If you’ve taken your pup to a dog park, a dog daycare or a beach area designated for dogs and their owners, you’ll know there are dogs out there who simply bully other dogs when in a ‘doggie environment’.
Bullying often takes place in large groups, regardless of the size. Many of these dog bullies are of the large breed and prey on smaller dogs – although there are also smaller breeds with strong, dominant personalities who pick on other dogs of all sizes.
What are the signs of dog bullying?
Dog bullying comes in various shapes and sizes, but there are some obvious signs to help you identify if your pooch is being harassed by other dogs.
Look at the following list of points, any of which would indicate a bullying situation, and then consider if any of them apply to your dog.
- Your dog is being surrounded or ganged up on by other dogs in the group.
- Other dogs are jumping, lunging or growling at your dog for no obvious reason.
- Your dog is almost always happy with humans and dogs in other social settings, but becomes nervous and skittish around the ‘bully’ dogs.
- Your dog repeatedly has his water, food, toys and other items taken away from him by other dogs.
- Your dog is pushed around, menaced or pinned to the ground by other dogs.
- In some of the worst cases, your dog has been bitten or injured by another dog.
There is an important distinction between playful behavior between dogs and outright bullying. If your dog is falling victim to these behaviors repeatedly, it can not only cause physical injury but can also result in lasting mental damage.
How can you prevent your dog being bullied?
Most importantly, you need to discover precisely what is causing the harassment to occur among these dogs and put an end to the behavior.
Some dogs are just intrinsic bullies, without any direct reason or motivation for acting that way. Keep in mind that it often only takes one bully to rile up fellow dogs to follow his behavior. In this case, separating the bullied dog from the playgroup will solve the problem.
Therefore, when you take your dog to a day care, make sure that the facility is well-staffed, able to supervise all dogs in their care, and that they are being looked after at all times.
Finally, whether it is at the park, the beach, or your neighbor’s house, always make sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times. You can only rectify the problems if you truly understand how your dog is interacting with others.
For the health, safety and wellbeing of your pup, it is essential to find dogs with the same energy level and play style as your dog.
Remember, just as you’ve met people you didn’t enjoy the company of, some dogs simply don’t get along with other dogs. Ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to prevent your dog from being bullied.
If your dog is a bully, or if you have a dog who has been bullied and has become fearful, seeking a training program specialized in behavior modification can help to resolve the issue. At Highland Canine Training LLC, we specialize in treating behavior problems in a way dogs naturally understand. If you have any training inquiries, contact us at 1866.200.2207 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.