Dogs may display aggressive behavior in response to any stressful situation, but especially during run-ins with other dogs. When your dog is on a walk and comes across another dog, for instance, it’s difficult for them to flee because they’re bounded by a leash, so they might resort to their “fight” instinct to scare off the perceived threat.
Your dog may be afraid of other dogs due to a lack of socialization. In other words, your dog didn’t have enough contact with other dogs when it was a puppy.
There are various reasons your puppy may be afraid of other dogs, and inadequate is one of the easiest to manage. In addition, some breeds of dog may be more likely to be more timid. Even if they’ve had exposure to different people and they are more likely to be afraid because of their genetic makeup. The best thing you can do for your puppy is to not punish them for their shy, but provide them with opportunities where they feel safe to come out of their shell. Positive reinforcement is the key here. It’s also possible that your puppy has experienced something traumatic with another dog. Possibly they were attacked or threatened, making them nervous whenever they are around other dogs
Why Your Dog Gets Scared Around Other Dogs
Dogs are naturally social creatures, and many thrive on running into their furry friends and meeting new ones. Some, however, get nervous at just the sight of another dog headed their way. There are a few possible explanations as to why your dog may fall under the nervous category:
Lack of socialization: The first three months of a puppy’s life are a crucial socialization period. Puppies who are exposed to a variety of people, places, and situations during this time are typically more confident and friendly as adults.
Previous trauma: Rescue dogs may be more unsure around other dogs, especially unfamiliar ones, as a result of their experiences in the past. A dog who was attacked by another dog earlier in their life, for example, will likely be timid when they encounter other dogs later on.
Personality trait: Like humans, some dogs are simply shier than others. Dogs with this type of personality may be genetically predisposed to it. A pup who is born to a shy mom or dad might be the same as an adult too.
Helping Your Dog Overcome Their Fear of Other Dogs
It can be challenging to fully enjoy your time outside with your pup if they’re nervous and reactive around other dogs. Even dogs who are social butterflies can be skittish at times. Consider these five strategies the next time you’re out and about to help your dog stay calm and collected:
Stick to low-stress situations: At least until your dog becomes more comfortable around others, avoid crowded dog parks or areas and instead invite another pet parent and their dog on a walk around your neighborhood.
Bring along your dog’s favorite treats: Pick out a treat your dog normally can’t resist and reward them with it after an encounter.
Encourage your dog to step outside of their comfort zone: Take every opportunity you can to help your dog get used to being around other dogs — when you’re on a walk, sitting at the park, etc. It’s never too late to help a shy dog become confident and social. Practice makes perfect!
BUT…always remain patient and listen to your dog’s needs: Never force your dog to interact with another dog if they’re acting out and you’re unable to calm them down.
Keep in your purse or pocket to ease the nerves: All three products — Chews, Toppers, Melts — are offered in small, portable containers or packets, making them easy-to-carry and -use. You and your dog can both feel prepared for potential encounters with other dogs, knowing you can rely on Click below to start shopping.
Reasons Your Dog Is Scared Of Other Dogs
There are three main reasons why dogs are scared of other dogs. You may know what has caused this fear in your dog, but if you have adopted a rescue dog and have little information about his previous life, you may have no real idea why your dog is scared.
Lack of – Your dog simply isn’t used to spending time with or seeing other dogs, this could have been the case since he was a puppy, or may have happened in later life.
Traumatic experience – Your dog has had a bad experience at the paws of another dog and associates all dogs with that experience.
Fear reinforced by the owner – Your dog is afraid of dogs and your reactions to his fear reactions are convincing him that other dogs are something to be scared of. You may be getting stressed, or making a fuss about your dog or about the situation and you’re telling him that his reactions are reasonable, so he keeps reacting that way.
Clearly, if your dog is going to get upset or react inappropriately every time he sees another dog this is going to cause stress and problems for both you and him, it may mean you’re not able to go to parks where there are lots of dogs, or on social occasions, or have people with dogs to your house. Thankfully, there are ways to help your dog get over his fear.
You will need to really know your dog and respect his learning time. If you feel that you can’t do what needs to be done, then seek support from a dog. At the end of the day, dogs are social animals and so they need, and will hugely benefit from engagement and interaction with other dogs.
Don’t force your dog, or knowingly take him into stressful situations. And no matter how hard you find it, be calm and act naturally when you come across other dogs, don’t even try to calm or comfort your dog because you will be continuing to reinforce the idea that he should be scared whenever he sees another dog.