When Overly Friendly Dogs Cause Trouble
Updated: Feb 9, 2019
We often hear: There were no warning signs, it came out of nowhere, the other dog was just trying to play ... then the dog just attacked.
There are so many layers to communication, body language, social etiquette and socialization with dogs that are not carefully monitored enough by people.
To provide an example of an overly friendly dog I let Sheena pester Elke the German Shepherd for a few extra minutes and get on her nerves (this is not something we generally allow). Even after being corrected, if I had not stepped in to help reinforce, Sheena was immediately ready to go right back to pushing Elke's buttons.
Often times we see not as friendly or neutral dogs blamed for "starting" something with a puppy or younger dog when they we just trying to play 🙄👎!
More often than not it is the playful pups behavior that causes the conflict!
Too often people will bring dogs together and just let them work it out on their own and things go south quickly. Or allow the friendly dog to pester and push buttons unrelentingly. Dog parks, dog daycare, play dates, family visits / gatherings, bringing a new dog or puppy into the home, etc etc.
Dogs can quickly go from tolerating to becoming defensive/offensive when they realize no one else will help curb the unwanted, pushy behavior of the friendly dog 🐶.
We will sometimes allow a dog to correct or be corrected, but a majority of the time I step in to take control and responsibility so that all the dogs understand I will help. I don't want neutral dogs to feel like they have to correct, correct, correct and will be allowed to act as other dogs punching bags or fearful dogs to be bullied into self defense and over reacting.
Especially this holiday season when families will be getting together to celebrate (and perhaps including canine companions) it is important to take responsibility and help neutralize pushy behavior so our dogs don't have to play sheriff.