Your otherwise well-behaved dog turns into a raging beast as soon as it sees a fellow dog? Does your dog growl at other dogs or even attack other dogs?
Now is the time to act!
This is not only enormously stressful for both of you and causes awkward remarks from those around you, but it can also scare a lot of people.
In this article you will find the most common causes of aggression and some good solutions.
In a nutshell: Your dog reacts aggressively towards other dogs
Aggressions are always recurring feelings, which are caused by fear, anger or pain.
If your dog attacks other dogs, this behavior can have many possible causes. Whether it was a previous bad experience or your dog has developed frustration, with the right approach to training, this problem will soon be a thing of the past.
If you and your dog have other issues, then I recommend you take a look at our dog training bible.
Here you will find the causes and solutions to the most common problems in life as a dog owner.
What is aggression in a dog?
Aggression is NEVER for no reason!
In your dog’s eyes, his aggression is not a misbehavior on his part, he has simply switched to “survival mode”.
The easiest way for him is then: The dog rushes towards other dogs and wants to eliminate the problem himself.
A dog that attacks other dogs is usually very quickly labeled as “he is aggressive”. However, it is important to note that aggression ALWAYS has a background.
The following factors can trigger or promote aggression towards other dogs:
If the dog was not properly socialized as a puppy or if the dog was not raised properly or even incorrectly, it lacks the basic knowledge of how to behave.
Fear and insecurity are often the main triggers for aggression towards other dogs. The causes are often traumatic experiences in the past or insufficient guidance by the dog owner.
Misguided hunting instinct
If the hunting instinct is misguided, the dog is in prey mode. As soon as something moves quickly, the instinct is stimulated.
Fortunately, this rarely happens. But a neurological change in the brain can lead to behavioral problems, among other things.
If the behavior change from zero to sudden, this should be observed and possibly clarified by a veterinarian.
Dogs with an unknown origin often have a very different history than assumed. If you have adopted a dog where you suspect that something was done in the past, please contact a competent trainer immediately and only allow dog contact if your dog is secured (muzzle)
Is your dog aggressive on a leash? Then check out our article on leash aggression.
My tip: Aggressive dogs should be “secured”
If your dog shows aggressive behavior towards other dogs, it is your duty to ensure that no incidents occur. I recommend that you seek advice from a specialist shop and get a muzzle that fits well.
Your male dog is aggressive towards other male dogs?
Males are just men.
Male aggression towards other males often develops at the onset of puberty.
The hormones go to your head, the big guy has to be marked and above all: your own territory is defended. If there is also uncertainty or fear, this usually erupts in aggressive behavior.
In this case, it is important that you clearly show your male dog the limits. Aggressive behavior should be stopped or redirected immediately.
It is often easier for him to behave “normally” when you move outside of your traditional territory.
Your dog is suddenly aggressive towards other dogs?
Females are generally considered to be “bitchy”, especially when it comes to dealing with other bitches.
Increased aggressiveness can occur, especially during the heat period. Here it is advisable to simply avoid possible trouble.
3 possible solutions to aggressive behavior
No dog is born aggressive. That’s why your tact is required to find out the cause of the aggressiveness.
My tip: be honest with yourself
If you feel overwhelmed by your dog’s aggression, please get help from a well-trained dog trainer. Together you can then define a training concept that is tailored exactly to you and your dog.
Work on your confidence
If you radiate self-confidence and calm, this will automatically be transferred to your dog. Especially if your dog tends to be aggressive towards other dogs due to fear and insecurity, he will increasingly orientate himself towards you.
Always try to act consistently.
Observe how your dog reacts when. So you learn to read him and you can soon see when he is about to freak out.
It is also very important that you recognize when your dog has reached the limits of its individual distance.
Some dogs only react aggressively when the other person comes “too close into their space”. Know your dog’s welfare distance.
Build an alternative behavior
So far you have learned to lead your dog calmly and safely and you know his welfare distance.
You can also read your dog and look at him when he is about to explode.
Now is the time to command your chosen alternative behavior. For example, I recommend the “Look” command.
If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, it’s not groundless behavior, it’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
If you feel overwhelmed by the situation, a competent trainer will be happy to help you.
Getting help is never a bad thing, it can help you and your dog live a worry-free life in the future.
Otherwise, I would also like to recommend our dog training bible to you. Here the aggression problem is described in more depth and you will find some step-by-step solutions created by qualified dog trainers.