While some smaller dogs are clearly nervous or scared around larger dogs, some of them tend to get more aggressive when they’re around larger breeds. It’s essential for dog owners to understand why their dog may be aggressive to larger dogs, allowing them to train their dog more effectively and help them feel more comfortable, especially if they spend a significant amount of time around other dogs. Learning how to control your dog will help both you and them have a more enjoyable experience when they encounter other people or animals.
Fear Is a Factor
It’s natural for dogs to feel fear when they encounter dogs that are larger than they are. For instance, small dogs may exhibit this behavior when encountering medium or large-sized dogs, while medium-sized dogs can act fearful around large breeds. Even large dogs can feel some fear when they interact with a dog that’s larger than they are. Some dogs will choose to become the aggressor when they encounter larger dogs in order to establish dominance and in hopes of making the larger dog back off. Their survival instincts kick in and they attempt to make themselves more threatening. To prevent either of the dogs from getting hurt, it’s important to find ways to make your smaller dog more comfortable around larger breeds. The right dog training can be one of the most effective methods of achieving this goal.
A Bad Past Experience
If your dog has had a bad experience with a larger dog in the past, it’s more common for them to get aggressive when they encounter another one. They recall what happened the last time, whether it was an injury or some other issue, and take the necessary steps to keep it from happening again. This can be one of the more difficult causes to overcome. It’s challenging to train your dog to understand that not all larger dogs will harm them, but once you achieve this level of trust again, the aggression and intimidation tactics should disappear.
Sensing Your Own Stress
You’ve likely heard that dogs can sense fear, but they can also sense many other emotions, especially when they have a connection to their owners. It’s not just dogs who have a fear of larger dogs. If you are afraid of larger dogs for any reason, that feeling of stress when you encounter one can easily travel down the leash to your own furry companion. Because dogs are incredibly loyal, their first instinct will be to protect you if they sense you are uncomfortable or fearful. This will lead to aggression towards any dogs that make you feel uneasy. This problem is easily avoided when you recognize your behaviors and choose to act differently when you’re around the larger dogs. In essence, you need to learn to manage your own fear to avoid passing it on to your dog.