Why Is My Dog Aggressive Towards Other Dogs: 8 Reasons & Solutions

People ask why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs, and I will put such a question to an end in this article.

In this article, you get to know all the possible reasons why your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, how to fix and many more.

The number of dog-related bites that happen each year is astonishing, especially considering the number of people that own a dog.

I am including a few insights that I have found that might help lessen the chances of your dog biting someone or another dog.

So, why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs? 

Dogs are aggressive towards other dogs because of poor socialization, territorial behavior instincts, frustration, poor communication, fear, possessive behavior, prey drive, most importantly lack of proper training or behavioral training by the owner.

This post is geared towards dog owners who are getting ready to get out and about with their pets.

When dogs are off-leash, they’re free to explore their world and have a little more freedom.

However, it’s important to understand that there are good and bad experiences that can happen when dogs are off-leash.

Good experiences include sniffing, chasing, and playing with other dogs.

Bad experiences include biting, scaring, and being scared.

This post will outline some of the behaviors that might show up when your dog is off-leash.

Dog Aggressive Nature

Why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs? The most common reason for a dog to act aggressively towards other dogs is that the dog is either fearful or protective.

If the dog is fearful, it may act aggressively to scare the other dog away.

If the dog is protective, it may act aggressively to keep the other dog away from the owner or another person.

Aggressions in dog breeds can be difficult to pinpoint. There are many reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs.

In order to help your dog, you need to do a lot of research. You need to find out what has triggered your dog’s aggression.

Types of Dog Aggression

Here are the common types of dog aggression and any of them could be the reason your dog is aggressive towards other dogs:

Territorial Aggression

Territorial aggression is a type of dog aggression towards humans or other animals that approach their property.

This type of aggression in dogs has resulted in many attacks from dogs, most animals are very aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory, and dogs are no exception.

Territorial aggression ranges from growling and barking to attacking, hunting, clicking, and biting other people or animals.

Possessive Aggression

Possessive aggression in dogs is aggression shown or manifested by dogs to defend their values, such as food or toys from humans or other animals.

Possessive aggression is common in dogs if you teach them to stay home alone.

It is often difficult to control if not properly cared for at the puppy stage.

Dogs show more possessive aggression towards food as you can see the bark, growl, growl, and click as they eat.

This is what we usually see when other animals or strangers are around the dog food area.

Defensive Aggression

Defensive aggression in dogs is a manifestation of aggression when a dog feels the need to defend itself against a larger dog or person.

We also see this type of aggression when the dog senses that its owner is in danger.

This type of aggression occurs in any dog, especially guard or hunting dogs, so expect it to happen to your dog from time to time.

Maternal Aggression

Maternal aggression in dogs is what female dogs use to protect their young from all kinds of threats.

Once a new puppy is born, female dogs protect their pup with anything they get their hands on, they can bite if you ignore their growls and growls.

Social Aggression

Social aggression in dogs is aggression that is shown or manifested by the dog as a result of the owner’s lack of socialization at the puppy stage.

Socializing your dog from the puppy stage is very important unless the dog is being trained to be a guard dog.

Secondary Types of Dog Aggression

Here are some aggression in dogs we classified as secondary dog aggression:

  • Redirected Aggression
  • Predatory Aggression
  • Fear-related Aggression
  • Sexual Aggression
  • Pain-Related Aggression

How to identify dog aggression early

Here are some common behaviors to look out for:

  • Less responsive to the command given
  • Showing its teeth unnecessarily
  • Unnecessary constant growling
  • Always barking with no cause
  • Pulling you back while you want forward
  • Snapping a lot
  • Lunging

What is the most common reason for aggressive behavior in dogs?

Aggressive dogs can be a problem for pet owners. Some dogs are just born with a natural tendency to be more aggressive than others, but there are many other reasons for a dog to be aggressive.

Here are some reasons why your dog might be aggressive towards other dogs, and some tips on how to manage it.

Poor Socialization

The socialization factor can be difficult for you because one day your dog will jump or attack your visitor, or other dogs then you call him an aggressive dog.

An unsocialized dog is a dog that you keep in your yard and train yourself without walking them or letting them explore other dogs, or pets, or even humans.

Sometimes the dog doesn’t even know what the outside world is like. You can’t even tell your neighbors your dog’s name with this type of training because you expect your dog to be less socially aggressive.

Solution

Start socializing your dog from the puppy phase, I mean taking him for an afternoon walk or visiting the neighbors so that when the dog grows up it won’t be a problem seeing people.

Fear

Fear in dogs is said to be an uncomfortable feeling caused by the perception of danger, evil, pain, even if the feeling is real or just an imaginary one.

It is important to note that when dogs sense danger at any time, whether at night or during the day, they are aggressive towards other people or animals around them.

Fear can also make dogs aggressive towards their owners, I’ve seen it often.

Solutions

So try to eliminate all forms of fear in your home, be it other dogs or humans.

Fear is the answer to why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs.

The simple solution to fear is to socialize your dog with other dogs as early as possible.

