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Dog aggression towards other dogs

If the dog is aggressive towards other dogs, it is worth considering what causes this behaviour in him. Perhaps he is trying to defend his space or his favourite toy in this way. Aggression in a dog can also result from jealousy of the attention that you have devoted to another quadruped.

dog plays with a dog toy

Aggression towards other dogs

Although your four-legged friend is one of the calmest and most gentle dogs you know, do you sometimes think that he changes beyond recognition as soon as he sees other dogs? Aggression towards other dogs that the pet does not know is quite a common phenomenon.

You want to know why your dog behaves and how to deal with such a situation.

That is one way of communication between two dogs. Although it may be incomprehensible, it is entirely normal for quadrupeds.

In addition, in many situations, at first glance, it is not easy to assess whether the dogs are aggressive towards each other or whether they treat each other with a reserved and slightly sceptical approach.

Aggression towards other dogs – causes

To understand the aggressive behaviour of a pet towards other dogs, we need to consider the reason for this behaviour. Remind yourself if the dog reacts this way every time he meets another dog or if this behaviour is only sporadic.

Dog trauma from the past

Perhaps the dog is aggressive towards other dogs, not because it does not match the character traits of a given quadruped. The situation, however, may be a bit more complicated; fear of aggression may appear in the dog.

Aggressive behaviour may result from unpleasant, traumatic events that took place in the past and strongly affected the dog’s psyche.

A bad experience with another dog who once behaved threateningly towards your pet may be the reason for his general distrust and hostile attitude towards other quadrupeds. In this situation, first of all, we need to teach the dog not so much to control his emotions, and we should eliminate the fear deep inside him.

a dog in the red harness

It is possible that talking to a dog psychologist may be helpful.

Defending your own space

In most cases, dogs value their personal space very highly. They do not like sharing it with others, especially when dealing with quadrupeds entirely alien to them.

That is due to the nature of dogs and is not a behaviour that deviates from the norm. Moreover, you will agree that we also feel uncomfortable when someone invades our personal space.

Let’s note that people’s behaviour often stimulates dogs to aggression towards others. According to their owners, dogs, whose main task is to guard the property against strangers, will have this attitude towards others deeply instilled. After all, the dog cannot recognize the guest and who he should treat as a threat.

So if we raise a dog to defend our space, the pet is expected to have a negative attitude towards people he does not know, as well as animals.

Reluctance to share

Dogs don’t like to share their things with strangers. If your pet is playing with his favourite toy, it is almost certain that when an unfamiliar dog approaches him, he will not be nice to him.

two dogs with a dog toy on the grass

In fear of losing something valuable to the quadruped, he reacts aggressively. Moreover, one essential value for dogs is not toys but you and your attention. Therefore, if we consider the reluctance to share we observe in dogs, we must also know that our dogs treat us like someone to share.  

If your four-legged friend notices you show sympathy for another dog, he will not treat it indifferently. He will treat a foreign pet aggressively and likely decide to take offence at his guardian.

How to deal with dog aggression

Knowing the source of aggression towards other dogs, we can prevent this situation quite efficiently. Avoiding conflict events is a more effortless and less stressful solution for the dog.

If your dog aggressively reacts because he is afraid of other dogs, try to control his contact with other dogs as much as possible.

Avoid places where the dog would have to come into contact with many unfamiliar dogs. It is essential, however, not to exaggerate too much in this matter. Contact and play with other dogs are very important for the well-being of our pets. However, try to dose your dog’s emotions associated with it. Try introducing new dog companions to his life slowly and without undue haste.

During joint walks in places often visited by other pet owners, give up taking your dog’s favourite toys with you. This way, the pet will focus slightly less on playing alone and looking after his things. He will be more open to other dogs.

Also, remember not to show too much interest in other dogs when your four-legged friend is around. This way, you will avoid a situation that would make your pet nervous.

a dog with his guardian in the city

If a situation throws your pet off balance, try to distract him. As soon as the dog focuses his attention on you, try to slowly move away from the dog that aroused aggressive behaviour in him.

Is it normal to be aggressive towards other dogs?

Knowing the most common reasons for our dogs’ nervousness, we can control their negative emotions more easily.

Aggression in a dog towards other dogs is a common phenomenon, which also applies to very well-behaved dogs. Much depends on the context of the situation and the source of your pet’s anxiety.

If your pet behaves aggressively towards another pet, try to react as soon as possible. If likely, take your dog to another place. Before the situation becomes serious, try to divert the dog’s attention from the event as much as possible.

The dog’s temperament quickly weakens in such moments, and it will soon forget the unpleasant incident while playing together. I hope now you know why a dog is aggressive towards other dogs. And what are your dog’s relationships with other pets?

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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