How to get your dog to play well with others

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 02:10:31 PM America/Los_Angeles

Dog socialization skills can be compared to potty training. Evidently, a dog has its animal instincts which makes it get aggressive to other dogs. Fortunately, a dog can be trained to get along with others hence enhancing a peaceful coexistence. Notably, there are different ways to which you can improve the socialization skills of your dog to reduce its aggressive nature. It is important to note that playful aggression is still considered to be aggression.

puppies playing

By unbrokenworld via Shutterstock


What stimulates the aggression behavior in the dog?

 The following things can stimulate an aggressive reaction from your dog

  • When the dog hears another dog barking behind the fence
  • On seeing a pack of dogs walking freely on the runway.
  • When another dog on or without a leash walks towards your dog
  • When there is a dog on heat and is followed by male dogs
  • A dog running towards you; the dog reacts to be protective of you as the owner.
  • When there is competition at home for resources such as affection, toys, and food
  • A female dog may snap and growl at a male; this is not considered as an act of aggression

The aggression behavior might end up injuring your dog or even the opponent. Notably, you might also get injured in the process. As such, it becomes hard for two or more dogs to share amenities.

Easy methods to control dog to dog aggression 

Basic Obedience

Basic obedience deals with the dog’s response to your commands. You should teach your dog to sit, heel or stop whenever you issue the command. Moreover, you should also teach it to lie down for a given period as per your wish. Basic obedience helps to control impulses such as the aggressive behavior towards other dogs. 

Fortunately, you can anticipate aggressive behavior before it occurs. For example, when another dog approaches, you can command your dog to ‘stay calm” until the other dog has passed. This method only works if the other dog does not challenge your dog to a fight. 


Flooding is a technique in which the dog is taught to deal with its fears. In this case, you are teaching the dog to stay calm even when around other dogs. After the dog grasps the concept that it can be safe around other dogs, it becomes less sensitive whenever in the company of other canines.

The method works by bringing less aggressive dogs to a neutral area where they meet and mingle. You should put your dog on a leash and muzzle should it try to fight for dominance. This method is stressing to the dog at the start, but it eventually learns to get along with its mates. 

Classical conditioning

When your dog faces a situation that makes it feel aggressive, such as being approached by another dog, you give it treats as soon as the aggressive behavior starts to show up. In this case, you look for different treats from what you have been giving the dog in other training sessions. With time, the dog associates the approaching of another dog with something good like a treat.

In the same time, you can make the dog less nervous by talking to him or her while you give the treats. Dog trainers recommend that you do not use a slip collar when using this technique to handle your dog.  The dog takes some time to learn from this method, but the results are long-lasting.

Notably, you need to give your dog these treats every day so that he or she learns to associate the behavior with something positive. You can have a friend assist you by bringing their dog in the vicinity of your dog on a regular basis. When your friend’s dog approaches, control your dog and give it treats. This increases the speed at which the dog learns the new behavior.


This is not a lasting method to deal with the issue of aggression. However, it may help you deal with the problem of aggression especially when taking the dog for a walk. Whenever you come across another dog especially when walking around with your dog, you remove your dog from that zone where he or she feels threatened.

If it is not possible to walk the dog out of the zone, you can stand in front of the dog so that you can block its view hence it will not notice the other dog in the vicinity. This prevents your dog from challenging the other dog.   

Puppy classes can forestall the behavior when the dog matures

One of the major reasons why some dogs are aggressive is lack of mingling with other dogs at their young age. Therefore, they are unable to communicate or decode the communication signals from other dogs. As such, when a strange dog appears, the dog gets on its defense tactics.

Puppy classes can help dogs learn to get along with their mates. At this period, they can learn the dog communication signals which makes them confident when around other puppies. Therefore, when the dog gets older, it will not fear to be in the company of other dogs. 

Use your mood

You can also influence the mood of your dog through your mood. Instead of scolding the dog when its aggressive behavior is triggered, you can giggle or laugh the dog out of the behavior. The dog learns to be happy while around other dogs.

If your dog keeps fighting another dog in the compound, and the above methods fail to work, you may be forced to find a new home for one of the dogs or seek professional training for the aggressive dog.