This will teach your dog that other dogs are not a threat around them.

It will also make your dog be calm around other dogs and not attack unnecessarily. We will still talk about socialization so keep reading.

Frustration

A frustrated dog can attack anyone, even its owner. When a frustrated dog exhibits a high level of aggression there are a few factors that cause dog frustration;

Not paying attention to the dog, interfering with the dog’s eating behavior, paying less attention than usual, etc.

Even humans are aggressive when they’re frustrated, so why shouldn’t dogs be aggressive when they’re frustrated?

Solutions

Frustrated dogs can do things you never expect, so make sure your dog doesn’t always get upset.

To solve the problem of frustration in dogs you need to identify the cause and eliminate it as fast as possible.

Avoid not paying attention to the dog when they need your attention.

Don’t allow other dogs or animals to interfere with the dog’s eating area.

Avoid paying less attention than usual.

Social aggression

This aggression stems from the fact that your dog isn’t meeting other dogs or people, and that’s bad.

So try going out with your dog for a while or visiting other dog owners during the dog training phase.

This is serious and can cause you problems, let’s see an example. Suppose you have a dog and you never walk it and people don’t visit you often.

Then one day you invite people to a house party or go on a trip with your dog (German Shepherd), what outcome do you expect?

Solutions

The only solution to the problem of social aggression is early socialization of your pup as soon as possible.

Territorial Behavior

It has to do with love, if you train your dog properly and your dog is very loyal to you then you can expect a high level of aggression towards foreign visitors who try to harm you.

This is the main reason dogs become aggressive, as it applies to all guard dogs as they will always defend their owners aggressively.

The dog is also aggressive when trying to protect his pups or home from other dogs.

Solution

Again, early socialization and obedient training is a simple way to solve the problem of territorial behavior in dogs.

Possessive Behavior

Ownership can include strict dog ownership of its owner or resources.

Examples can be seen every day when you have a dog, when you get your dog’s toy and your neighbor’s kids want to touch the toy, I’m sure the kids will regret coming to your house first.

Another example is if your dog is eating and someone tries to approach the dog food area, you should expect some level of aggression.

Another example is when a dog protects you or the environment from strangers or dogs.

If have to answer the question why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs? then possessive behavior is the simple answer.

Solution

You need to train your dog not to be too possessive of you or its resources, you need to teach your dog that other dogs being around you doesn’t translate to your insecurity.

Visit other dog owners as often as you can and take your dog to dog parks, while in the dog park cuddle other well-trained dogs while you tell your dog to sit and watch.

By doing so your dog will start learning that other dogs being around is not a threat to you or its resources.

Lack of Proper Training

This is the best answer to your question about why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs

60% of dog aggression towards other dogs comes from improper training, even the military men must train their dogs before their dogs start following orders.

So you need to give your dog adequate training to minimize or eliminate aggression towards other dogs or humans.

Most of the time, dog owners think that eating only involves training, far from the fact that proper training results in less aggression.

Solution

There are many online training rangers to help you train your dog properly. Or you can attend dog classes or visit a dog behaviorist.

Illness

We can think of dog illness as an illness or phase of an illness that affects the body or mind. Injection of spoiled food or microbes into the body can cause this.

If your dog is sick and you don’t pay attention to him most of the time, he is very aggressive towards you, your family, or other dogs.

A sick dog will always be aggressive because of illness and can attack other dogs.

Solution

These are the many factors that can lead to canine disease; Parasites, fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc.

This can come from the environment or from food. This answers the question of why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs.

So pay close attention when your dog is showing signs of illness, and take him to the vet for treatment.

How to train your dog to be more social with other dogs

Here are some tips on how to get your dog to be more social with other dogs:

Visit Dog Parks

Visiting dog parks will cost you nothing but a chunk of your time, but the benefits are worth it.

Be sure to put your dog on a leash the first time you visit the dog park and do not let your dog go off the leash to avoid unnecessary attacks on other dogs.

Register for Dog Classes

Taking your pup to dog classes might seem time and money-consuming but the benefits worth it.

You can register your pup for dog classes, during which your pup sees and learn how to socialize with other dogs and this will answer your question of why is my dog aggressive towards other dogs.

Visit Other Dog Owners

Make time out to visit other dog owners and let your dog interact and explore other dogs from the puppy stages.

You can visit twice a week or visit other dog owners at your own pace, but one thing is sure the benefits worth it.

Take Your Dog on Walks

Dog walks are a simple way your show your dog around town and let your pup feel his or her environment.

Just to make sure, put your dog on a good leash and go on morning walks or evening walks around your neighborhood.

Dog TV Shows

There are lots of dog TV shows you can watch with your dog, by doing this your pup can see other dogs on TV and learn what those dogs are doing.

When they now see other dogs in real life they will be calmer because they are used to seeing other dogs.

Train Your Dog With Commands

The words Stop, Sit, Go, Come are very powerful in a dog’s life so do your best to make sure your dog gets used to these words.

If you train your dog with these words your dog will respond when they see other dogs or pets.

