Even 20-30 years ago, there was a fairly unambiguous discussion of dog cowardice. it is an unforgivable vice. Exceptions were made perhaps for lap dogs, and even then, not always. Modern business, built by people on thoughtless breeding of service breeds, is bearing only the first fruits. and more owners are spending substantial money on the purchase of purebred dogs, and after a few months, it is discovered that the puppy has mental problems.
The difficulty is that problems can be detected even when the dog is an adult. Difficulties arise when training or working in real conditions, tetrapods grow up excitable, poorly control themselves under stress, fight with relatives (in that strength of the opposite sex), can be dangerous to people, etc.
The owner needs to understand that fear of other dogs can have two root causes. True fear of dogs. that is, your pet does not know how to communicate with relatives, or is not sure that it will be able to fend for itself. In this case, the pet is withdrawn, prone to escapes, and remains nervous after a walk. In a severe attack of phobia, the animal falls to the ground, does not move, defecates uncontrollably when another dog tries to approach.
The dog is afraid of the street is a completely different problem that only reinforces the fear of other dogs. The reason is the low level of socialization, that is, the four-legged cannot comfortably coexist with the outside world. He is frightened by cars, animals, people, sounds, changing weather, etc. Pets suffering from such a phobia cannot be fully walked and trained. As soon as the dog goes to the toilet, it pulls the leash towards the house. Any stimulus only increases the panic attack. A dog with such a phobia is a “time bomb” that will become a danger to strangers and especially children.
A dog is afraid of other dogs: causes and methods of eliminating a phobia
Finding that your dog is afraid of other dogs is unlikely to hold you back from disappointment. You wanted to raise a bold companion, protector and guardian. It happens that dogs show cowardice, being afraid of even small relatives. Can you help your pet overcome fear and how to do it? Let’s figure it out below.
Causes of fear
Chances are, you don’t understand how to teach your dog not to be afraid of other dogs. over, there is a high probability that you are encouraging cowardice in the dog, but we will deal with that below. Before deciding what to do with a phobia, you need to determine its causes.
Insufficient level of socialization acquired in puppyhood is the first and most popular reason. Numerous studies, observations and rich experience of owners have shown that if a puppy of 4-6 months has not received active walks and is unfamiliar with the outside world (except for the home), phobias cannot be avoided. The only question is what exactly the dog will be afraid of.
A dog can be afraid of literally everything, phobias in front of vehicles, people, and other animals are especially dangerous. The threat of escape of the ward increases to a critical level. Experience shows that an unsocialized dog ends up being lost on the street and there is practically no chance of finding it (alive).
Important! If your pet is afraid of other dogs barking or their presence, walk the four only on a leash. If you ignore this rule, the escape and, possibly, the irrecoverable loss of the ward is a matter of time.
The low level of socialization can be explained by the early weaning of the puppy from the mother. The baby should be with the mother until 2-3 months of age. During this time, the puppy will learn to communicate with brothers and sisters, go through the first educational school from his mother, learn to understand what role a person plays in his life.
Puppies, artificially fed, participate in the basics of human communication. Here, the breadwinner needs not to miss important stages in the development of the dog’s personality and support them. The kid must learn to play, win and be defeated; must learn to compete for food, naturally, upon reaching a more or less reasonable age.
Mental trauma experienced by an adult dog in the past is the second most common cause of phobias in front of dogs. Most often, this problem is faced by people who pick up a pet on the street or take it from a shelter. After moving to a new home, the dog will need time to recover and what this gap will be, no one knows. In the process of adaptation, the four-legged can show cowardice to everyone, even to the owner.
Much less often, fear of other dogs can be attributed to heredity. By nature, canines are very sociable and if they are already afraid of someone, they avoid contact. Faced with a frightening object, the four-legged defends itself, and if the opponent is too strong, it runs away.
Genetic predisposition can be assumed but not guaranteed. Usually, puppies show cowardice at a very early age, at 4-8 weeks of age. The kid does not play with his brothers, is afraid of noise, most often lags behind in growth, because he does not dare to compete for food. In this situation, another reason is possible. a fright experienced at an early age. Whether the consequences of fear will manifest when the dog grows up, no one will say.
