Are Domestic Dogs Losing the Ability to Get Along with Each Other?

Photo by Kevin Lowery | www.kevinlowery.com

Six months ago, I traveled to a small town in Belize. Over a week’s time I had several opportunities to observe the “village dogs”. These are free-roaming dogs that may or may not have owners. My first response to them was sympathy. As a rule they are thin and lack the robust look and activity level of the typical European or American pet dog.

But the more I watched them, the more I started to feel sympathy for my own dogs back at home instead.The Village dogs were free to come and go. They slept in yards and outside the doors of local shops. Some approached people for attention or food, others played with each other without incident. Their body language was loose and relaxed.

After six days of observation, I had not seen one fight between dogs or any aggression towards people. What do these dogs know that the average dog in the United States doesn’t know? Are domestic dogs in “developed” countries losing the ability to get along with each other?

Based on the number of phone calls behavior specialists like myself receive in a month about dog-dog aggression, I’d say the answer is, YES. So, with all the advantages money can buy, why are our pet dogs becoming more and more aggressive with each other?

The answer:

  • Isolation
  • Confinement
  • Lack of regular, frequent interaction with a variety of stable dogs of varying ages
  • Ignorance of dog culture and social communication skills
  • Expectations that all dogs must get along with each other

Isolation, Confinement, Lack of Good Teachers, Ignorance of Dog Culture, Mistaken Expectations

Typical pet dogs start their socially isolated lives when they leave their litter mates and move in with humans, often as an only dog. Isolation during puppyhood prevents them from learning critical social skills and body language from stable adult dogs and other puppies.

But, socialization is a buzz word that is poorly understood and often dispensed without specific techniques for success.

By the time I met her, Emma had become a statistic; she was the Grand Slam of socialization mistakes. A new client had adopted Emma from a local rescue at 4 month of age. They were told, “This dog needs plenty of socialization”. They were sent on their way to guess what “plenty of socialization” means. The dog spent the next 4 months being flooded with trips to the dog park, leash walks through the crowded streets of the local farmers market, being led right up the noses of other dogs, and a week long stay at a boarding kennel.

As it turns out, Emma’s natural temperament was extremely cautious and she had learned some disastrous lessons about the world. Her owners, like many others, had only good intentions, but no reliable information.They believed what most people believe, “all dogs must get along with each other and with every person they meet“. By 8 months, Emma had become fear aggressive towards other dogs and extremely timid meeting new people.

The village dogs in Belize have so many advantages over dogs like Emma. They are never leashed so they always have the ability to move a safe distance from potential threats. Compared to our dogs, who are tied to us and set out like the goat in Jurassic Park, with no way to escape, the Village dogs learn to use innate body language signals to work out social contact peacefully.

When a pet dog is presented to another dog on leash the result will normally be one of two responses:

  1. Over-exuberance (brought on by a lack of education about social skills)
  1. Avoidance and fear

The first scenario may cause the other dog to “correct” the dog with growling or snapping. The second situation may result in the fearful dog learning to skip all the lower level warning signals and go straight to the bark, snap or bite to protect themselves because it’s the only thing that works.

According to Dr. Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, dog behaviorist, speaker and author, “Free- Roaming Village puppies enter a functional social group. They are low man on the totem pole and they learn pretty quickly who to avoid and when to avoid them.

Dr. Dunbar shares that village puppies are taught the following lessons without overt aggression by stable adult members of the group.

  1. Be polite. It’s not okay to run up to an adult dog’s face
  2. Avert your gaze
  3. Acknowledge your lower rank
  4. Ask for permission to approach, investigate or play

Our puppies and dogs, in order to live safely in our culture, are fenced, crated, confined inside the house and leashed. In general, they have no social group to teach them how to get along with other dogs. So we take them to puppy class to give them at least a few weeks of social exposure. If the owners are lucky, they find an instructor who has an extensive education about puppy behavior from which to learn. But many owners don’t continue the dog’s education into adolescence.

More and more young dogs become unruly and socially awkward. Some become bullies and others are just downright dangerous. A few of these dogs end up being “socialized” in our dog parks. It’s a dog’s natural instinct to avoid dogs that are threatening, but how can a frightened dog avoid an out of control “canine missile” that is barreling towards them across an enclosed park? It is rare for either of the owners to intervene when this happens.