What to do when your dog is aggressive towards other dogs

The question here is what can I do if my dog already has a problem with other dogs? Here are a couple of things to do:

Desensitize Your Dog to Other Dogs

In desensitization, you practice in a quiet, closed environment and start with a very weak version of the problem stimulus. In terms of reactivity to other dogs, you can attenuate the effect with distance.

By doing this, you also weaken our dog’s responsiveness so that he is calm enough to listen and learn.

This is necessary to create opportunities where you can teach your dogs to be calm and relaxed in the presence of other dogs.

Keep Greetings With Other Dogs Short

When greeting other dogs, you would like to interrupt your dog in a positive way from time to time and draw his attention to you.

Do this as often as necessary to keep your dog from getting angry and losing control of himself.

If your dogs are too obsessed with going and staying where they are, then you have waited too long to initiate a break.

Positive pauses are also useful for dealing with human greetings and keeping your dog away from dirty or inappropriate places.

Take Care of Aggression Triggers

Some dogs have a natural appearance that can appear dominant (ears up, hair out, tail up).

This dominant appearance can cause other dogs to react and pose in the same way.

Dog conflicts can arise and if a dog doesn’t give in, it can lead to dog fights.

If you are not sure about dog greetings, please continue moving in your direction.

It’s better to be safe than sorry and also remember that your dog’s natural appearance can cause a reaction.

Dog To Dog Aggression Training

Don’t expect too much or too soon from your dog during dog-to-dog aggressive training.

Remember to treat him and give him big praise if he voluntarily participates in evasive maneuvers when other dogs are around.

This includes looking away from other dogs, kissing and exploring the area, or looking at you.

Initially, treat and praise even small evasive gestures, such as just looking away for only 1 second.

If a dog isn’t receptive to a treat from you then it’s going too far and it’s best to take it with you.

Treats are only effective in shaping behavior when your dog is still thinking and not acting on instinct.

What not to do when your dog is aggressive towards other dogs

Here are some tips of what not to do when your dog is aggressive towards other dogs;

  • Don’t shout at your dog, shouting can only encourage the behavior.
  • Never remove your dog from him or her leash when other dogs are around.
  • Keeping quiet or doing nothing to fix your dog is bad so seek solutions.
  • Beating your dog is something you should never do, rather use positive reinforcement or simply walk away.
  • Do not punish your dog for being aggressive towards other dogs after all you caused it by not socializing your pup when you are supposed to.
  • Stopping continues visit to other dogs until you fix your dog

How do I know if my dog is being aggressive or just playing?

Here are some behaviors to look out for every time your dog is around other dogs, if your dog continues to display these behaviors it’s no longer play it’s pure aggression.

  • Continued pinned back Ears
  • Baring Teeth
  • Continued snarling
  • Growling
  • Temporary increases in size
  • Continues stiff body posture
  • Constantly charging forward

What are the best training tips for aggressive behavior?

Here are some common tips for training aggressive dogs:

  • Continue teaching and practicing commands.
  • Engage in dog to dog aggressive training.
  • Visit other dog owners as often as possible.
  • Watch more dog TV shows with your dog.
  • Positive reinforcement pays more than punishment.
  • Visit experienced dog owners as often as possible
  • Register for dog classes
  • Seeking professional help if all your efforts are not working.

When should I contact a professional behaviorist or trainer?

Here are some tips on when to contact a professional behaviorist:

  • When you have properly socialized your dog with other dogs and your dog is still unnecessarily aggressive towards other dogs.
  • When you are very sure your dog is leaving with a horrible experience from fighting with other dogs.
  • When you live in an area with no dog classes, no dog parks, and no other dog owners.
  • After proper training and your dog keeps charging at other dogs.
  • When your dog have grown to big to listen to your commands or answer when you call.
  • When you have little kids around your home, be it your kids or not.
  • When you have a Senior Citizen around who can do nothing when your dog attacks him or her.

What Are the Medical Causes of Dog Aggression

Here are some medical reasons why dogs may result in unnecessary aggressiveness towards other dogs or pets:

  • Epilepsy
  • Brain tumors
  • Encephalitis
  • Head trauma
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Seizures.

Where to surrender an aggressive dog

If you have done all you have learned from this post and still your dog is aggressive then you need to surrender the dog to any of the following places:

  • Experience dog owner: if you notice your dog is been too aggressive and you can’t apply any of the tips given here or you have applied it and your dog is still aggressive, try seeing an experienced dog owner.
  • Dog training facilities: there are lots of dog training facilities in every state, these facilities already have a special way of dealing with an aggressive dog just contact them.
  • Dog rescue groups: the dog rescue groups are groups dedicated to helping dogs that lost their way or that escaped from its owner. This group has a way of dealing with aggressive dogs.
  • Good dog sanctuaries and shelters: the shelter is a good place to keep an aggressive dog or a homeless dog. They also have a way of dealing with aggressive dogs.
  • Dog rehabilitation centers: A dog rehabilitation center is the perfect place to drop or rehabilitate your aggressive dog.

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Cheers!!!