It’s time to talk about a very common mistake that leads to cowardice of the ward, including raising a cowardly puppy. Many owners encourage phobias in their pets without realizing it.
Important! When the four-legged is frightened, you should not soothe or pet him. Any positive impact in response to a panic attack is praise. The pet quickly learns that this behavior is normal and you are happy with it. Once this habit takes root, it is very difficult to beat it.
No matter how strange it may sound, in order to disaccustom a dog to be afraid, it is necessary to stop calming, pitying and protecting it (if we are not talking about the threat of physical injury). A frightened pet needs to be distracted; different stimuli will be optimal for different dogs:
- Executing multiple commands.
- A game.
- Squeaky toy.
Your task is to switch the attention of the ward from the source of fear to something else. By the way, try to avoid situations in which other dogs are intimidated. Your ward is able to learn from other people’s experience and he may become afraid, for example, of cars, if he sees another dog scared.
How to beat fear?
The most difficult case for correction is a complex of lack of socialization (the puppy did not walk with other dogs) and early weaning from the mother. With a phobia based on these factors, the dog will behave cowardly, and if it is on a leash, it will behave aggressively. It is almost impossible to cope with this degree of fear without the help of professionals or experienced dog breeders. The minimum program is:
- Getting used to dogs in a muzzle or a spacious cage. Work partners must have excellent skills and obedience.
- Short-term joint walks. Walking time should be increased from 5 to 10 minutes, and so on.
- Careful introduction of playful moments with a group of dogs, while it is important that no one grapples with the problematic four-legged, competing for a toy.
- A huge supply of patience from the owner, since the correction method is based on the rise in price, and a cowardly dog is afraid to try something new.
Important! In the early stages and in flexible dogs, the problem of lack of socialization is solved by walking with 1-2 well trained dogs.
A few more tips that concern more owners than dogs:
- Do what you want, but train yourself not to react to the dog’s fright. Even if the pet got up in a stupor, continue to do what you did. Do not wait, do not sympathize, do not regret, do not get annoyed even in thoughts, your pet perfectly reads your emotions!
- Always carry your favorite pet toy with you and use it as soon as you spot another dog. Sooner or later, your ward will continue to play, even when another dog approaches. this is a reason for your emotions and praise.
- Do general training until the ward knows all the basic commands, he is in danger. In a panic attack, the dog may flee. Basic commands are a great distraction method, and you can also give your dog a treat for following the command, rather than rewarding the scare.
Important! If the dog shows aggression towards people, frightened by another dog, do not hesitate to contact the dog handler!
Facts and statistics
Dogs have lived next to humans for centuries. Four-legged and two-legged have adapted to live side by side, not in conflict, but in cooperation. For hundreds of years, during which cynology has existed as a science, dogs have been under constant observation and study. The experience of the owners, trainers and statistics allowed us to draw quite definite conclusions about the behavior of our wards:
- than 80% of dogs that growl or show aggression towards humans have bitten the owner or family member at least once. This fact does not imply only deliberate actions, that is, statistics are compiled on facts. bites.
- Among people injured by domestic dogs, more than 60% of those injured are owners or family members of the owner.
- Of these 60% of the family members bitten, more than 70% are small children and the elderly.
- When children are attacked, due to their small stature, more than 40% of bites and abrasions occur on the soft tissues of the face.
- If we take the statistics of bites, then more than 60% of bites were inflicted by domestic or “former” domestic dogs, that is, animals raised by humans.
Interesting, isn’t it? This “scary” statistic scares many, but the dog does not suddenly start biting! Always, absolutely always, there are clear prerequisites for the dog’s aggression, which include growling towards people. The causes of aggression are very versatile and can range from anxiety to the belief that dogs rule the world. The development of anger happens very gradually and, fortunately, at each stage, the behavior and motivation of the dog can be adjusted.
No one has the right to condemn an owner who missed warning signals, since no reasonable person wants to be bitten. Inexperienced owners pay tribute to the maintenance of order in the house. Experienced dog breeders are engaged in the education of the pet’s personality. It is possible to miss important signals (if the owner has not encountered them before) in both cases.
