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Getting Your Dog to Get Along With Other Pets

November 23, 2017


Many dogs are naturally friendly and happy to socialize with any dog or cat they meet. Some, however, aren't interested in encounters with other pets. They might become fearful, aggressive or indifferent. There are techniques to help a dog learn get along with other animals, but there's no single way to fix the issue.

Teaching socialization skills and good behavior is a lifelong process that needs to be practiced and reinforced regularly.


The Pack Behavior In Dogs

Dogs are pack animals. They thrive in environments with a definitive leader in charge. The dog owner needs to become the alpha, otherwise the dog may assume the alpha role.

If there’s a multi-dog home, enforce the hierarchy within the pack and make sure the dogs get along with each other. As the alpha, the dog owner must lead with both confidence and consistency. Do this without anger, using physical discipline, or raising tone of voice.

Socializing A Puppy

Most puppies are naturally curious, friendly, and generally accepting of other dogs. The first 4 to 5 weeks of life are when his mind is open to learning and absorbing experiences that will carry him through his entire life. After adopting a puppy, it's important to socialize him with other dogs so that being around other dogs becomes comfortable and not something reacted to with fear or aggression.


All puppies should stay with their mother and litter until they're 8 weeks old, and after that socialize with caution. For safe and healthy socialization practices, the ASPCA recommends classes, car rides through a variety of environments, and arranged play sessions with other puppies that are friendly and healthy.

Socializing An Adult Dog

Socializing an adult dog is quite different than socializing a puppy. Puppies are happy to interact with groups of unknown puppies, but this dynamic is unnatural for adult dogs who don't live with other dogs. Adult dogs who are placed into an environment like a dog park may react with either avoidance or aggression. It's unrealistic and unfair to expect a dog to play nice with strange dogs.

Teaching an adult dog to get along with others should take the form of calm, polite behavior in public. Take him on daily walks during which he's expected to sit and allow other dogs to pass. Enroll in obedience classes, arrange carefully supervised play dates with friends’ dog, or take the dog to a highly recommended doggy daycare once or twice per week.

Dog Aggression

The main reason for dog-on-dog aggression is improper socialization. Other contributing factors could be abuse by humans, past attacks by other dogs, chaining, and long periods of isolation.

Dogs And Cats Together

If there's going to be problems during dog and cat introductions, it's usually caused by the dog. For example, most dogs will chase a fast-moving object. If a cat gets frightened and runs, a dog often feels motivated to chase it.


The cat should be able to away from the dog and hide, it needed. Consider gates between areas until the cat and dog get used to each other. Puppies tend to be much less dangerous to cats than adult dogs.

Don’t force the pets into close physical proximity. If bringing a dog into the home with a cat, know the background of the dog. Prepare a pet for the change before it happens, like clod=sing certain doors before the new pet arrives, so they grow accustomed to it.

With a little planning, it is possible to make a dog comfortable with other dogs and cats.

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