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As a dog owner, you may have imagined all the play dates you and your dog are going to have with others.
But it can be hard to have play dates when your dog gets way too obsessed with other dogs.
If you and your dog are struggling with this issue, here’s what you need to know.
My dog is obsessed with other dogs, why is that?
There are probably a lot of things that your dog gets pretty excited about. But there might be some things that it seems like your dog gets just a little too excited over.
Meeting up with a new friend is exciting, and that’s also true for your dog. But if your dog gets too excited around other dogs, this can lead to problems.
Other dogs might not appreciate how enthusiastic your dog is around them. When dogs start to feel uncomfortable, that can trigger reactivity. That’s not only not fun, it could even lead to a fight breaking out!
As said, there are several issues that could cause your dog to be obsessed with other dogs. Let’s take a look.
Is it sexual attraction?
If your dog gets especially enthusiastic around dogs of the opposite sex, you might be wondering if your dog is looking for a mate!
This could indeed be the reason if your dog is unaltered. Spaying or neutering your dog can help curb this behavior and protect your dog from potential health problems.
However, if your dog is obsessed with other dogs and he is fixed, then the issue is most likely something else.
He just gets too excited by other dogs
Some dogs are just naturally more enthusiastic than others, especially when they meet new friends!
Your dog could just be too excited when he sees other dogs.
Over excitement is a common problem for many dogs, especially high-energy ones. You can learn more about over excitement by checking out these articles:
- Over Excited Dog With Visitors—Here’s What to Do!
- Dog Humps When Tired or Over Excited—What Can I Do?
- How to Calm an Over Excited Dog Quickly
Defending his territory
Sometimes what seems like excitement or obsession is a different problem altogether.
Your dog might seem super excited about seeing another dog when, in reality, he’s unhappy with how close the dog is. Your dog might be trying to defend his territory and tell the other dog to back off. Using positive reinforcement dog training and desensitization can help you with this problem.
If this is something that you and your dog are struggling with, you should address it as soon as possible. When dogs get excessively territorial, this can become reactivity or aggression.
Fear and anxiety
Feeling stressed out can make your dog act out in unusual ways.
If your dog isn’t used to being around other dogs, or if he’s had bad experiences with dogs in the past, then he might struggle around them.
He might seem super obsessed with them, but this could also be him acting submissive.
You can learn more about dog submission by checking out these articles:
You’re encouraging your dog to act out
There are a lot of things that we might be unintentionally encouraging in our dogs.
You might think that you’re showing your dog that his behavior is bad when you yell at him, but your dog could read this differently. He’ll just see you acting loud and excited, which could rev him up even more.
This is why it’s so important to model good behavior for your dog. If you act calm yourself, then it’ll be much easier for your dog to stay calm too.
Your puppy wants to play
Are you having a hard time specifically with your puppy getting too obsessed with other dogs?
Puppies are brand-new to the world, and that makes everything around them super exciting! Your puppy might see an older dog and get really excited about the prospect of playing.
If your puppy is obsessed with older dogs, then he’s probably just excited about making a new friend. It’s your job as his dog parent to show him how to make new friends a little more nicely.
How do I stop my dog from being obsessed with other dogs?
There are several reasons why your dog might start acting really obsessed around other dogs. Now that we’ve gone over them, we can talk about how you can help your dog stop this bad behavior.
Find the reason behind your dog’s obsession
You are going to have a hard time helping your dog if you don’t know what exactly the issue is!
That’s why the very first step to solving any behavioral issue with your dog is to figure out what exactly the problem is in the first place.
Once you know what’s causing your dog’s obsession, you can tackle it head-on. Pay attention to when your dog starts acting highly obsessed with other dogs. Does it always happen when he sees a dog, any dog? Or only when you’re in particular situations?
This will help you determine your next steps.
Regardless of why your dog is so obsessed with others, you need to stay calm when working on his issue.
Remember, dogs are super intuitive animals. They pick up on changes in your behavior and emotions. If your dog sees you getting really excited, then that’s going to make him super excited too.
The best thing for you to do is to stay calm. It can be hard, but you need to show your dog what kind of behavior he should be displaying. Staying calm will also help you remain level-headed when your dog is acting out, which keeps you in control of the situation.
Desensitize your dog to other dogs
One of the reasons why your dog might be acting out around other dogs is because he’s just not used to them. It’s probably pretty exciting to meet new friends, but your dog might not know how to act appropriately around them.
You can help your dog by desensitizing him to others. Desensitization means taking away a stimulus and reintroducing it slowly, in a controlled way. This helps your dog get used to it.
