Dog Training & Behavioral Consultations in Greater Sacramento & Southern Oregon

How To Stop Your Dog From Being Afraid Of Other Dogs?

A dog standing in front of a mountain with trees.

The threat of danger, suffering, or injury triggers the unpleasant sensation of fear. It involves both a universal physiological reaction and a strong individual emotional reaction. Fear warns us that there is a danger or a threat of harm, whether it is physical or psychological. All of us, humans, animals, and birds- are biologically built for it, and none of us is free. We should know how to stop dogs from being afraid of other dogs.

Do its ears droop when it encounters other dogs? Does it shrink and try to flee? Does it snarl at the other dog in an attempt to frighten it? Is its tail tucked up between its legs? Is your dog scared of other dogs? Here, we will tell you how to stop dogs from being afraid of other dogs and cope with their fears.

Fright is a natural emotion regarding survival, but it may become an issue when your canine has no reason to fear other dogs, and this fear builds into a phobia. Identifying your animal's behavior and how to encourage your dog in combating their fear will be critical to having a well-adjusted canine buddy. As a result, your dog may become nervous when out on walks, creating conflicts with other dogs who are only attempting to communicate. There are many dog trainers in Sacramento that give behavioral training to dogs and help them from being afraid of other dogs.

Symptoms That Your Dog Is Afraid of Other Dogs

Past Trauma: Your dog's mistrust of other dogs might be the result of a previous traumatic experience. This can be a difficult scenario, especially if you have a rescue dog whose background you don't know about or a non-rescue dog on whom you can't keep a watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can also happen to pups who have been attacked by other dogs in the early stages of their lives and are now afraid of strange canines. It's also possible that a little dog is afraid of large dogs that want to play rough. This may cause your dog to snarl, bark, or misbehave. 

Fear Raised Inadvertently: When a dog is afraid, owners frequently try to soothe it down by caressing it and speaking softly to it. Furthermore, this magnifies the situation. Unfortunately, doing so will simply reaffirm to the dog that he is appropriate in his fear. As a result, they develop a fear of their own species. Forcing him to interact with the other dogs is also not a smart idea, and it may even harm your connection with him.

Submissiveness: Puppies who aren't as strong in the litter are more inclined to be submissive. In the presence of other dogs, these puppies may exhibit fear or hesitation. They will always be more willing to bow to a stronger canine. 

Lack of Socialization: Many factors might have a role in the lack of social skills, including being taken away from their siblings at a young age - implying that they had less exposure with other pups while they were younger. Another factor contributing to their lack of social skills might be the lack of another dog in their new home with whom they can bond. As a result, it's possible that your dog is simply unaccustomed to being with other canines. 

The first step in assisting a pet that is afraid of other dogs is to recognize it as such and not attempt to impose it to overcome its anxiety in a given day. You should also avoid putting it in a difficult environment because this may further horrify it and cause it to stop believing in you. It wouldn't help it overcome its phobia in the least. It is critical to instill trust and strength in the dog.

Here are some dos and don'ts on how to stop dogs from being afraid of other dogs: 


Recognize the Threshold: Observe how near you can bring your dog to an unknown puppy before they start showing indications of fear. Whatever it is, try not to let your dog come any closer than that when you first start training. Reduce the buffer zone after your dog can peacefully observe another dog pass by without exhibiting symptoms of anxiety at their initial threshold. 

Desensitization: It entails gradually introducing it to volatile situations until it no longer causes it to get anxious. Initially, bring your dog closer to a peaceful dog until they build trust, and then try to get them closer to a more energetic dog, gradually lowering the space as the canine learns and improves. This is done slowly to boost their self-esteem and allow them to grow familiar with meeting and socializing with other canines.

Habituation: Train your dog to remain calm in difficult situations. Going it for longer walks in locations where other dogs are present will help it to become accustomed to them and recognize that they are not a danger. This will educate them not to respond negatively to difficult circumstances and that other canines are not a danger. Yet, you should keep an eye on your dog while using this approach to avoid scaring them out or rushing them towards something they are not prepared for. 

Rewarding: A further strategy is to combine interacting and/or engaging with other canines with anything they adore doing. Have the extra treats available that your dog loves, and give your dog a reward when another canine comes. You cease distributing treats after the other canine has been walked away. This begins to teach your dog that when they encounter or engage with other canines, pleasant things happen.

Practice: While strolling, resting in a park, or simply sitting on your stoop or in your front area, you may practice with your dog. Make the most of every chance to practice. 


  • Never scream at your dog to make them socialize with other pets. 
  • Avoid reassuring your dog when it is afraid. This will simply confirm the dog's fear.
  • Whether someone asks if their dog may come over and say hello respectfully, decline and go on.
  • Don't walk your dog to a busy dog park or off-leash area.
  • On walks, give your dog a secure boundary.

Although dogs have outgrown their terror of other canines, they'll likely begin to be picky about who they associate with. It will take time and effort to teach your pup to overcome their phobias, but with care and affection, you will succeed.

If you don’t take the preventive measures on time then it may lead to aggressive behavior in your dogs. But with the help of dog behavioral training, you can easily help your dog to overcome this and stop your dog from being afraid of other dogs.

Unlock exclusive access to dog behavior training!
Get Access