I am often told of young puppies being bitten by older dogs. Some puppies then develop a fear of other dogs and some puppies can actually turn into adolescents or adults that are dog aggressive.
How can my dog not like other dogs?
When your puppy is with his litter and mother, he is learning dog on dog interaction. But that interaction must continue once you adopt or buy him. If you seclude your dog from other dogs, that builds frustration and the dog eventually learns to dislike other dogs. Some dogs don’t like other dogs because at a young age they were dominated or bitten by another; that created a fear of other unknown dogs.
Unless you know that the dog you are introducing your puppy to is friendly and will not dominate your dog; don’t allow them to get close. It’s important that the dog you are introducing your dog to is setting a good example of how dogs should interact.
Proper dog introduction
When introducing your dog to another, meet in a neutral area and go for a brisk walk. No sniffing, no touching, no barking or jumping…just walking. Walking establishes a bond.
I see many dogs dragging their owners toward other dogs; and then you see the 2nd dog start to hackle and bark. Let me explain why this is bad in human terms; you are walking by yourself in a park, from 100 yards someone starts yelling and waving and running toward you. You do not know this person. Now this person is right in front of your face, talking loud and in your personal space. This is how your dog feels!
When in doubt; keep your dog away from others
If you are unsure, stay away; better to be safe than sorry. If you want to socialize, enroll your dog in a doggie daycare, this way all of the dogs there have been tested and are good with other dogs. Not that accidents don’t happen but the chances of a good dog experience are higher in a doggie daycare.
You can’t rationalize with your dog once he or she is afraid
Once your dog is afraid you are not going to be able to convince him otherwise. Sure, there may be dogs he is fine with but dogs on the street may just scare him. If he is afraid, it’s ok to keep him from other dogs as long as he can behave and learn to ignore other dogs in the park or on your walks.
Dogs that are not allowed to play with other dogs when they want to develop leash frustration; it means they will act crazy in order to get near another dog. If allowed to play at a young age, combined with obedience, this leash frustration nevers happens. If always kept from other dogs, this frustration can turn into aggression because they do not know what to do once near a dog.
Be sure the dog you are allowing your dog to play with has the same energy level. A quiet, couch potato is not going to want to play with a young dog who is full of energy. Quiet dogs should interact with other quiet dogs and vice versa.
Size is important as well. There are age restrictions in sports for children for a reason. You don’t want your 5 year old son playing football with the high school kids; he is going to get hurt. Small dogs should interact with other small dogs or larger dogs that do not have a lot of energy. Big dogs with big dogs; again with similar energy levels.
A dog’s temperament is important as well. Dogs’ that are dominant and always need to mount other dogs are not playing; or dogs that stand over others that are laying down, both of these scenarios can lead to fights as well. Putting your dog friendly dog in that situation will make him dislike any dog that jumps on him or stands over; or worse yet teach your dog to do such. That is why I don’t recommend dog parks, many people can’t tell when their dog is being dominated and allow it to continue to happen.
Dog aggression does not have to be a problem if your dog is well and properly socialized. This starts as soon as you get your dog, up until he is an adult.