First, a warning to owners of large dogs: If you’ve ever noticed that your dog has the potential to become aggressive, it’s critical that you always keep him on a leash wherever he might encounter other dogs or people. People frequently remark on how much of a model citizen their dogs are “almost always gets them into trouble and occasionally transforms lives. Until you can let go of a dog with complete trust that he will obey you when he doesn’t have to, you must continually restrict one that is generally docile and pleasant but occasionally suddenly goes off half-cocked. Even while it may seem unfortunate that he must wear a leash every day in order to make up for his incredibly seldom indiscretions, it is your only guarantee that he will behave sensibly and securely.
When you want your dog to walk the other direction or make sure he turns his head when necessary, a harness or head halter works better than a simple collar around the neck.
A dog that has displayed aggression (though not necessarily harmful behavior) toward a smaller dog can occasionally be trained to return to you or another person with intensive training, possibly by you alone but preferably with the assistance of an animal behaviorist or a professional trainer “Leave it instead of attacking when you’re angry. No choke chains, prong collars, or electrical training collars are allowed, and it requires a lot of patience. Start by teaching him to sit, stay, lie down, and adhere to the other rules of good behavior you have set for him at home. That means showing up when you call, even though he would prefer to keep working. It’s your responsibility to encourage him and pamper him when he follows through.
You can take your huge dog to, say, a dog-friendly park and try letting him go after you feel your control over him has been clearly established (much better if the trained expert who has been working with you thinks that way). This will happen after you’ve taken him to that park numerous times on a longer and longer lead, ensuring that he pays attention to you when you tell him to. But even then, you should keep a long leash linked to him and trail it behind so you may more readily grab him if he behaves badly. It will be far more difficult for a dog to follow your commands while untethered to you in a crowded public area than it will be in your gated backyard, where you have near complete control over the surroundings.
Train your dog to use a basket muzzle as an alternative. Your dog can eat, drink, pant, and even catch a rope toy while wearing a basket muzzle like the Baskerville Ultra or the Bumas Custom Muzzle. When properly introduced, a dog can learn to feel just as at ease wearing a muzzle as he does a collar or harness.
Contrary to popular belief, the hardest aspect of training your dog, which may take weeks or months, is not keeping him on a leash when he wants to run loose in public. The hardest aspect is maintaining composure if, by chance, your dog escapes and comes across a smaller dog that he has his sights set on. When the safety of another dog may be at risk, many owners understandably start yelling at their dogs and make a huge deal out of it—a completely natural expression of impulse that the owner of the dog being attacked could also anticipate. However, that’s the worst thing you can do since it will simply fuel the hysteria and make your pet more enthusiastic about what he is up to.
Yes, whatever it takes, you have to act as rapidly as you can to free your dog from the other dog’s body and re-leash him. Additionally, you must be ready to be contrite and sorry even if the other owner, who is terrified to death, starts yelling at you or maybe even tries to kick your dog to protect his own. However, your dog won’t be more likely to heed your commands and come back to your side if you start yelling and wailing. It might make that better “come it on, he already has that sensation.
Once the episode is done, you shouldn’t yell at your dog or reprimand him. He won’t understand why you’re doing it. Dogs are very present-oriented creatures. What occurs “He won’t comprehend why you’re treating him severely because what happens next is merely a different situation from what happened previously. Simply put, you must resume patient training and, in certain situations, be prepared to never again allow your dog run loose in areas where he may come into touch with other dogs. Remember that if things go out of hand enough, your accountability becomes a legal issue that may be brought up in court. Additionally, the courts may have unsatisfactory answers for canine biting.
If a bigger dog assaults your smaller dog, it is never your fault. However, there are ways to increase your chances of keeping your tiny dog secure in public places. You shouldn’t try to make up for her diminutive stature by overprotecting her and lifting her up outside out of a false sense of security that she is in danger. Big dogs and small dogs get along nicely in general. However, if you consistently convey to your tiny pet that life is risky, she may get uneasy or even aggressive with her own barks and gnashing of teeth. Additionally, anxious and nasty dogs often provoke other dogs into adopting hostile positions and behaviors.
Again, even if your dog is acting aggressively, it is never your fault if another dog attacks yours. But given that most of life is not a hostile set of events, why would you unintentionally educate your dog to be aggressive?
Remember that dogs frequently run up to each other in dog parks and other areas where they are allowed to roam loose in order to assist you maintain your balance. To them, what appears dangerous to us is frequently fun because they like chasing and being chased. They enjoy giving each other a whiff. They have game rules that don’t always correspond to people’s rules, but it usually works out.
Having said that, you should be aware of your alternatives in case a dog poses a true threat to your dog. The best solution is occasionally to take your pet in your arms. Work to pull your dog out of harm’s way if a dog approaches your canine family member like a bullet, possibly with its fangs barred. We can’t promise that it will function flawlessly every time. After all, some huge dogs can jump as high as your arms with ease, endangering both you and your dog in the process. However, it’s a better option than just attempting to push the large dog away, which will merely leave your pet helpless. Physically attacking an aggressive dog while he is engaged in an attack rarely succeeds in getting him to leave the area. He is speedier and has more bite than you. Additionally, kicking and yelling won’t do anything but aggravate the violent dog, just as the owner’s response will just encourage him. Flailing and yelling will encourage the dog, who is in fight or flight mode, to give it his all in the encounter “fighting ring.
When a beloved dog is in immediate danger and your body and mind are urging you to take action, it can be difficult to remain calm. however, strongly admonishing the belligerent dog to “A less dramatic response might actually work better than staying might. To divert the approaching dog, you may even drop some treats on the ground in front of it. You wouldn’t feel like doing anything at all. But if the goal is to convince the dog to eat instead of your small pet, what does it matter as long as you accomplish the desired result?
