Why Doesn't My Dog Like Other Dogs?
Some dogs get along famously with their fellow canines, while others have a much harder time in the social department. If your dog is one of the latter, knowing the specific cause behind his woes might help you better manage the problem.
Lack of Socialization
If your dog seems to respond negatively to other canines, it often is more of an indication of apprehension rather than actually disliking them. This often stems from lack of socialization at a young age. If your doggie simply never got the opportunity to interact with other pets while he was still a puppy, there's a good chance that he's just not used to them -- and perhaps even pretty scared of them, too. This also occurs in dogs who haven't been around fellow animals for a long time.
If your poor pooch suffered a bad experience in the past with another dog, it could explain his issues with them in general. If your pet ever experienced bullying from a specific dog, it could cause him to think of all dogs in general in an unhappy way, even if they have the sweetest dispositions ever.
Feelings of rivalry also can bring a dog to seemingly not like others. If you just adopted a couple of rescue dogs and your older resident pooch doesn't seem to appreciate it one bit, it could be because the senior pet feels that is his status in your home is now threatened by the new additions. Dogs can be territorial and don't always respond well to others coming onto what they believe is their own space. The introduction of new animals in these situations can lead to problems including resource guarding. If your dog is constantly in fear that another dog is about to snatch away his food or toys, he just might growl every time he spots the newbie coming closer. Never allow dogs in these situations to be together unattended. Always be smart, safe and take things slowly.
Don't always assume that your dog just "doesn't like" other animals. Some dogs are naturally especially meek and nervous in temperament, just like some people are.
Health conditions can sometimes cause dogs to behave fiercely, which often gives off the impression of "not liking" others. Aggression is sometimes an indication of hypothyroidism in canines, for one example. If you are concerned that your dog's behavior around other dogs might be a symptom of an illness, take him in for a veterinarian appointment. Fierce behavior also frequently signifies physical discomfort. Your precious pet might not dislike other dogs but instead dislike how he's feeling
Fighting between animals is no joke and can sometimes lead to dangerous consequences. If your dog behaves aggressively around others, it's time to recruit the help of a professional pet behavior specialist. Keep aggressive animals away from children or other pets.
The Humane Society of the United States: Introducing Your Dog to Other Pets
Animal Humane Society: Socializing the Adult Dog
Animal Humane Society: Reasons for Aggression in Dogs
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Fear of Other Animals
Partnership for Animal Welfare: Help for the Shy and Fearful Dog
Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Indoor Pet Initiative: Introducing a New Dog to Your Current Dog
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Aggression In Dogs
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.