"Will he ever play with other dogs?"
That's a question I get asked many times as a canine behavior counselor. Sometimes dogs just don't like other dogs. This can happen with any dog of any breed.
Some people may want their dogs to love all other dogs, but their dog may not want that. Usually this is something that can be very easily managed, unless it's really inappropriate and over-the-top aggression that is not Pit Bull or other breed-temperament correct.
Good leash manners classes really help, as do daily walks in environments on-leash that help desensitize the dog to other dogs while on leash. The dog can at least learn to have good manners around other dogs while on leash and do very well.
It is normal for dogs to vary greatly in their reactions, good or bad, to other dogs. If a dog doesn't like other dogs, this doesn't make him a bad dog at all. Usually these guys are really, really super with people.
Here at Our Pack, we see dogs as individuals, not lumped into a category. Some dogs really like other dogs. Some of these come from fight busts. Others that don't like other dogs may come from a shelter or be someone's pet. OR, dogs from fight busts can be very sensitive to other dogs. Whether from a bust or a shelter or a home, this varies. So making an assessment first is key.
Many times we see a gray area where the dog is not aggressive but not particularly skilled, either. This is true of many dogs that have come from abuse or neglect cases. They didn't get a chance to go to puppy-to-puppy "social school", and so they never learned to greet, play, interact and interpret communication signals from other dogs. This is where their environment has sort of created a malnourished soul, if you will. Genetics may influence behavior as well.
Many dogs are great at teaching these dogs the right way to communicate, in fact we're often better at it than people. It's in them to do the right thing, and a nice balanced dog is the perfect one to bring it out.
Here's Hailey after working with Jakob for a while...well, I think he did pretty well after some instruction. At first, he didn't know what the heck to do.
Hailey and Jakob were slowly introduced and set up for success. They got to know each other gradually, and we guided their interactions so the dogs were encouraged to play with each other appropriately and reinforced for that. (Click here to learn more about dog-to-dog intros.)
Note: All play sessions should be supervised with all dogs of all breeds. Remember to separate animals when you leave as well. Call a professional if you are having problems.
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