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Do dogs ever hate you?

Why Does My Dog Hate Other Dogs?

There’s nothing like heading off to the dog park to let your pooch pal around with some new canine buddies. But not all dogs are a fan of making friends with their own kind. Some dogs may be reactive or hide when faced with a new potential canine friend, avoiding other dogs at all costs. This kind of antisocial behavior is especially problematic when adding a new pup to your household.

If your dog seems to hate other dogs, don’t lose hope on your four-legged friend bonding with another pup. Read on to see how to train your pooch to make new furry friends and to be more comfortable around other canines.

When to Socialize Your Dog to Other Dogs

Without proper socialization as a puppy, your dog won’t know how to interact with other dogs, leading to fearful, anxious, or aggressive behavior around them later in life. According to Chandra Vail, dog trainer and AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator in Las Vegas, Nevada, puppies should ideally be socialized from birth by their breeder.

During their first couple of months, dogs learn how to interact with other canines by playing with their siblings and learning from their mom. “Once owners obtain a puppy, they should continue to socialize them around other dogs starting at 8 to 10 weeks of age,” she says. But, she cautions that up-close and personal socialization with other dogs shouldn’t take place until the pup is fully vaccinated.

How to Socialize an Older Dog to Other Dogs

For those dealing with older dogs who didn’t have proper socialization as a puppy, the process could take a bit longer. “Socialization for an older dog should go slow and steady, based on the severity of their fear of other dogs.” One of the ways to do this is to participate in basic dog obedience classes. “Basic obedience classes build up their confidence level and having them around other dogs in a class while focused on learning helps acclimate them to other canines in a positive environment.”

Bulldog laying in the grass looking sideways.

lilu13/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Why Reward-Based Training Yields Positive Results

No matter what your dog’s age or background, positive reinforcement of calm, non-aggressive behavior around other dogs is the key to helping your pup overcome any fear or dislike of other canines. While edible treat rewards provide a good form of positive reinforcement, Vail doesn’t always recommend using them exclusively because this can lead to overfeeding and overweight dogs. “Use behavioral markers like the phrase ‘Good,’ along with lots of love and play as rewards during socialization,” she says. “In addition, dogs who are fearful around other dogs may not want to take a treat but a toy is a good reward for them.”

Where to Socialize Your Dog to Other Dogs

While dog parks can be a good option (if done responsibly) for dogs who are friendly around other dogs, Vail doesn’t recommend them for most dogs. “I’m not a fan of dog parks because I’ve seen too many accidents. You don’t know the status of the other dogs in there, their behavior, or their health history,” she says. Instead, she says that play dates in your yard or in enclosed tennis courts with other dogs who you know won’t behave aggressively around your dog are best.

Another option she endorses are doggy daycare facilities. “All dogs who are in these facilities are usually required to have all of their vaccinations and there are several people around to monitor the dog’s behavior,” she says. “Dog are also typically grouped by size, energy, and personality, ensuring a good experience for your dog.”

How to Introduce a New Dog to Your Household

It’s one thing to get your dog acclimated to the occasional visit from another dog, but it’s quite another if the goal is to get your dog a permanent canine companion. Vail advises that initial introductions be done outside the house. “The home is the current pup’s territory and an outside location like a park or a friend’s yard provides a neutral location,” she advises. “An initial introduction can last up to an hour and you’ll want to take your time.”

Once you’ve brought the dogs home, she says that they shouldn’t go unsupervised together until you know that they are compatible. She also recommends that all the toys and bones go away so that there is a clean playing field in the home for several days or weeks as the dogs get used to each other. This way, the pups won’t engage in resource guarding and fight over ownership of these items.

English Bulldogs dogs puppies meeting outdoors

©Tatiana Katsai —

How to Ensure that Dog Roommates Get Along

Once your dogs are together in the home, regularly reward them with praise, play, and treats for good behavior around each other. “Monitor your dogs around each other and remember that when a dog is first in your home, they are getting used to you and getting used to your dog. It takes at least three months for them to acclimate and get situated,” she says.

Teaching pups to get along takes time and patience. Plus, younger dogs may have more energy than older ones and this can cause discord. You may need to exercise your younger dog more often to calm them down. With time, your dogs should fall into a routine and set their pack status, says Vail.

How AKC Activities Help with Dog Socialization

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class, the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, and activities like agility, tracking, and scent work are great ways for your dog to learn new skills and socialize with other dogs. “The CGC program is what I consider level two of obedience where a dog has to have the basic obedience skill set already. It helps build their skill set a bit more and exposes them to different settings and environments, increasing their confidence level,” says Vail. She has even seen very anti-social and fearful dogs enter her CGC classes and end up with therapy dog certifications down the line.

When to Seek Further Help for Antisocial Dogs

If your pup is showing severe aggression around other dogs within your home or during walks, it’s time to seek the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist, says Vail. “Every case is different and behavior modification can take weeks, months, or years. Sometimes it’s good to seek a professional trainer to get a new set of eyes on the situation.”

