(Closed) Dog won’t play well with others

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I can’t offer advice, but my dog doesn’t like other dogs and certain people. She’s a great dane and incredibly strong so if we see another dog while we are out walking we pretty much just run in the other direction. I’m sure that doesn’t help. She just gets too stressed out with other dogs. She’s actually put her paw through the window of our car when she saw a dog on the street (no harm to her paw, just the car) the interior of our car is scratched up on the back seat from her when she sees other dogs.

She sounds like a monster but she is the biggest cuddle bug. I know she just is a bit of a scardy cat. It’s not like she hasn’t seen other animals before. She was our second dog, we had a Daniff boy who passed away in October suddenly who was her best friend. Plus we used to live in a rural vet clinic (FI is a Vet).

I think some dogs are a bit anxious around other dogs – like some people are around other people.

I’ll keep an eye on this thread for anything that may help  us too!!


Post # 4
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

This is why socialization at a young age is soooo important.  A town full of strangers is a great place to socialize him…take him to the pet store, take him on walks, take him to the park, sign-up for obedience classes.  Plus, people are attracted to dogs, especially little, cute ones, so it’s a great way to meet people and make friends for yourself.

However, in this case, the damage has already been done. At this point, a regular obedience class might be overwhelming for him.  You don’t want to put him in a situation where his fear is so strong it causes him to bite, (and that’s what aggression is the majority of the time: fear.  Confident dogs don’t need to be aggressive).  If you can find a small class, or private class, that would be ideal.  It would be helpful if you can find a trainer who has experience with socializing adult dogs who have shown a dislike for kids, other dogs, other animals, and men.  Until you find a trainer, put him on NILIF to start helping him gain confidence and find his place in your “pack” (http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm).  It’s an easy and free training program.  Again, this is just to help you get started, not a replacement for professional help.

Also, I would prepare yourself for the fact that a second dog may not be possible for many more years.  Great Danes especially…they are huge dogs, he isn’t.  Although they are gentle giants, having a dog so much larger than him may make him more uncomfortable.  

Post # 5
2616 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Well, with some dogs, they’re just not going to be comfortable with strangers, ever. And that’s kind of who they are and how they roll. It’s actually better for you both that you KNOW this and will be able to implement measures to prevent uncomfortable contact. My dog is a bit more tentative on the leash, so we keep her on a short leash and walk her at a decent clip so that she doesn’t really have time to stop and worry about the other people and animals passing by. We also have baby gates at home so that we can block off a portion of the house for her to be in when people come by. Another thing that can help is crate-training because if you do it right, the crate will be a secure, safe haven that the dog can retreat to if you have people over and the dog gets too anxious. 

My dog also doesn’t like children (she was abused by one), and this is much harder to deal with in the sense that it’s sort of hard behavior to train out of the dog–do you know a couple with a small child they’ll donate to the cause? Riiiight. And its’ hard because kids behave unpredictably and this is destabilizing to the dog. Personally, I think that the only option right now is to avoid kids because if something goes wrong, the kid gets hurt, you get sued, and the dog might get put down. Not a good situation for anyone. 

You can work on desensitizing the dog a little. We started walking ours next to the local schools when they’re on recess, just trying to teach her to ignore the kids (ignoring is a perfectly acceptable behavior) and keep walking. You can try the Victoria Stillwell method and have the dog sit there and watch while you feed it treats, but I’ve never been able to mimic how she does it myself. We also have a gate for our house and have brainstormed getting some older kids to come by and just toss our dogs treats from the other side intermittently while they play tag or something, but haven’t actually done it yet.

Our trainer is optimistic about us having a child with the dog because the child will grow up slowly with the dog and isn’t going to do a lot of moving all at once, plus the fact that dogs usually pick up on the fact that YOU, the parents, are very serious about the baby. Once your baby arrives, the most important rule–for your dog as for ANY dog–is NEVER leave baby and dog alone unattended.  

Finally, what will go a long way is basic training–making sure the dog comes to you when you call it and understands commands like “drop it” and “leave it.” 

Post # 7
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Hm – is bringing him to a trainer/doggy behaviorist an option? Sounds like he mightve had a rough past before you lovingly took him in as your own (yay!! adoption is the greatest) and may just need a little bit of doggy therapy. A friend of ours had a puppy that had some issues and he took her to therapy to try and help her feel a little more confident and good about herself and being around other people. Sounds weird but doggies are smart and they have emotions and emotional scars just like humans. Perhaps a therapist or behaviorist could help with the emotional side while also trying to ease him into an environment with other dogs and humans in a way that makes him feel safe and comfortable.

Post # 8
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It will be harder to socialize him now, but it can be done with a lot of work and focus on your part.

When you say he “doesn’t like them”, how does he react? Is he indifferent? Does he growl/bark/snap?

If he reacts negatively (growl/bark/snap), look into Karen Pryor’s “Click to Calm” method. I used it on my unsocialized dog and it worked wonders. It took WORK (months of thinking it wasn’t helping, but I kept at it and then it was like a lightbulb came on in my dog’s head one day!)

I also agree with Miss Apricot on the NILIF training.

Post # 10
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

This is off-topic, but is he named for Dwight’s cousin on The Office?

The topic ‘Dog won’t play well with others’ is closed to new replies.

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