Animal ethologist, Marc Bekoff, Phd, writes in The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint

“Animals at play are constantly working to understand and follow the rules and to communicate heir intentions to play fairly.They fine-tune their behavior on the run, carefully monitoring the behavior of their play partners and paying close attention to infractions of the agreed-upon rules. Four basic aspects of fair play in animals are: Ask first, be honest, follow the rules, and admit you're wrong. When the rules of play are violated, and when fairness breaks down, so does play.”

What Needs To Change to Keep Our Dogs Productively Social?

  • Operation Socialization: Follow the common sense rules set out by Operation Socialization, an online resource for creating an emotionally and behaviorally healthy puppy
  • Never force: Take it slow with your dog or puppy. Don’t force him to face something he finds scary or unpleasant. Instead, gradually create a positive association with the scary situation until your puppy confidently and willingly meets the challenge.
  • Help Them Create Appropriate Distance: Because our dogs need to walk safely on a leash, create distance for them by moving away from other dogs and then evaluating that dog’s behavior. Read Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas to learn how to “arc” around other dogs to simulate natural calming behavior.
  • Educate Yourself: Take classes where the dogs are treated with respect. Use positive methods that will instill trust in the dog and create safe and favorable associations with other dogs (and other people). Get help from a professional.
  • Safe Socialization Scenarios: In addition to puppy socialization, consider Day care for adolescent dogs. Many dog day care facilities offer play groups that respect each dog’s play style so that rambunctious players don’t mix with shy or quiet dogs. Your dog should be evaluated by a knowledgable staff member for play “fitness”. Or find a neighbor who’s dog has appropriate play skills that match that of your own dog and get these dogs together for play regularly.
  • Dogs need fences: Based on laws governing property rights and for the safety of our canine family members, we do need fences. If your dog can see other dogs through windows or fences and their response is to bark, fence fight or become overly aroused, create a visual obstruction so the dog can’t rehearse this frustrated or territorial aggression. Many owners want their dogs to “see” the world go by because it’s the dog’s only boredom busting activity. Give your dog safe chew toys or problem solving “puzzle” activities.Take them for long runs in the park to work off excess energy. Interrupt fence running or window barking and take away the dog’s access to this scenario.
  • Dog Park? If your dog has a history of aggression or fear, do not take them to dog parks. Dog Parks are for the safe play of socially healthy dogs who have the right to play without being set up as “bait” for other aggressive dogs. If your dog is fearful, it is a short ride to aggression if even other friendly players approach them. Contact a behavior specialist or trainer who will help you to find appropriate activities for your dog and who will teach you how to safely and compassionately improve your dog’s responses to other dogs.
  • Dogs discriminate. It is to their advantage to be able to decide who is safe to have contact with and who isn’t. Nobody’s dog needs to be friends with every dog they meet and if your dog “corrects” another dog for inappropriately dangerous social behavior, don’t punish the corrector. A dog who growls or snaps at an unruly adolescent is well within their rights to teach the other dog what they are doing wrong. The unruly dog actually needs this kind of response to learn the rules of social interaction. Move the dogs away from each other. Don’t let the “correction” escalate to self-defense.
  • Sharing is not a survival strategy. Don’t expect your dog to share valuable food or chew items. If your dog covers his filled Kong with his head, freezes and lifts his lip at an approaching dog, understand that this is normal dog behavior and a productive communication to the other dog.The higher the value of the resource, especially food resources, the more likely a dog will actively guard them. If necessary, separate dogs when offering high value chew items.
  • Be your dog’s advocate. Respect who they are and keep them safe.

There are still many dogs in North America and Europe that are dog friendly, but, the scales are starting to tip towards a new “norm” where dogs have no practical social skills when it comes to getting along with other dogs. We are our dog’s guardians. We take on the responsibility to create lives for them that are safe, happy and productive. We need to become the facilitators of a good social education. We owe them at least that much.


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Positively Expert: Laura Brody

Laura Brody is the owner of Denver's Good Family Dog, Kind, Purposeful, Force-Free Dog Training and Behavior.


