Fear of other dogs is not a rare problem. In fact, it’s one of the most common fears reported by our dog boarding clients. It’s not just dogs that are scared of other dogs. It’s also people. Dog lunging and barking are often an indication of this fear. Here are some things you can do to help.
While it can be a difficult problem to solve once it’s developed, it’s easy to prevent it from happening in the first place. This blog post will help you understand how to help your dog overcome this fear and make friends with other dogs.
Signs Of Fear Of Other Dogs
If you’re looking for signs of fear of other dogs, here’s what you might find:
- Your dog will growl, cower, or bark when another dog passes her on leash.
- Other dogs will avoid coming near your dog if they are not on leash.
- Other dogs might show signs of tension when they are near your dog on leash.
- Other dogs may avoid being around your dog on leash.
- Your dog’s ears will flatten when other dogs are nearby
- Other dogs will rub their heads against your dog to show affection
If you notice any of these signs of fear, you need to talk to your vet. Your vet will give you an assessment of your dog’s development. This includes factors like age, temperament, and even how social your dog is.
How Can We Prevent This Fear?
There are many things you can do to prevent dog lunging and barking at other dogs. But there’s really no guarantee that you’ll be successful.
If your dog is lunging and barking at other dogs, one of the easiest ways to stop it is to “pull on the leash.”
This means that you have to ask him to follow you. And when you say “come,” ask him to come to you.
It’s hard work, but it’s the best way to control the dog’s response. You should only use this method when there’s no one else around to distract him.
If he lunges and barks at another dog, though, he’s just too excited and might bite. In that case, just use a muzzle and put him in a separate room until you calm him down.
How To Address
Eliminate or reduce your dog’s exposure to other dogs. Go on walks around other dogs without your dog.
Avoid taking your dog to places where other dogs are present.
Change your dog’s environment around other dogs by moving away from them, or practicing crate-free training.
Repeat until your dog is comfortable around other dogs.
Make your dog aware that other dogs are safe by including your dog in interactions with other dogs and without the other dogs present. In a crate, with a view of another dog, talk to your dog.
Remind your dog that other dogs are safe.
DO NOT use your dog as a distraction for your other dogs. Use a heavy squirt bottle or a slap or a pinch or loud noise to make other dogs aware of your dog.
What To Do When A Dog Lunges
If your dog lunges at another dog, it is likely that the dog has an anxiety and/or fear related to your dog’s recent association with other dogs.
The two dogs have never met, so there has never been a “playdate”.
The dog feels it needs to protect you. This feeling is usually based on one of two things: An avoidance relationship or Predatory behavior towards another dog.
An avoidance relationship implies that you have been involved in a series of previous battles, either physically or with other non-human animal species.
A predatory relationship implies that your dog has been trained by people to be “predatory” (typically by being a hunting dog) and your dog’s goal is to find food on the scent trail of a “predator”.
What To Do When A Dog Barks
When a dog barks at a dog they see on the other side of the fence, it usually indicates they are afraid of the other dog. When dogs have strong, powerful, and sometimes possessive personalities, this fear may be especially strong.
Sometimes, the barking comes out as aggression.
You should contact the owner to help them work through their dog’s fear and aggression issues. They may be able to avoid the situation altogether if they are the dominant dog. They may also need a longer stay if their dogs are a couple of times a day.
If you observe your dog lunging at other dogs, the best thing you can do is make sure the other dog is still on the other side of the fence. A dog’s best defense is to confront the perceived threat.
Getting Over Dog Fear
Dogs are generally very friendly dogs, but they can become very fearful of other dogs when they’re taught to associate a strange dog with being in danger.
Usually, this happens because of a dominant dog snapping at your dog, or because of a dog taking food away from your dog, or some other negative experience.
Your dog might be also frightened by a strange dog coming too close to his play group.
There’s a natural fear and avoidance built into our brains, which is why we avoid things that make us feel threatened or scared.
It’s how you can become afraid of a person or another dog and not want to approach that person or dog again.
When this happens to a dog, the first thing that he will do is try to avoid this dog by staring it down and barking at it.