10 things you’re doing that are making your dog secretly hate you

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Dogs are one of the best things in the world , but owning them comes with a lot of challenges and a big learning curve. A dog is more than just a pet — they’re a family member whose life you’re responsible for.

And no two dogs are exactly the same. They each have likes, dislikes, and fears just like any of us, and as their human, you’ll have to learn your dog’s preferences to make sure you aren’t doing things they secretly hate.

Of course, not every item on this list will apply to all dogs, and your dog may like or at least be able to deal with these things better than others. But it’s important to be aware of them so you can try to create the best possible life for your pup.

You hug them too tight.

There’s been some debate over whether or not dogs hate being hugged , but the consensus seems to be that, at the very least, they probably don’t love it. When they’re hugged, which is a behavior dogs don’t naturally do with each other, they show signs of stress like becoming tense, pinning their ears back, or moving away from you.

This doesn’t mean you can’t show your dog affection. They’re your best friend, after all. But find ways to show that affection in ways other than a full-blown hug, and pay attention to their body language to make sure the gesture isn’t making them uncomfortable.

You force them to be social.

Although dogs are, by nature, a social pack animal , it doesn’t mean all dogs want to be social all the time. Some develop phobias of men, strangers, or children that can lead to dangerous situations. And a friendly dog won’t necessarily be friendly with all other dogs. They’re still territorial and, just like us, meet people or dogs they simply don’t bond with.

If you notice your dog being aggressive with another on your walks or at the dog park, don’t keep forcing them together expecting them to “warm up” to each other, according to the Mother Nature News Network. Just take your dog home where they can relax.

Their walks are rushed.

Sometimes we’re all rushed and taking an hour-long walk isn’t an option. But for the sake of your dog, it’s important to make time. Not only do they need the daily exercise and routine , but they also need time built in to that walk to smell pretty much everything, according to the Animal Foundation.

Your dog’s sense of smell is heightened , and it’s one of the main ways they take in information about the world. As annoying as it might be, stopping to smell that grass or tree stump is actually an automatic behavior for the dog, and it’s a bad idea to try and train it out of them.

They pick up on your anxiety.

You’ve probably noticed that when you’re upset, your dog reacts to it. Or when you’re running around preparing for a vacation, and you could swear your dog knows you’re leaving. The reality is, they probably do, or at least know that something weird is going on. Dogs can pick up on emotional cues , just like people can, according to Pet MD.

Outside of a particularly stressful event, they can also sense your general anxiety or stress , even when you think it’s imperceptible. Learning to cope with your own anxiety in a better way will benefit you and your dog in the long run.

You don’t play with them enough.

There are some great dog toys you can buy to encourage your dog to play while you’re gone, but that doesn’t make up for quality human/dog playtime. It’s so important in fact, that a study conducted by canine behavior expert Dr. Emily Blackwell showed that dogs who get more playtime are less likely to have behavioral problems like jumping on people, being aggressive, and exhibiting signs of anxiety. Not to mention it’s a great bonding experience for the two of you.

You let people get in their face.

Whether it’s a friend visiting your house or a stranger you encounter on your walk, it’s important to lay some ground rules for those wanting to interact with your dog. Even the friendliest dog can become aggressive if they feel they’re being threatened, and letting people get too close to their face can come across as threatening. It’s one of the most common ways people end up with a dog bite to the face , according to Healthy Pets.

You’re punishing them the wrong ways.

There are right and wrong ways to discipline your dog , and doing so in the wrong ways can cause lasting damage to your relationship, and will likely not even correct the behavior anyway. Hitting the dog, smacking them on the nose, or screaming for the dog to stop are all ways to upset your dog, but not necessarily discipline them.

Try techniques like using a squirt bottle, timeouts, or distracting the dog instead.

You’re leaving them alone for long periods of time.

Most of us would love to spend all day home snuggling our pets. Unfortunately, work and social engagements often pull us away. While it’s totally understandable to leave your dog alone sometimes, leaving them at home alone for extended periods of time can cause behavioral problems.

Separation anxiety is real , and so is your dog’s boredom when they don’t get the exercise and attention they need. And quite frankly, it’s unhealthy for dogs to go more than eight hours without being able to pee, according to National Geographic.

You expose them to loud environments.

Dogs can develop fears from past trauma, or they can be born with them, according to The Humane Society. One of the most common dog fears is loud noises , which can include thunderstorms, fireworks, or any other loud, unfamiliar sound.

Of course, you can’t control when a thunderstorm happens, but you can try to avoid taking them to places where their fears will be amplified and avoid creating those noises yourself.

Your house has scents they hate.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell , which means a lot of smells we barely notice will be very strong to them, according to Animal Wise. Perfumes, ammonia-based cleaning products, vinegar, citrus, and chili peppers are among the smells dogs will do their best to avoid. Using them in your home will create a less than comfortable environment for them.

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