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  • animalover

    I wholeheartedly agree with this! I have to traveled to 30+ countries around the world and have seen this with my own eyes. As heartbreaking as it can be on one hand to see so many stray and unwanted dogs living in such close proximity to people, it also really opened my eyes to how as much as we (North America) pride ourselves on being one of the most, if not the most, humane countries for companion animals in the world, the restrictions we place on animals are quite profound. Dogs roam freely and learn how to co-exist as they would naturally and like you said, I have NEVER seen a fight in places where the dogs roam nor have I ever seen a free roaming dog attack a person.That's not to say they don't happen, for sure they do, but its not as common as you would think. If Americans let their dogs roam freely it would be a blood bath. I was truly amazed and appreciative of the freedom the dogs received and learned to accept it and see the positive side to it in my travels instead of the sadness. This of course will never happen in the US and like you said, it just isn't realistic in our society, but we can certainly do a better job. I live in Palm Beach County, FL and it is such a dog UNFRIENDLY county. In fact, I think the county would be thrilled if people's dogs never left their homes. Everywhere you go, it's NO DOGS ALLOWED. Until this year there has never been a beach in the entire county where dogs are allowed. Now they're allowed in small section three times per week for certain hours at a "test pilot" beach. Most county parks and local city parks within the county don't allow dogs. In a park for godsakes! When you're so limited on where you can take your dogs to socialize and behave like real dogs, you end up with the choices to take your dogs on a walk in your neighborhood or to a dog park and that's it, with nothing in between unless you want to pay for socialization at a doggy day care, ha!

  • DogPaddle

    This is an interesting and thought provoking article, and I wish I could make every dog owner in my town read this. Just the advice about the dog park alone is invaluable.

    However, isn't it also likely that human's intervention in breeding domesticated dogs is also playing a role in their aggression/lack of canine social skills? In most countries with domesticated dogs, dogs are bred for the preferred physical traits for that particular breed. The dog's temperament is valuable as well, but it is secondary to the physical characteristics. Even domesticated mixed breeds are a mixes of these same manipulated breeds. In the case of the free-roaming dogs I would think that the dog-friendly characteristics would occur naturally in order to perpetuate the species. Natural selection at work.

  • KameleonKarma

    Very well written and so true! I love this! Thanks!

  • Eric Goebelbecker

    A link to Operation Socialization might be helpful: http://www.operationsocialization.com

  • Michael Haslam

    The big problem in the UK has been the introduction of Dog Exclusion Zones and Dogs on Leads areas, dogs just can't socialise naturally in public spaces. Puppy farms give no thought to socialisation too and mandatory standards must be brought in.

  • Sleddogracer

    Excellent article - I think one of the big problems with poor socialisation comes from pups being taken from their littermates too young - pups taken at 8 weeks have just begun how to socialize with their littermates - socialization is learned naturally during the period of 8 - 16 weeks and it's learned from littermates - the new owner takes the pup home where it has no chance to learn how to interact with other dogs and unless they make a special effort to teach their puppy to be social, the puppy with no social skills grows up to be a dog with social problems - I don't think domestic dogs have lost their ability to be social, I think our lack of knowledge about dogs and the way we deal with them has taken it away

  • Jeff Oehlsen

    Dogs are not losing anything. People are losing their minds.

    1, dogs who are raised together like that generally get along.
    2, people tend to be all weird and nervous and since THAT is their pack, dogs will react badly. Even the TV dog guy Ceasar Milan knows people screw this up
    3, People in "civilized" areas treat dogs like they are not dogs. People in Belize will crack a dogs bottom with a broom for misbehaving.
    4. "pet" breeders. No 20 something has any idea what correct temperament is, and so things like pack behavior get messed up.
    5, People. People are also the next 30 on the the list. You, the consumer, INSIST on getting dogs from breeders and or rescues who are incredibly damaged goods, instead of the funny looking one with good temperament. Dogs with good temperament do not need "doggy behavioral specialists" EVER. NOT EVER.

    I have been training dogs for over 40 years. Dogs are not losing anything, people are. People are losing their common sense. People are over thinking basic problems, and people are buying from places where dogs with incorrect temperaments are rampant. Pretty sure Belize got rid of those dogs a long time ago. They did the work, they have a community now.

  • riverdivine

    Yes. Good article. And, I would add that CRATING dogs here in the U.S, is a completely pathological and unethical and unnatural attempt to 'isolate' and 'control' and 'contain' our living, feeling, family members. Other countries do not do this. Put it this way- if you (human, reading this) were forced into a locked cage 10+ hrs/day, would you be a bit crazy....desperate, ANNOYED, maybe???? CRATES are bad things. Please, VS, stop supporting the use of these barbaric and destructive and inhumane human creations.

  • riverdivine

    Yeah, right...the answer is 'cracking dogs on the bottom with a broom'.... :/ Another intelligent American....

  • Rita Rice

    Well socialized dogs begin with proper nurturing as a puppy. The "8 weeks" mantra that is ignorantly touted by the pet buying public is the first step towards poor socialization. Allowing pups to stay in a family grouping through 12 weeks allows the pups to leatn the skills they need to approach, greet, and play with other dogs. Well meaning owners spend too much time trying to create "fur-children" instead of allowing puppies to be puppies. Too many rules, not enough free play - and when pups exhibit inappropriate behaviours (generally stress induced), the average trainer responds by adding more rules (in the guise of "obedience").

