Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Pets Feed
A person dreaming of a dog imagines a brave pet who is not afraid of anything and at any moment can rush to protect his master. Actually, some four-legged, even small ones, behave this way – they feel confident in the company of strangers, both people and dogs. But often the pet’s behavior is perplexing, especially if it shies away from its fellows, experiencing not just fear, but real horror. Why is a dog afraid of other dogs? the reasons may vary. After all, animals, like people, can suffer from all sorts of phobias. In this case, it is important to find out what triggered such a reaction and try to help your pet overcome fear.
Dog fear issues
Long ago, dog cowardice was considered an unforgivable, serious vice. The exceptions were dogs of some decorative breeds, but not all. Unfortunately, the situation is aggravated by the fact that dog breeding is now a business.
Many breeders, in pursuit of profit, turn a blind eye to some of the flaws of the individuals involved in breeding. As a result, people spend a lot of money on purchasing a purebred service dog, and after a couple of months they notice that their pet has mental disabilities.
Do not forget about one nuance – some violations appear only when the pet grows up. In this case, training turns out to be problematic, and during work, the owner is faced with the fact that the dog cannot control itself, is easily excited, comes into conflict with other dogs, or is afraid of them in panic.
Experts identify two reasons for the fear of dogs before their own kind. Either the dog is not socialized properly and simply does not know how to behave with other dogs, or he is not confident in his own strengths and feels that in the event of a fight he will not be able to defend himself.
In such a case, the dog is uncommunicative, has a tendency to escapes, and is irritable after a walk. With an intense episode of phobia, he begins to fall to the ground and lie motionless, defecating uncontrollably when another dog approaches him.
Fear of the street is another problem, which is further reinforced if the pet has fear of other animals. The reason for the fear is insufficient socialization, that is, the four-legged has not been taught how to behave in the outside world, to react correctly to people, vehicles, and other animals. He is frightened by everything that he does not understand, walks become torture for both the dog and the owner. Usually, the dog immediately, as he does his business, runs away to the house or pulls the owner there.
Dogs with such an unstable psyche are not confident in themselves, they can incorrectly evaluate any sound or action of passers-by. Therefore, in some cases, dogs become dangerous to others, since it is almost impossible to predict their reaction.
Why is a dog afraid of its own kind?
Most dog owners are not very familiar with canine psychology. Not only do they not know how to help their dog overcome their own fear, they also involuntarily aggravate the condition of the four-legged friend by encouraging such behavior.
To solve the problem, experts recommend finding out what triggered the development of the phobia.
Lack of socialization
This is the most common flaw, the culprit of which is the owner himself. Experienced dog handlers and breeders confirm that if a puppy before 5-6 months of age did not go out for walks outside his yard or apartment, did not visit public places and did not get to know other people and animals, then in most cases he develops some phobia.
But in this case, it is not necessary that the condition will manifest itself precisely in the form of fear of other dogs. The pet may be afraid of cars, people, animals, and extraneous sounds. The risks of escaping from non-socialized pets are significantly higher. Sooner or later, such a dog ends up on the street and is not able to return home on its own. It is worth protecting the shy pet and taking him for walks exclusively on a leash. If you do not adhere to this rule, you can permanently lose your dog.
Low socialization can also be caused by the puppy being weaned from the bitch too early. It is desirable that the offspring stay with the mother for up to 2-3 months. During this period, the kids manage to get the first knowledge about the world around them, they learn to interact with their mother and brothers, she also gives important educational lessons. In addition, looking at the behavior of a bitch, puppies begin to understand what a person means to a dog, what place he occupies in her life.
Artificial puppies are deprived of this school, they adopt the first skills from people. And the person feeding the baby should not miss the moment, it is important to develop the personality of the pet and support it:
- The puppy must learn to play, both to win and to lose;
- He needs to be able to compete for food.
The second common cause of phobias in animals. A similar phenomenon is often faced by owners who take an adult pet from a zoo or from the street. As soon as the dog is in a new home, he goes through an adaptation period, and how long it will take to recover is unknown. During adaptation, the dog can be intimidated by everything, even the owner.
Quite a rare reason that affects the appearance of a pet’s fear of dogs. By their nature, dogs are sociable, and if they are afraid of someone, they will try to avoid contact. When the dog comes face to face with a frightening object, it can take a defensive position, and if the opponent wins in size and power, then run away.
Genetic bias can be assumed, but not guaranteed. Usually, puppies show signs of cowardice as early as 4-8 weeks of age. Such babies avoid playing with brothers and sisters, are afraid of noise, and grow somewhat slower than others, since they do not compete for food.
Fear experienced as a puppy
It is impossible to predict whether the fear experienced by the puppy will backfire. The cause of severe stress is often a visit to a veterinary clinic, careless handling, inappropriate behavior of a bitch, etc.
Proper owner behavior
As already mentioned, ignorance of the owner can provoke the development of cowardice in a pet. What mistakes should be avoided so that the puppy does not grow shy? First of all, when the dog is scared, you cannot calm him down and feel sorry for him. Of course, this is a very common human reaction to such a situation.
The dog sees it as an encouragement of cowardly behavior. There was a panic attack, which means that caress and treats will follow. The pet catches one thing – his fear is a normal state, and the owner is happy with this behavior.
Over time, this habit takes root, and it can be extremely difficult to get rid of the dog. To wean him from being afraid, the owner should change his attitude towards such situations. It is important to understand that by pitying and protecting the dog, it is being rendered a “disservice”. Of course, we are not talking about threats of physical injury to the animal.
A frightened dog should be distracted, and for this in the arsenal of any dog breeder there are several ways:
- You can give your pet a few simple commands that do not cause difficulties for him;
- Offer to play or give him a favorite toy.
The owner should behave calmly, as if nothing had happened, and try to shift the animal’s attention away from the fearful object to something more pleasant. In addition, dogs can adopt the habits of other four-legged dogs. For example, if his companion in games is afraid of transport, he may also become afraid of it.
To victory over fear!
Poorly socialized dogs that have not been in public places or were weaned from the bitch early are the worst corrections. If these factors are present, the pet will be cowardly during the walk, but, being on a leash, he is able to show aggression. In this case, it is best to resort to the help of professional dog handlers, since it is almost impossible to cope with the situation on your own, but it is very easy to aggravate the condition with awkward attempts.
The correction includes the following:
- The dog develops addiction to other dogs by putting on a muzzle or placing it in a spacious cage;
- Offer to take a 5-minute walk in the company of brothers, gradually the time increases;
- Accurate introduction of multi-dog play, while avoiding toy conflicts.
The owner should be patient – the four-legged coward will gradually get used to everything new. If the owner turned to a dog handler at the first sign of a phobia in a pet, it may take just a few walks with well-trained dogs for full socialization.
You can also listen to the advice of experts:
- The owner must accustom himself not to lose his composure when the dog is afraid – it is advisable to continue his business without reacting to the situation;
- For a walk, you should take the dog’s favorite toy and use it when other four-legged animals appear;
- You should not stop training your pet – without knowing the basic commands, it has more chances to get into an unpleasant and dangerous situation.
Fear is a natural feeling that occurs not only in humans, but also in animals. It is important for the self-preservation of the individual. But sometimes it manifests itself as a phobia, for no apparent reason. The pet should not be afraid of other dogs, and for this the owner will have to make an effort.