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Puppy Problems With Other Dogs And Puppies

Puppies do not always get on with other dogs or puppies or behave well when around them. Understanding why they behave as they do can be the first step in finding a solution to this problem



If your puppy is older than 6 months of age, please see either Problems With Other Dogs’or Aggression To Other Dogs’.

  • Problems with other dogs

Barking at other dogs

Puppies bark when they see other dogs for two basic reasons, either they want to approach them to play and interact, or they are worried about them and are trying to make themselves feel better about that dog being too close.  Which of these two reasons apply will only be clear if you know what your puppy does when close to other dogs.    


If your puppy hides, freezes,  or tries to run away, go to 'Fear And Anxiety In Puppies'.


If your puppy postures, growls, lunges, nips or bites when close to the other dog, go to Puppy Aggression To Other Dogs And Puppies’.


If your puppy plays and interacts with the other dog, your puppy has learned to enjoy games with other dogs more than games with people, and is barking in frustration when held back from them.  To turn this around, you will need to restrict all games with other dogs for a while (especially with the other dog(s) at home), and teach him to enjoy playing with people with toys instead. 


Once he is more balanced and prefers games with you to games with other dogs, it will be much easier to teach him control and good manners around other dogs.  Go to:

'How To Teach Your Puppy To Play With Toys'.


Puppies usually chase other dogs for fun, and will enjoy the chase but stop and return to you once the other dog stops, or it may bark at the other dog for a while to try to start the chase up again.  Puppies that do this will be likely to chase other moving animals, people and objects.  Go to ‘Chasing’.

  • Problems with other dogs 2

Playing roughly

Puppies that play roughly or inappropriately have usually been allowed to play too much with dogs that were weaker than themselves.  Consequently, they have learned to enjoy doing things that other dogs do not like, such as bouncing hard onto them, jumping on their back, shaking them, or play-biting too hard.  When rough players encounter dogs that defend themselves from such inappropriate behaviour, encounters can quickly escalate into a fight.  Go to Puppy Aggression To Other Dogs And Puppies’for a solution.

Not coming back when playing with other dogs, or running off to join other dogs

Puppies that do this prefer to play with other dogs than with their owners.  Consequently, no reward you can offer is good enough  to make them want to leave the chance of a fun game with other dogs.  To address this, you will need to stop them playing with other dogs, including those (if any) at home, until they enjoy playing more with you instead.  Go to:  'How To Teach Your Puppy To Play With Toys'.

Running away when dogs approach

Puppies that ignore other dogs until they approach and then slink around behind your legs to hide, or run away in terror, are often lacking in socialization with other dogs or have had a few bad experiences with them in the past. 


To help your puppy overcome this, you will need to keep him safe  by keeping a ‘circle of safety’ around him, and gently introducing him to other dogs that can be trusted to be kind and friendly to help him build confidence.  Go to Fear And Anxiety In Puppies’ and 'Puppy Aggression To Other Dogs and Puppies'.

Ignoring other dogs

Puppies that ignore other dogs are usually lacking in socialization with others and prefer the company of humans.  If you want your puppy to be more sociable, you need to gradually introduce him to other dogs, one at a time, starting with a gentle, friendly dog at first, and going out for walks with that dog daily until they have developed a friendship.  If you continue to do this until your puppy has made approximately 10 other doggy friends, you will find that he becomes more sociable with other dogs he encounters in future. Go to Fear And Anxiety In Puppies’ and 'Puppy Aggression To Other Dogs and Puppies'.

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