Similar remarks apply to the owner of the vicious dog. The owner of the small animal might not comprehend why you are being so polite to your dog while he is attacking. But once more, the goal is to train the dog to comply with your wishes; scolding him in the heat of the moment won’t help.
Of course, if you believe you have trained your dog to return to you after scaring or even hurting a smaller dog, perhaps with the assistance of a professional trainer or behaviorist because so much is at stake, and a second dog finds itself in an equally dangerous situation as a result of your pet, it’s time to permanently restrict his time spent outdoors off leash to your backyard that is enclosed by a high enough fence.
My dog wants to kill little dogs, but why?
The intense want to chase anything, such as other dogs, tiny furry animals, cars, bikes, scooters, etc., is known as the predatory chase drive or prey pursuit drive. It is typical dog behavior for the dog to chase after the movement of the “prey,” almost as if it were a reflex. Particularly working, hunting, and herding breeds have higher predatory chase drives than other types of dogs. This article will discuss how to control a dog’s prey drive.
Chasing is enjoyable for a dog and activates the pleasure regions of their brains, in addition to being a natural habit inherited from their wolf ancestors. If the urge increases too much and your dog starts exhibiting inappropriate prey drive behaviors, this behavior can go from enjoyable, like when your dog is running after a tennis ball, to a true nightmare for you. Negative impacts of predatory pursuit drive can include:
Do large dogs devour smaller dogs?
Though it is conceivable for large dogs to mistake small dogs for prey and lunge, chase, or even kill small dogs in this case, dogs normally identify another member of their own species. If either dog exhibits stalking, stiffness, glaring, or lunging behavior, stop right away. Avoid picking up your tiny dog if at all possible because doing so can cause a large dog to confuse it for a toy. Getting between the dogs and keeping the attacker off balance with toys or goodies is more effective. You might need to carry Pet Corrector if you routinely take your tiny dog on walks in a neighborhood where several large, leash-free dogs are present. Since pepper spray can end up in your own dog’s eyes, it is not a safe alternative. In an emergency, directing the giant dog with a walking stick or rocks can help you escape and reach safety. If you are unable to convince the owner to confine their dog, you should contact your local animal control. Loose canines are dangerous to everyone.
Can a large dog harm a tiny dog?
The Dog Gurus seem to be informed about an injury involving a dog in an off-leash play situation every month. Minor injuries do happen occasionally, but we hear more often about fatalities and severe injuries related to off-leash play.
The size of the dogs interacting should be one of the primary safety considerations in any off-leash play situation. When playing, dogs of dramatically different sizes should be kept apart. The playstyles for small/medium dogs and medium/large dogs are shown on our Playstyle Management Chart (included in the Dog Management Tools pdf).
We are aware that this policy is debatable. Many pet care experts would disagree, claiming that this type of separation strategy is difficult for owners who have dogs of different sizes living in the same home or that giant dogs and small dogs frequently get along well. These assertions are accurate. However, this does not change the reality that a dog owner is paying a pet professional to care for their dog in the best way possible. We believe that separating dogs according to size, temperament, and playstyle raises the bar for safety noticeably.
Regardless of whether the dog has previously interacted successfully with big/small dogs, you raise the standard of safety when it comes to off-leash play by separating them.
Here are three risks associated with mixing large and small dogs during off-leash play.
- A playfight between several large dogs poses a serious risk of injury to little dogs. Small dogs who may be running in the play area cannot always be moved out of the way by large dogs. Additionally, not all little canines are alert enough to avoid two huge dogs who are rolling about on the ground grappling with each other. When they rush to the gate to witness a dog entering or from the playgroup, dogs of varying sizes are likely to intrude more easily. While it would be wonderful to think that all large dogs would modify their behavior to accommodate the small dog, this simply isn’t always the case. The possibility of harm to the small dog increases in proportion to how big the other dogs are.
- Small dogs may appear to be prey. As pet care specialists, we must accept this unfortunate truth. Last week, we discussed prey-drive. Smaller dogs may unintentionally be chased by larger dogs who enjoy chasing objects because, from a distance, the smaller dog appears to be something that should be pursued. This is especially true in a play area where dogs can become agitated and move around a lot. During ordinary play, some dogs will chase one another, while others will chase a ball, and some dogs just enjoy running. But if a tiny dog starts these quick-moving behaviors, a big dog can start chasing after it in a predatory manner. If this occurs, the large dog might bite the smaller dog when it gets up to it. The little dog could get hurt.
- A huge dog has the potential to seriously harm a tiny dog in a bite or fight incident. Not that dogs of the same size cannot harm one another, but we hardly ever receive calls reporting the death of a 70-pound dog by a 70-pound dog. It is reported that a 70-pound dog killed a 10-pound dog. Any size dog has the potential to fight and bite. The huge dog, however, has the upper hand in a fight or bite when the dogs are of different sizes. The little dog is considerably more likely to suffer harm.
We acknowledge that this approach to separate large and small canines has some murky regions.
- There are some small but tough dogs. They appear to be too spirited to be around other tiny dogs. Additionally, some giant dogs are placid and don’t adapt well to the strong energy of other large dogs. Placing them with the tiny dogs seems to be preferable.
These are the areas where choices must be made regarding what to do when a dog doesn’t belong in a given category (whether due to size of the play area, size of the dog, type of playstyle, etc). It’s possible that you’ll make an exception and mix huge and tiny pets. We simply ask that you acknowledge the dangers associated with these exceptions. Gray regions do not change the fact that tiny dogs are more likely to get hurt while playing with large dogs.