If your dog is aggressive to unfamiliar dogs, it can severely limit where you can take him and what activities he can enjoy. If your dog is a grumpy Gus, you may find it difficult to take him hiking, may be prevented from enrolling in doggie day care or a training class, or from even being able to walk your dog in your neighborhood.

There is no one reason why some dogs can’t play well with others. Reasons range from breed tendencies, to a bad experience with another dog, to a lack of socialization either during puppy hood or adolescence. Some dogs simply enjoy intimidating other dogs.

You must first manage your dog’s environment so that he can’t harm other dogs. Perhaps this means no off-leash time, and no day care – either for now or forever.

The difficulty in working with these problems is being able to create situations in which your dog can learn how to behave. You can not rely on spontaneous encounters with other dogs (such as on a walk or a dog park) because you can’t predict how the other dog is going to behave, nor can you control how the beginning of the encounter occurs and be able to end it at just the right moment.

Some communities have special classes for dog-to-dog aggression problems. Be sure to evaluate these classes carefully. Some have great success rates, while others are poorly managed classes that only give dogs a chance to practice more aggressive behavior.

Get a free handout on Guidelines For Selecting a “Growl Class” written by our good friend and colleague Ms. Pia Silvani who conducted “Feisty Fido” classes for years, to help you decide if a class you’re considering enrolling in is well run.

Enroll in the online course we offer on how to treat on-leash aggression HERE.   

And we have MORE courses on PetProWebinars.com that will help you.  So take a look!

What are realistic expectations for working with these problems? Some dogs can eventually learn to play well with others, and participate in social groups. For other dogs, perhaps the best you can expect is to be able to control and manage your dog on leash in the presence of other dogs, such as when you are walking your dog in a park or in an on-leash training class.

Your biggest responsibility is to prevent your dog from hurting other dogs. If necessary, muzzle your dog if he must be in a situation where he might bite another dog. We recommend wire basket muzzles from Morrco.com. NEVER leave a dog alone while muzzled