Important! A dog that growls at the owner will sooner or later bite, the question is who and when.
Growling at the owner can be attributed to three global reasons:
- Poor quality, ill-conceived breeding.
- Violation of the norms of keeping a dog, especially at an early age. unconscious encouragement of aggression, lack of socialization, obsessive attention from children or guests.
- Poor parenting. frequent punishment, violence.
Aggression in any of its manifestations, like attachment, is emotion. Of course, feelings also have reasons, because the brain only sends signals that are really relevant. However, understanding how the nervous system works does not make it easier to understand emotions and feelings. When correcting a dog’s behavior, you can rely only on intuition. There are also statistically tested schemes, but each of them is adjusted depending on the temperament of the dog.
Note! There are practically no pure types of aggression, that is, the dog has reasons to growl and a trigger to bite.
The dog growls at the owner: reasons, facts, statistics
An experienced owner will confirm that any situation in which the dog growls at the owner is not normal. An exception, perhaps, is severe pain that unbalances the pet. What if your person starts to growl at you or your family members? Is it necessary to fight against the dog’s bad habits and what can they lead to? Let’s figure it out in more detail.
Preconditions and types of aggressive behavior of dogs
If the dog begins to growl at the owner for no apparent reason, this is the middle stage of the manifestation of aggression, that is, the beginnings of the development of incorrect behavior have already been missed. Again, aggression of any stage and degree can be adjusted. Success and results depend on the owner’s willingness to invest time, patience and (sometimes) money.
If you are planning to purchase a puppy and want to recognize the warning signs in advance, there are a number of points worth paying attention to. Before the pet begins to bite, he will persistently threaten, this will manifest itself in behavior, gestures, manners, stance, chains of related actions. Below are a few examples that indicate a clear warning of developing aggression.
Dominant (hierarchical) aggression. the dog jumps into your arms and tries to sit on top (touches the owner and all family members). this gesture indicates the primacy of the pet. In a pack of dogs, only the senior in rank can “crush” the younger. over, if a dog tries to climb on you, he not only feels like a leader, but also does not believe that you can become a leader, even hypothetically.
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Ignoring this behavior is always deplorable, a little convinced of its correctness, the dog bites and even rushes at the owner at the slightest disapproval. Below are some more notable examples of dominance:
- The dog goes to sleep in your bed and refuses to leave on command. choosing the best sleeping place is the right of the leader. Even young and kind-looking dogs often growl, hide their heads and grin when the owner tries to take his bed. this is a very alarming signal.
- Failure to follow commands that the dog has already learned. We are not talking about puppies, which tend to flirt and not hear the owner. Flamboyant disregard for an order is a demonstration of a leadership position. Simply put, a pet shows that you are a bad leader and not worthy of obedience. With this behavior, the most fatal mistakes are screaming and annoyance. The leader dog will only strengthen in the awareness of his righteousness if you respond with imbalance.
- A trained dog categorically does not follow the command “Lie down”. In the canine world, to lie in front of someone means to express humility and submission. Ignoring the order, this is a vivid demonstration of lack of control, the dog is confident that you do not need to listen and will not be forced to obey.
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Intraspecific aggression. in other words, a dog does not like dogs. As far as the owner is concerned, the threat is not the pet’s control and the risk of diverted aggression. For example, a pet is angry with a relative, you pull the leash, and the flow of anger switches in your direction (the nearest irritant).
Sexual aggression (including the aggression of a dog towards other males). almost every dog owner faces this problem. Even at puppyhood, the pet competes for attention, toy, territory with same-sex relatives. The threat is the same, the dog can redirect its anger at any time. It is especially dangerous if the dog growls at you in response to the bickering of incorrect behavior. The solution is in painstaking education and castration if the dog does not represent breeding value.
Maternal aggression (including aggression of a bitch towards other bitches). growls towards same-sex dogs and, as a result, fights between two bitches happen much less often than in males. The bitch’s aggression after childbirth is more tangible and dangerous. The instinct to protect the offspring is more than natural, but it is categorically impossible to encourage the pet, and even more so to pity her for “mixed feelings”!