    I can "cure" most behavioral issues by introducing a rescue into my field pack - access to plentiful food and water (distributed in multiple stations to prevent guarding), a cozy indoor space with more beds than dogs, and an acre of pasture with many more toys than dogs - after a month of vacation time they're relaxed, healthy, and cured of possessiveness and other rude habits. I spend time every day dispensing treats or just sitting and allowing them to visit with me as they choose; no structure, just human company if they want it.

    By letting dogs be dogs, I can cure most shyness and aggression within weeks. Of course, if the pet owning public would start with dogs from reputable breeders who breed and nurture great temperaments, most of these problems wouldn't have existed in the first place.

  • Mattie Parsons

    I have been saying this for a long time, modern dogs don't know how to get on with other dogs, 2 of mine don't know how to introduce themselves to other dogs but are very good when I have foster dogs in, they teach them how to be a dog and speak dog but can't teach the introduction.
    9 weeks ago I adopted a Romanian Street dog, thanks to the way they are treated in the kill shelters there he was terrified of my dogs, he had been put in a pen with much bigger dogs and had to fight for any food he could get, he thought it was going to be the same here. It took 8 days of being able to communicate with mine through a gate for him to feel safe enough to join them. Yes he could communicate with my dogs just as my dogs could communicate with him even though he came from Eastern Europe.
    I haven't allowed my dogs to mix with others for quite some time now because other dogs don't know how to be a dog and their owners haven't a clue what dogs should be doing, it isn't worth the hassle but I do have 5 dogs and they do interact with each other, they have handbags and I have had the odd full fight and had to split them up but by respecting their triggers I can avoid the fights.
    When I was a child it was normal to let our dogs out to roam, the only aggressive dogs were those that were kept in and didn't learn to mix with humans or dogs. There wasn't the problems of dogs being under exercised then either, they exercised themselves by playing with each other, dogs usually got on, learnt to be dogs and speak dog by the older dogs so they grew up balanced dogs who knew how to be a dog. I wouldn't like to go back to those days but do think that we should find the right balance for the dogs sake.
    These days dogs are not treated as dogs, they are babies or children, owners don't know how to treat them as dogs, yes I talk to my dogs as if they are humans but they are dogs first and I must never forget that.

  • Cornafalamalata

    A crate is a nifty thing if you have a dog that is learning his house training and you need to leave him unsupervised for ten minutes. Or if you are bringing a new dog into a house and need to temporarily separate him from the rest when you are asleep, for example. A crate is an appalling thing if used routinely for 8 hours straight during the day. On the other hand, 8 hours alone even in a whole house is something many dogs cannot handle. It's not so much the space, as the social isolation and lack of stimulation.

  • Cornafalamalata

    I think the big problem is space, full stop. In the USA they seem to think that tiny little paved fenced paddocks with no cover are 'dog parks' which is clearly ridiculous, they are usually way too small and fights are bound to ensue unless the dogs there are unrealistically well behaved - because they are so boring. They look like prison exercise yards. You don't need a dog with major issues to have problems somewhere like that, even a dog that is just young and a bit bouncy or old and a bit grumpy is likely to struggle.

    In the UK, we have as you say the problem of more and more space reserved for people not dogs - and too many people - and before you know where you are, finding a space where you can safely walk offlead that provides suitable stimulation and interest and has dogs to meet but is not absolutely swarming with dogs becomes hard.

  • Paula

    Actually, dogs in deveolping countries have mandatory yearly vaccinations unlike in countries where distemper and rabies are controlled. You can vaccinate a dog in the US and the vaccine will work for like three years or something (or so I've read). Here we miss a month and our dog is at high risk of contracting any preventable illness and dying.

  • Paula

    I agree. Many dogs are even taken at 6 weeks, which is the standard for rescue dogs. And then people wonder...

  • Tori Wheeler

    Lol, hilarious! Anti-vaxxers amuse me so. They don't vaccinate any dogs in Belize or other developing countries, it's true, so the dogs are all dying from distemper and Parvo, and the people are getting rabies from dog bites. Rabies kills many thousands of people in China and Africa, and the great majority of them are infected by being bitten by free roaming, unvaccinated dogs. And these dogs don't merely harm human populations, they also hurt native canid populations. A large part of the cause of African wild dog/painted dog population declines is distemper, rabies, etc. from free-ranging village dog populations...