In this sort of situation, it helps to have a friend or someone you trust with a calm dog. Keep your dog in a quiet, calm environment and have the other person bring their dog in. Make sure both dogs stay apart from each other.
Once your dog settles down, you can bring the dogs a little closer. Continue practicing this until the dogs can fully approach each other.
Train your dog to ignore other dogs on walks
You’re likely to run into other dogs at least occasionally on walks. If your dog has difficulties when meeting other dogs, then you need to train him to ignore them.
This can be tough. But with practice and patience, you can get your dog to pay attention only to you.
The best way to do this is to teach your dog commands like heel and focus. These will ensure that your dog’s attention stays on you, rather than the dogs around him.
Spay or neuter your dog to cut the craziness
Have you had your dog fixed? If he’s not, then his obsession with other dogs is likely to be worse.
It’s important to spay or neuter your dog once they’re an appropriate age. Spaying and neutering can help cut down on crazy behavior like this.
Making sure that you’re spaying or neutering your dog will also help prevent unwanted pregnancies in dogs and reduce pet overpopulation.
Want to learn more about spaying and neutering? Here is the best age to neuter or spay a dog.
Don’t punish your dog to break his fixation
Many people believe that punishing a dog’s bad behavior will help reduce it. Unfortunately, punishment can make your dog feel apprehensive about you.
It’s also unlikely to be a helpful way to curb bad behavior.
Instead of punishment, focus on getting your dog to display behavior that you do want to see. When your dog stays calm around others or focuses on you instead of the other dog, reward him.
This will encourage this behavior to continue.
Properly socialize your puppy
If your dog is still young, then properly socializing him can help.
Showing your puppy how to interact with other dogs will help him stay well-behaved in situations like this.
If you have other friends with dogs and puppies, then getting together for a playdate can help.
FAQs around a dog being obsessed with other dogs
Do you still have questions about your dog being obsessed with other dogs? Here are some answers.
Do dogs flirt with other dogs?
One dog can certainly have a sexual interes in another, but dogs don’t flirt the way we humans do.
Dogs display interest through their body language as well as through changes in their scents. They have extremely sensitive noses, and they can smell hormonal changes in each other that indicate they might want to get to know each other.
Why is my male dog obsessed with a male dog?
Dogs can be obsessed with other dogs of the same sex for lots of different reasons! Your male dog could be acting out because he’s territorial. If one or both of the dogs aren’t neutered, this can make the problem worse.
It could also be that your dog just isn’t socialized properly. Once you figure out the reason why, you can help your dog overcome the problem.
My dog won’t leave my other dog alone, what can I do?
In most situations like this, the problem comes down to dominance or over excitement.
Properly socializing and introducing your dogs to each other will help prevent feelings of dominance in either dog.
Also making sure that your dog gets enough exercise throughout the day can prevent over excitement.
Take a look at these articles for some ideas:
Why is my dog obsessed with other dog’s pee?
It probably seems pretty gross to you, but dogs use their pee to communicate things with other dogs.
When your dog smells another dog’s pee, he’s probably trying to learn more about the other dog that left that mark.
It’s normal for dogs to be pretty interested in other dogs’ urine. If your dog seems a little too interested, getting him to focus on you can help redirect him.
My dog won’t recall from other dogs, what do I do?
It’s really important for your dog to have good recall. If he doesn’t, this could get both of you into some trouble.
So what can you do? The best thing is to keep him away from other dogs until he has a good recall.
If you need some help, here are 13 tips to teach a dog to come when called.
Related topic: For dog training in general I highly recommend you get a program that walks you through step by step, such as Braintrainingfordogs. Certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli teaches you to train your dog to be the best dog he can by be using mental stimulation! Check out Dogpackr’s review to see if this is a fit for you!
Should I let my dog run up to other dogs?
As excited as your dog might be to meet other dogs, it’s not a good idea to let him just run up.
Not every dog or owner is going to appreciate your dog coming out of nowhere!
Always ask the other owner before you let your dogs meet. Make sure that your dog is able to stay calm during the entire meeting process too. This will help keep things safe and under control.
Why is my dog obsessed with licking my other dog?
Licking is one of the ways that dogs socialize with each other. But if your dog seems obsessed with licking other dogs, this can be confusing—and annoying for the dog being licked!
If you’re looking for some more information on licking, check out these articles:
One of the most fun things for you and your dog is hanging out with other dogs and their owners.
But if your dog gets too excited around other dogs, this can make things challenging.
Remember to practice proper socialization with your dog, and never push your dog past his limits when meeting others. Your goal should always be to keep everyone in the situation safe and comfortable.