Is your dog aggressive to other dogs? Dog-on-dog aggression stems from defensive, possessive, or territorial aggression.

These three factors are usually responsible for most dog-on-dog hostility we regularly see.

In some instances, dogs can display this aggression towards a human. However, it will be due to poor training, lack of socialization, or even rude human behavior.

Fear, the need for domination, squabbles over toys and territories are some of the reasons dog are aggressive to each other. also, injuries and illness can a dog to become aggressive to other dogs.

But if your dog is not aggressive towards humans but other dogs, it results from defensive, territorial, or possessive aggression.

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Reasons Why Your Pet Is Aggressive Towards Other Dogs

aggressive to other dogs
dog aggression – image by collins lesulie from unsplash

Possessive, defensive, and territorial aggression can occur in different ways. One type of aggression may be the reason for your dog-on-dog hostility; in other cases, it can be a combination of two or all three.

Food Or Resource Aggression

Suppose you have multiple dogs in your household; there will likely be disputes over food and toys. Your pets will view each other as a threat that wants to take their resources away from them and display aggression to ward off other pets.

However, even if you have a single pet, your pup will still display aggression toward other dogs if it feels threatened. Imagine taking your puppy to a park and playing with its chew toy; it will likely become aggressive if it sees another dog coming close.

Injury Or Illness

Suppose your dog is not feeling well; it will be grumpy. It becomes aggressive if it feels another dog will aggravate its injury or disturb its rest as it recuperates. This will cause your pet to snap, growl or bark at the other dog.

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While this can happen to any dog, it’s a prevalent problem in puppies and elderly dogs. The puppy always wants to play, whereas the older dog, frequently achy or otherwise ill, wants to rest and snaps when it cannot get its rest, which is bound to conflict.


Your pet will display territorial or protective hostility when people or other animals approach the pet’s domain. Furthermore, this is more true for dogs unfamiliar to your pet, and your pet will not want to share its space or toy.

Growling and barking are typical territorial aggressive displays, as are lunging, pursuing, snapping, and biting.

Territorial displays of aggression can happen at windows, doors, fences, and even in cars. Some dogs may swiftly claim territory at picnic areas, park benches, and other public places and exhibit similar behaviors.


Several dog breeds have intimidating and imposing physical attributes. At the same time, some dogs are intimidated by these physically imposing dogs. Seeing your dog take a defensive stand by growling or snarling is not out of place.

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In other instances, you can see the furs on your pet’s body stand, barking at the dog it feels is a threat to or is trying to creep into its space.

Display Of Dominance

Canines may strive to dominate or develop hierarchical relationships with other dogs but rarely with people. On the other hand, dogs may have disagreements about hierarchy and their place among other dogs.

Like most aggression stressors, these tensions grow over time. The pressure in relationships builds until something ultimately sets off a reaction. Your dogs may have several harmful interactions you are unaware of, but they undoubtedly do.

Stress Could Be Why Your Dog Is Aggressive To Other Dogs

Slight changes in routine can cause stress in your dog. It might be introducing a new family member or a change of environment. Canines are creatures of habits and rely on routines, and interruptions in their everyday lives can be stressful.

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It is often difficult to make these transitions as seamless as possible. Maintain as much consistency as possible in your dogs’ schedules and environments, and make any required adjustments gradually to prevent causing anxiety.

Furthermore, these changes may unsettle your pet. It will become aggressive to any dog it sees as a threat or competition.

Poor Socialization Often Causes Dog On Dog Aggression

A dog that is not correctly socialized will see other dogs as a threat and any unfamiliar face. However, if you train your pet with human interactions alone, your pet will be belligerent with other dogs.

Poor socialization can also lead to being angry or frustrated. Dogs who lack human interaction or do not get enough daily exercise may become aggressive.

What You Can Do To Prevent Dog On Dog Aggression

Always Be Calm

Regardless of how angry you are with your dog for its aggressive behavior, yelling at them will only make things worse. Hold your dog back firmly, don’t tug too hard, as this may agitate them, and go on slowly.

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Discourage Aggressive Behaviors

Several pet owners want their dogs to be aggressive and defend themselves; there has to be a line that a pet cannot cross. Since dogs like to follow routines, when you discourage their aggressive behavior toward other dogs consistently, they are unlikely to repeat it.

Socialize Your Dog Correctly

You must ensure that your pet is socialized the correct way. It will enable it to interact with other dogs and unfamiliar faces well. Furthermore, it will help your pet deal better with unfamiliar situations and environments.

At the same time, it will help your dog understand that not every other people or stranger is a threat to it. If your dog displays too much aggression, some people may regard it as a rabid dog.

Learn Your Pet’s Aggression Triggers

As a man’s best companion, you should be able to identify what is likely to trigger aggression in your dog. When you can identify these triggers, you will reduce and prevent the instances where your dog displays aggression towards other dogs.

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Increase Activities

You must ensure that your pet is well-walked and entertained will keep them comfortable within themselves. It will make it less likely to get frustrated and aggressive towards other people.

Suppose you engage your dog in activities that will keep it occupied and allow it to utilize its energy. Your pet will be happy and content and have no cause to feel inferior or intimidated by another dog.

Create A Stress-Free Environment

By eliminating all stressful situations and triggers that affect your dog, you are creating an environment conducive to your pet. Also, you will reduce the anger and frustration it might get from being stressed out.


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