  • terryward

    Of course it would have nothing to do with a cultural shift from family pet to peenis-on-a-leash.
    Sorry folks..this is not the fault of pug rescuers and poodle lovers.

  • Sarah Bartley

    I agree, I live in a rural area of Texas and it saddens me when I see the local skinny dogs running around, I see way too many dead dogs and puppies that have wandered into the highway, but I have the same conversation with myself every time: Are they better off running free, surviving like animals than if I picked them up and took them to a shelter, where they may or may not be rescued, they may sit in a cell block with no other dogs to play with in a stressful environment for years or be finally put to sleep? I have picked up puppies in the past and then felt bad about it later, I try to smile and say there they go running about looking for food

  • Grace

    My dogs love thier crates, they are never used for repremand. They are not in there all day either. Thier crates are always opened and many times they are inside it napping. There is nothing wrong with crate training an animal. Many times I have seen dogs so stressed out at the vet office because they have to be in a crate. If the dog is crate trained in the first place, the stress factor for vet stays/procedures is much less. Also, it is much safer for an animal to travel in a crate. I show dogs, I sometimes travel with several and they are in crates with thier chewies and not a peep out of them during the drive. My dogs are well socialized, each having thier own personality. I can bring any dog into my home and that dog is going to be accepted.

  • Paula

    Dogs killed by parvo and distemper in my country may beg to differ.

  • Colette Kase

    I agree with much of this article but as someone who ran a full time animal behaviour practice in London and taught internationally for many years before retiring to Belize, I believe that 6 days didn't give a fair overview of village dogs in Belize. Dog fights and bites do occur frequently. When a bitch is in oestrus fights can become frequent, furious and dangerous. Dogs can be literally ripped apart. I run a humane education programme in Belize and have surveyed primary school children about dog bites. Most have been bitten by the age of 10. Free ranging dog have ongoing conflicts involving bites with people who cross their territory on foot or bicycle often resulting in either machete chop injuries to the dog or bites to the human - sometimes both. If and when these dogs become too much of a nuisance they are culled (killed). The other thing that the author may not be aware of is that local town councils in Belize are obliged by law to undertake regular 'eradications', which involves laying out poison bait for dogs in the streets (they use strychnine here). This results in a vast reduction in the number of dogs, but as numbers increase, human/dog conflicts do also. So, while I would agree on the general principle that a lack of socialisation and modern living can definitely contribute to dog/dog aggression, issues related to human and dog aggression do occur with some frequency in Belize, she may not have encountered those or become aware of the manner in which those issues are dealt with giving her a somewhat skewed version of what life is like for village dogs in Belize.

  • Katy

    other countries dont use crates ?? Very much the norm in the Uk and invaluable for times when you are not there to supervise. Protects puppy from older dogs if necessary but also hazards in the home such as wires that might be chewed. Definately promotes toilet training. BUT should be used for short periods only or overnight sleeping as owners should be there most of the time.

  • Lara

    Is Operation Socialization supposed to have a link? Need more information about what do actually do about this problem.

  • Cree

    Excellent article!

    I struggle with the over-exuberance factor with my Frenchie. She's always so jolly and happy to meet and greet other dogs. Plus, she's a puppy. But my previous Frenchies were the same their entire lives. They would run straight up to a dog, face first, and jump excitedly, hoping for a wrestling match. It's SO frustrating. And it doesn't seem to matter how many times they get corrected by other dogs - they just do it again and again. They don't call them "clown dogs" for thing.

    My girl is a tiny bit better, but still, despite all the socialization, she still defaults to running up to other dogs - face first, looking to party.

  • Alyce Thompson Cato

    I adopted Amy at 5 weeks, I knew she should stay with her mom but the shelter insisted it was time for her to go. She had also been spayed the day before and was very tender around her belly. She showed aggression within a week of being at home with us. Initially I thought it was kind of cute that she would make a tiny little growl and show those tiny baby teeth. But by the time she was 4 months old she was invited to stay away from our neighborhood dog park. She is almost 5 years old now and will behave herself around some dogs, but not all. She is a terror on walks when she sees dogs walking toward us. I love her very much and would like to learn how to teach her to not be aggressive. She is so stubborn and undisciplined unless she is in the mood. I'm a terrible dog mama. Is it too late?

  • MorninGlory Lisow

    I agree they are taken away way too early.

