalate into a fight.

2. I manage my dogs' excitement level by throwing in many play breaks, teaching them impulse control, and making sure they have many positive and structured outlets for their energy.

3. I create as many successful dog-to-dog interactions as I can so that my dogs learn to see my new puppy as a friend and companion, rather than as a competitor.

Here is more on what I do to help my dogs get along-

http://shibashake.com/dog/second-dog-introducing-a...

michisjourdi on August 31, 2013:

I came here hoping that I would be able to solve a problem. My mother adopted a chihuahua who needed a home. She already had about four Maltese dogs.

The chihuahua would shoulder-check the other dogs