Do you feel your dog is insecure in the presence of other dogs? Being naturally social beings, dogs tend to be drawn to other dogs.
Perhaps you have spotted your dog avoiding playing with other dogs, frequently hiding behind you when walking, whining, and licking its lips exaggeratedly.
You are right. You have a dog scared of other dogs.
Some dogs are more fearful than others. Fear among dogs is not predominantly genetically motivated or a result of behavior. It weighs more on the limited interaction with other dogs. This encourages unfamiliarity during the approach. It emboldens submissiveness in your dog, and the likelihood of it cowering before a more dominant dog is very high.
Reasons Why Your Dog is Scared of Other Dogs
1. Poor Socialization
Once weaned from their mother, puppies should interact with their littermates.
Unsocialized dogs become fearful and avoidant. Socialized dogs are comfortable meeting and hanging around people and other dogs and are confident in their presence.
A common trait of unsocialized dogs is their unease with strangers.
2. Hereditary Traits
Dogs are subject to genetics, just like human beings.
Puppies born to shy mother dogs have a higher probability of following the same character. This will likely cause a dog to become scared of other dogs too.
Dogs that grew under dominant mother dogs always have the dominant trait imprinted on them.
Hierarchical rankings exist in the animal kingdom.
In the litter, puppies which rank low in the pecking order are likely to be subservient to the dominant males in the hierarchy.
This submissiveness clinches to the dog, and it retains this behavior to its adulthood.
4. Traumatic Experiences
Dogs that are victims of bullying by other dogs are likely to be insecure in the presence of other dogs.
A dog scared of other dogs automatically feels timid when they encounter intimidating dogs.
Can My Dog Regain Confidence?
There is always hope that your dog can regain confidence.
Generally, instilling confidence in a dog involves enrichment activities and relationship-based training.
Here are some key takeaway tips to help you out:
1. Move your dog from the comfort zone
Persuade your dog to move out of its comfort zone. Make sure when you meet other dogs, be happy around them! This helps build a positive attitude in your dog.
Another way is to treat your dog to its favorite meal as you take its walks around the neighborhood. Make sure you lure it to walk by using the treats. This helps expose the dog to new environments away from your house and kennel.
2. Be Adventurous with Your Dog
Make sure you normalize making scary expeditions with your dog.
Take trips to forests, mountains, and rivers. This may instill a “not afraid” instinct in your dog.
Final Take Away
All is not lost in case you own a shy dog.
When you have a dog scared of other dogs, it needs patient guidance to develop a more confident, dominant, and adventurous life.