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Common Behavior Problems

Don't Get Along with Other Non-family Dogs

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 for now.

The difficulty in working with these problems is being able to create situations in which your dog can learn how to behave.

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.

Download our free handout on Guidelines For Selecting a “Growl Class" to help you decide if a class you’re considering is well run.

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.

For help customized to your specific issue, schedule a consultation. For further reading purchase“ Feisty Fidos by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D..

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