How To Deal With Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs


Last Updated: October 11, 2023 | 3 min read | 25 Comments

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two aggressive dogs fighting outside in snow dusted field

Having an aggressive dog can cause a lot of concerns for owners. It can often be challenging to take your dog on walks or into any public setting when you’re always concerned about approaching other dogs. This scenario puts stress on you and your dog and makes it feel like an impossible situation.

There is hope. Lots of dogs respond positively to different training techniques and programs. Get informed and start working toward what might work for your furry friend. Learn more about how to stop dog aggression towards other dogs.

What Is Dog-On-Dog Aggression?

Dog aggression towards other dogs is a common behavioral concern that many dog owners face. This aggression occurs when a dog approaches another dog and reacts forcefully. There may or may not be an apparent reason for aggressive dogs to act this way.

What Causes A Dog To Be Aggressive?

Your dog may be acting aggressively for several reasons.


Dogs may be aggressive when they’re afraid. Your dog may have had a negative experience in the past, been in an abusive situation, or just hasn’t had enough exposure to other dogs. All of those experiences could cause them to feel fearful.


Much like humans, when dogs experience changes in their environment, like moving, or a new baby, or pet in the home, they can feel anxious. If they have trouble expressing that anxiety, a dog’s behavior can come out as aggression.


If your dog is in pain, they may express that with aggression.


Dogs may become aggressive when they feel that their possessions are in danger. They may feel the need to protect their territory, toys, or even their humans. It’s also common for dogs to have food aggression toward other dogs because they feel possessive.

Need For Dominance

Dogs feel the need to establish a pecking order, and there’s always an alpha dog. When some dogs feel a threat to their dominance, they can become aggressive.

Types Of Aggression

There are clear signs that a dog is aggressive toward another dog. If your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors toward another dog, they’re likely showing signs of aggression.

  • Barking
  • Stiff or rigid stance
  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Baring teeth
  • Lunging
  • Biting
  • Nipping

What If My Dog Suddenly Becomes Aggressive?

If your dog suddenly becomes aggressive towards other dogs and it’s out of character for him, seek the help of your vet immediately. Veterinarians are best suited to help you determine what underlying factors may be contributing to this sudden change in behavior and manage them safely.

How To Deal With Your Dog’s Aggression

How to stop dog dominance aggression with other dogs? After you determine what’s causing your dog’s aggressive behavior, you can begin working on it. Always consult with your vet before you start any new training program. Here are three tips that may help you stop your dog’s aggression toward other dogs:

1. Socialize Your Dog

It’s essential to find a safe place where your dog can socialize with other dogs. Reward their good behavior in this space to reinforce proper interaction with other dogs. If you add a new puppy to a house with an older dog, it makes sense to think about how to introduce dogs and how to socialize your puppy to prevent aggressive behavior from starting between the puppy and older dog.

2. Work On Barking And Growling

Barking and growling are both forms of aggression. In this situation, try to take your dog away from what makes him bark and growl and then reassure him that he’s safe and can calm down.

3. Leash Training

Some dogs can become more aggressive on a leash. Working with your dog on leash training may make him more likely to behave when he approaches other dogs.

Check out our expertly written article, aggressive dog training tips, for an in-depth look at ways to work with your dog to control aggressive behavior.

Training Options

If you feel you’ve exhausted all your options when it comes to correcting your dog’s aggressive behavior, you may want professional help. You can seek out a training class in your area; just make sure you do your homework to find the right trainer. Every dog is different, so you want to make sure that you choose someone you and your dog both like.

If you’re looking for an online training program, Doggy Dan’s Famous Dog Calming Code™ offers a unique approach to solving your dog’s aggression issue. For more information on Doggy Dan, you can read our review of his online training program or check out his case study on dog-on-dog aggression.

Why Are Some Dogs More Aggressive? (Video)

This three-minute video from Hashem Al-Ghaili talks about why certain dogs may be more aggressive than others.

Dealing With Hostility And Other Behavior Issues

Dealing with dog-on-dog aggression can be overwhelming, but you can help your dog relax when other dogs are around with a little guidance. However, this probably won’t be the only behavioral issue you come across as a dog owner. No matter what behaviors you and your dog are dealing with, our expert team is here to help. We have articles on barking, separation anxiety, whining, and more to help you find ways to correct undesirable behaviors and keep your pup happy and safe.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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