If the dog grins and growls when you get close to the cheeks, either step back or isolate the dog in another room (if you really need to go to the nest). Usually, within 3-5 days, vivid maternal aggression towards the owner disappears, provided that you do not encourage inappropriate behavior.
Territorial aggression is an anomalous instinct within a reasonable framework. The danger of this type in combinations, for example, if the dog does not consider you a leader (dominant behavior), then without a twinge of conscience it will guard the home from you.
Food aggression. the puppy bites your hands when you give him a treat (provided that you give it correctly). The dog growls when you stroke it while eating. A grown-up or adult pet growls, grins or freezes while eating, if you walk by or pull your hand towards the bowl.
Aggression between dogs that live in the same house (a combination of intraspecific and territorial aggression) is a behavioral problem that can lead to fights and a switch of aggression to the owner. By the way, if a pet competes for attention with your child or pushes the child away to approach you, it is a direct signal that the four-legged one considers family members to be of lower rank. That is, you are the leader, the dog is the right hand, the child and the rest are roommates. Such behavior should be strictly suppressed as early as possible.
Gambling (gambling) aggression is not at all a harmless type of behavior. It all starts with the fact that the puppy growls at the owner during the game and learns that this behavior is the norm. Growing up a little, the baby begins to bite the owner’s hands, this is still perceived positively. Is it easy to guess what will happen next? Already an adult dog will take the habit of snarling at the owner and grabbing his hands. Another play type is associated with the fact that the pet is fond of the game and accidentally aggressively towards the owner. It is a matter of restraint and self-control, which are developed in the same way as other skills.
Hunting (prey) aggression is a type similar to the game one, but associated with hunting skills. When a dog loves to track down prey and chase (including cats), and the owner tries to interfere with it, a roar is a warning. This behavior is fundamentally incorrect, since in most hunting breeds, for centuries, good-naturedness towards humans has been laid.
Defensive aggression (self-defense). there is a rule: when you scold a dog, pursue its interests. Many owners make a lot of mistakes, not realizing that training, training and socialization of the dog is carried out for its own comfort and safety. Execution of commands has nothing to do with the convenience of the owner, although it is connected with it. A pet that obeys the owner, does not run away, does not fall under a car, does not fight with another dog. this is the main thing.!
The prerequisites for aggression are expressed by fear and the desire to hide. Faced with shyness and cowardice means that the pet has lost confidence in you, which is very bad. A dog that cannot trust the owner is under constant stress. The pursuit of safety is a basic instinct that, if ignored, cannot be avoided. The problem is fixable, but trust must be earned, and this takes time and, most often, a lot of time.
Defensive aggression. has every reason if the dog is really in danger, including from the owner. You may not be aware that you are threatening the dog with your voice, gestures, overly active behavior, etc. An elementary example: you come home from a corporate home in a state of light intoxication. From the point of view of the dog, you smell differently, behave differently, speak with a different tone of voice. have you replaced you? Will you harm? This type is the most difficult to define, as the worldview of each dog is different, as well as its fears.
Acquired aggression is the cumulative and most common reason a dog growls at its owner. It is always based on dominant aggression, supported by one or more educational mistakes.
Aggressive irritation. When an adult dog growls at an owner or family member, this may indicate an excess of attention. Like all living things, our pets need peace and relaxation. If the ward is in constant stress, for example, a child constantly walks after her, the dog begins to get irritated on an instinctive level. In such a situation, it rarely comes to bites, but the dog can growl and grin.
Unexpected aggression is typical of guard dogs. A simple example: a dog is sleeping, the owner quietly approaches it and makes a noise. The pet wakes up, being not quite conscious, does not recognize the owner, growls, barks or even attacks. In order to avoid such excesses, you need to remember that when an animal is in the deep sleep stage, it does not see or hear, but at any moment they will jump on their paws and defend themselves. When the pet is asleep, it hears footsteps and smells, so unexpected aggression is unlikely.
It is logically understood that it is quite possible to wean a dog to growl at the owner, but for this, you need to know the reason for the incorrect behavior. If you are able to correct your mistakes and eliminate irritants on your own. take action! In case of aggravation of the situation, misunderstanding of some aspects of upbringing, excessive aggression or other difficult problems. contact a specialist dog handler for advice.