Dog Versus Dog
It can be a nightmare if you own a dog which does not take kindly to other dogs just going for your normal walk can prove to be a very tense and problematic event. You cannot relax and you are always trying to plan routes where you will not bump into other dogs.
Dogs can display aggression towards other dogs for a variety of reasons. They might have encountered a particularly nasty dog themselves as a puppy or even as an adult dog and this experience has now immediately put them on their defence when a strange dog approaches them. The reaction they display is born from fear. They are afraid that they will be hurt again and so their natural reaction is to protect themselves.
Some dogs are especially protective over their owners and feel the need to protect them all the time. This is generally true if you are a female with a male dog they seem to bond in a very protective manner towards their female owner.
It could simply be a case of the dog not understanding how to react towards other dogs just because it is inexperienced with the world of canine body language, perhaps it was not socialized much during its puppyhood and now as an adult dog does not really know what to do. Dogs communicate so much to one another with their bodies and their stance and a dog could quite innocently be portraying the wrong message to another dog without even realizing it.
Many dogs show aggression when they feel restrained and threatened, this feeling is at its height when a dog is on the lead. The dog will receive mixed feelings in this situation, it is feeling restrained and ‘trapped’ as it cannot ‘escape’ so it feels vulnerable. It will be standing close to the owner and this then places it immediately into a protective position and it simply cannot display any of its normal body language if it is on a lead. If you notice a dog approaching and it is safe to do so let your dog off the lead.
The most important lesson to gain from this is to socialize your puppy as much as you can or if you have an adult dog which you have not had from puppyhood then do your best to ensure that he/she spends as much time as possible around other dogs.
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