Dog owners know the situation: their dogs are just playing happily with each other and suddenly the mood changes: the playing situation heats up and the lively romp turns into a hunt. A dog is chased, barked at, and mauled by all the others. The bullied dog is exposed to the tugging and harassment of the bullying mob and is under great stress. Experts give tips on what dog owners can do in such a situation.
Intervene before the situation escalates
Even if it is usually said that dogs make up such situations among themselves, this is only partially true. Dogs vary in size, strength, endurance, and temperament. If the fighting dogs are of the same character and body, they can resolve the conflict among themselves. However, the situation is different if the bullied animal is more defensive and physically unable to cope with the attacks of the four-legged bullies. Here the intervention of its owner is necessary. He should get his dog out of the uncomfortable situation or offer him protection and ensure that he calms down again.
The other dog owners are also required to intervene, separate their dogs from the group, and “cool down”. In contrast to the inferior dog, the attacking dogs sometimes cannot be so easily calmed down by shouting. In this case, intervention is necessary. Take your dog calmly and firmly out of the group. That way the situation can be defused.
Possible consequences of not intervening
What consequences can fail to provide assistance or failure to intervene have for the dogs? The bullied dog can lose trust in its human and always associate dangerous situations with the size and appearance of the attacking animals. The bullying dog, on the other hand, learns that it’s okay to bully other animals and won’t stop at the next weaker candidate.
Causes of bullying among dogs
There are many causes of bullying. On the one hand, this can simply be a transfer of mood within a group, but it can also be about compensating for one’s weaknesses. Finally, dogs unfortunately learn that bullying is fun. That’s why it’s so important to stop such actions immediately, otherwise, the dogs will “save” it and want to do it again and again.
Prevent bullying situations
To avoid bullying situations from the outset, it is advisable to observe your dog closely and to intervene at a good time if such unfavorable group dynamics threaten to develop. When playing, you can see from the dogs that everyone is having fun, even if the roles are reversed again and again: the hunted becomes the hunter and vice versa. It is favorable or advantageous to let dogs play with each other that have similar physical requirements, like each other, and are breed-specifically compatible.