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Q: Why does my dog hate other dogs?

January 12, 2009 | By Starling | 20 answers | Expired: 2002 days ago

Starling

Most of the time, Bridget is agreeable with other dogs - unless they "start it"
Yesterday we took her for a hike. There were lots of other people and dogs. For some reason Bridget decided that she didn't like ANY dog and she went completely nuts barking and doing backflips whenever another dog came near.
We've taken her with us on that trail before, and she was agreeable the whole time with no signs of agression. What's going on with my dog!?

Readers' Answers (20)
Pia S.
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Jan 13, 2009

I am going to respectfully disagree with some of the writers regarding this since my specialty is dealing with aggression, more specifically dog-to-dog issues. While they are correct in that you need to be in charge and be a respectful, confident leader to your dog, that does not mean that they are robots with no feelings or brains. They are not computers that you can program so they work all the time. My parents were great parents, but we weren't perfect kids. My computer is programmed correctly, but it gives me grief.

You say that Bridgett is "agreeable" with other dogs, unless they start "it." I would first ask, what is "it?" If the dog is put in a conflicting situation, she has choices and there are four of them - (1) flee; (2) submit; (3) threaten; and (4) fight (when flight is not available). It sounds like she really doesn't want to socialize, is uncomfortable around other dogs and when on lead, she cannot flee. If a dog senses fear, some under-socialized dogs will attack. She is simply defending herself. You, as her leader, have inadvertently put her in a position where she has no choice. Good leaders do not put their dogs in this position.

Think about war. If the leader of the troops continually put their men and women in danger, the troops would defend themselves. This does not mean they do not respect their leader, but if it occurs too frequently, they may no longer trust their decision-making.

I suggest you try socializing her with calm, friendly dogs and, as one of the members said, seek the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist specializing in this field.

Best of luck to you.

Thumbs Up: 7 | Thumbs up!

Ro V.
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Jan 13, 2009

Sounds like your dog is quite fearful of other dogs and not comfortable being around them, especially when on lead. We see this quite often in St. Hubert's Feisty Fidos course. Most dogs that exhibit this behavior either have not been socialized, have been attacked by other dogs when on lead or, as the writer below says, many other reasons. Don't get angry. The dog is upset. Seek the help of a professional to help you out - - but, one that uses positive, reward-based training and is familiar with learning theory.

Thumbs Up: 5 | Thumbs up!

julie d.
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Jan 13, 2009

There are many reasons a dog can become aggressive. They could be territorial, protective, naturally aggressive due to lack of socialization, fearful, defensive, moody due to hormones or changes in diet, lack of sleep, etc. You always want to be very careful if you know your dog can be aggressive. Mostly, make sure you are not tensing up around other dogs-this will translate to your dog. I can always tell when someone is uncomfortable or tense around my deaf dal-she will tense up too.

Thumbs Up: 4 | Thumbs up!

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