All the Reasons Why You Can’t Get Your Dog
Under Control Around Other Dogs!
by Master Trainer and Dog Psychologist
Kevin “The Dog Prodigy”
Have you ever wondered why your dog loses focus as soon as he sees another dog? Well, get ready. Because whether your dog barks, lunges, growls, attacks, acts hyper, shies away, or just ignores you around different dogs, this chapter will explain it in great details.
So, Which of These You Can Relate to:
* You have a sloppy training technique or poor foundation at home. Let me clarify: your dog doesn’t listen to you one hundred percent of the time in your home or around your guests. So why would he respond perfectly around different dogs that get playful, aggressive or bark nonstop?
* Your dog always lunges at other dogs and doesn’t exactly know how to behave. Like a barbarian, it’s totally normal for him to act this way. As far as he’s concerned: “It doesn’t matter if the other dog is big, small, black, white, friendly or vicious. I always lose it when I see ANY dog. It’s fun. It keeps me alive, and hey, nobody has been able to stop me so far!”
* Your dog is desperately trying to play or just sniff the other dog. Plain and simple. But the reason you don’t have any control could be because you’ve been wasting your time with the wrong training tool.
* At some point, your dog must have been badly attacked by another dog. Maybe he didn’t need medical attention, but it still was enough to traumatize him psychologically. The incident made him lose trust and confidence in humans. This explains why he gets so defensive as soon as he spots ANY dog.
You see, when you or someone else couldn’t protect your pooch from another dog attacking it, he had to find a way to protect himself. Maybe he witnessed a nasty dogfight. So now he anticipates a confrontation from any dog that he encounters. Or, at the very least, he acts tough by putting on a good show to scare the other dogs away. Can you blame him?
* You’ve been avoiding all dogs you came across by changing routes on your walks or by taking your dog out late or super early in the morning. We all know that this out-of-sight, out-of-mind game won’t accomplish much.
* You spot a dog on your walk, get tense, and immediately start patting your pooch while saying, “It’s okaaaaaaay. Be good now. It’s a niiiiiiiiiice doggie.” But by acting this way, you are unknowingly making your dog more nervous and unpredictable toward ALL dogs out there.
It’s obvious: You come across as less confident and skittish. And when dogs sense that doubt or that fear in you, they’ll try to take advantage of your demeanor. It’s even worse if your dog is charging, snapping, barking and growling the entire time, and you are petting him nonstop hoping that might calm him down.
When in reality, by reacting this way, all your dog make sense out of it is: “Go ahead. KILL ’EM!” Even if you correct him by tugging on his leash and screaming, “NO,” your intent literally contradicts your words and actions.
* Your dog used to be friendly with every dog, but you slacked off with his daily walks. So now, he doesn’t know how to behave around dogs he hasn’t seen or met before.
* You never thought socializing your dog with other dogs was really important or even possible. Like the majority of pet owners, you kept putting it off and now you noticed that it has become a serious and embarrassing problem.
* You misread the other dog or possibly your own dog’s posture and demeanor. Be honest. Aren’t the majority of the dogs that you run into seem friendly and harmless? Actually, it’s always the lovely owners who overreact and even panic by pulling their dogs closer to them. Sadly, this makes even the friendliest dogs appear unpredictable or ready for a confrontation.
So please; don’t wrap the leash around your hand three times anticipating a major dogfight just because you spotted a soul walking a dog. Again, by holding onto your dog’s leash so tightly, you are making your harmless dog seem as if she is looking for a fight or trying to protect you from any danger.
* You’ve been letting your dog mark on walks and thought it was completely normal and harmless. But did you know that is how dogs actually mark their territory? So now when he sees another dog, he gets upset and tries to defend his neighborhood.
Just as your dog is overprotective of your house and your yard, he now thinks that he owns the entire zip code. Even when your dog scratches the grass with his hind legs, or rubs his back on the ground, he is marking it by leaving his scent.
* Your dog or maybe the other dog isn’t spayed or neutered. So they are dying to get it on or prove themselves. That’s right; the combination of jealousy and sexual tension is another big factor that causes many dogs to become aggressive towards one another.
* Your dog whines and whimpers to trick you into thinking that all it wants to do is play with the other dog. But when you get close enough, he goes in for the kill. Very misleading and sneaky!
* You might be prejudiced or terrified of certain breeds. And guess what? Dogs rarely miss this and attempt to protect you or at least try to scare the other dog away. You see, when you dislike or might be afraid of certain breeds, your dog and the other dog can sense it from your overall demeanor. (Or, your energy. Come on. I had to throw that in there for all you Cesar lovers out there. You’re very welcome.)
Don’t forget that other pet owners aren’t blind and rarely miss your reaction or facial expressions. After all, we can always tell when someone admires, ignores, or might be terrified of someone or something. Dogs, however, pay more attention to our actions. That’s right. They hardly miss it when you tense up, move faster, slower, change direction, walk to the other side of the street, or pick up your small dog in fear or disgust.
* Your dog has never lost a fight in his life and always managed to intimidate, bully and attack every dog and got away with it. He probably sent a few to the hospital and sees himself as undefeated. The bigger the other dog, the more of a challenge; the bigger the fight, and the more the pay per view.
* Certain dogs provoke your dog more than others. Pay attention to any pattern. Is your dog getting more aggressive toward males, females, puppies, small dogs, big dogs, black dogs, white dogs, fluffy dogs, animated dogs, dogs with floppy ears, pointy ears, unaltered dogs or even dogs with cropped tails?
How about their owners? Can you pinpoint anything that might trigger your dog to act up? Some prefer to go after the biggest dog that crosses their path. And some see those small breeds as Costco’s appetizers and can’t stand their nonstop yapping.
* Something or someone irritated your dog, so now he decides to take it out on another dog. Be honest. Don’t you lash out at everyone when you are not in a good mood? (There you go. Your dog learned it from you!)
* Your pooch is dying to play or interact with the other dog, but doesn’t really know HOW. So he gets mad at you, mad at the other dog, at the leash, at your training tool and at the world! This could be a dog that once he manages to get loose, regardless of how aggressive he acts, just might lick the other dog all over to show his affection.
We all know that when dogs want to play, they usually pull on their leash, whimper, wag their tails, or may even bark or whine in excitement—but NOT your dog! And it’s hard to know for sure exactly what he’ll do once he finally manages to get to the other dog. Will he play or go for the jugular? And who’s brave enough to really find out?
* You noticed that your dog gets aggressive only when he’s on leash. This kind of behavior is also very likely due to fear and frustration in an attempt to keep the other dogs away. Think about it. Your dog is not stupid and notices that whenever he acts this way, you or the other owner always pull back, stand-still, walk to the other side of the street, or literally change your walking route and try your best to never let the dogs lay eyes on each another.
Again, your pooch isn’t dumb and notices he can’t do much while being restrained by a leash. So he figures, “Hey, why not act like a maniac. It’s much safer and it seems to be working so far.” Basically, each bark and growl translates to: “Let me go. Let me go. I can take him. Let me put him on the news for you.” But you know your dog better than anyone and swear that he could fall under the “all bark and no bite” category.
* Your dog is using your other dog as a backup or partner-in-crime. Hey, why not. We all need a back up once in a while, right? These are the dogs that may walk fine one-on-one, but never as a pack. They get a thrill from terrorizing other dogs and their poor owners. (Even some people get loud and cocky when they are in groups.)
* And finally, your dog acts up only with YOU! In fact, he may behave like a perfect gentleman with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or even your dog walker—but always a complete nightmare with you. Some of you might think of this behavior as the dog being protective. I’ll take a wild guess and say that the person with whom the dog acts up is also happen to be the spoiler of your family. This again proves that you need to be the spoiler AND the leader of your dog.
Is Your Dog Being Protective or Aggressive? Here’s the Difference:
Do you actually see every person or every dog you run into as a threat? Some of the dogs you meet on your walks happen to be half your dog’s size. A few aren’t any bigger than your dog’s big head. I really want you to be fair here.
If you think about it, most of the dogs on walks are just wagging their tail with a big smile on their face dying to play. But your psycho dog acts as if he wants to kill them for even looking in your direction.
I’ll ask you again: Do you still believe that your dog is being a great watchdog here? Reality check! That is NOT being protective, my friend. Your dog is actually being full on vicious!
Again, it’s one thing if someone or some dog is trying to really harm you and then your dog steps in to protect you. But we all know this is rarely the case. As matter of fact, some of you let your dog get away with it or even worse, think it’s not curable at all.
This kind of mentality only makes your dog more of a bully or a show-off around you. It reminds me of those kids who act totally different with the babysitter, the grandparents, or when one of the parents is away.
Conclusion: Never assume that if your pooch happens to love your other dog, your friends’ dogs, or even a few of your neighbors’ dogs, that it will remain dog-friendly with EVERY breed for the rest of his life. Some will and some won’t.
You must be able to get your dog’s full attention around friendly dogs, aggressive dogs, hyper dogs, loose dogs or dogs that keep whimpering or barking nonstop.
Ironically, the ones that get aggressive towards other dogs remind me of serial killers. They rarely go on a killing spree of their friends or relatives. Their victims are usually complete strangers. In this case, they prefer to kill the dogs that they don’t even know.
Written by Kevin Salem.