  • Slvrhr

    When I was still teaching, I did my own survey to track the aggressiveness I was seeing in puppies coming through my classes. 80% of the puppies spayed or neutered before 3 months of age showed signs of aggression, fear and/or hyper reactivity. The presence of these issues reduced dramatically if they were spayed or neutered after 5 months of age. There are now a lot of studies confirming my observations

  • Gerry Glauser

    The ability is not lost. Search on Aimee Sadler, Playing for Life and Animal Farm Foundation. Then go back to your Village Dogs and watch them to see how they learn and behave. Your quotes on Ian Dunbar are good, as are some of your comments on things that people often do wrong. But your advise and warnings are claiming those Village Dogs are wrong.

    On dog corrections, you need to learn the purpose of agonistic behavior in dogs, and the proper forms. When a dog corrects another, what should be done then depends on their subsequent behavior. Yes, you are correct in no punishing. But if you always separate after a proper correction, you are preventing natural learning. Aimee Sadler gives some demonstrations and advice on that. No, I didn't learn from her, but had managed rehab play groups for years when I first met her, and found our approach was the same, and she's doing this around the country.

    Dog parks are a people issue, so some should be avoided. But every aggressive dog who comes here ends up a local dog park, learning socialization skills. And there is no ONE thing called a fearful dog, but a dozen variations. Those with little interest don't go to dog parks, but many others learn needed social skills which allow their being adopted into homes with an existing dog. Your "...short ride to aggression..." is downright silly. And the dog trainers usually stand on the outside and watch, as few of them know what to do. Some of the quiet dogs just enjoy staying on the perimeter and watching the play, and they learn how to manage it if a bouncy dog runs over to them. But they still get excited when we approach the dog park.

    Comparing against your Village Dogs, the rambunctious players there learned how to respect the shy and quiet dogs. We had nearly 30 dogs at the dog park, with several groups playing in different styles, and quiet dogs just walking around, with no issues. They had all learned what your Village Dogs knew.

    Finally, I do agree with your conclusion that these are now in the minority, and the skills are often not learned, and that's a people issue.

  • Gerry Glauser

    Two young litter mates came into the play group. They had learned from each other and did so well together, the people thought all would be fine. But they never learned to meet new dogs, or how to negotiate play, manners, and how to respond to shy or scared dogs. Pretty soon, there were several fights. Yes, initial learning from litter mates is important, but it never equipped them to handle this situation, and their people were clueless on why this happened. Instead, at several shelters we've brought older pups in with suitable adults, to complete their social training.

  • Bridget47

    Are you talking about the dogs or the humans?

    40,000 humans die each year in the developing world from rabies. 4 die in the US.

    Survival of the fittest also means being able to use your brains instead of your rear end to think.

  • Bridget47

    Baloney. Run titres on the dog and you'll find out that you need to revaccinate.

  • non E. mus

    current studies seem to indicate that rabies vaccination, at least, maybe effective for over five years.
    http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/education/why-challenge-current-rabies-vaccine-policy

  • Kathleen Crouse-Bradley

    I would never have just one dog, for crying out loud they love being together. We have 4 and they all get along 2 M, 2 F...In May our new Mastiff will be coming, EVERY dog in my house will respect that puppy when I bring it through the door and put it down. I learned the hard way, that the only way to raise a "strong" breed is socialization. I do rescue from my home, when a new dog comes in to the rescue the resident dogs look at me like I'm nuts and walk away, lol

  • Paula

    First I never said that there were dogs dying because of rabies for skipping a vaccine (even in my country it's a fairly rare disease).

    However georgia's claim was, basically: "Dogs lose their ability to get along with each other because people overvaccinate." Based on the supposed premise that in developing countries with big stray populations (or "village dogs" as they are called here) people don't vaccinate. Which is a blatant lie, since dogs have mandatory YEARLY rabies vaccinations, and vets urge you to vaccinate your dogs YEARLY. (Contrasted to the laxer schemes in countries where parvo and distemper are not a big danger) There are even plenty of people who vaccinate these stray dogs. So the premise was wrong. That's all I'm saying.

  • Charlie Norris

    Yearly vaccinations are for the insane. Clearly they do not understand how the immune system works. Big Pharma merely purports what they want us to believe the correct and safe health standards are, and like suckers, the general public buys what they are selling, and who pays for it? The dogs. Yes, there are some diseases so strong, you want a young dog to get that disease introduced to their immune system to provoke a response.... but to keep doing it once every three years, or every one year is absolute stupidity.

  • Charlie Norris

    Exactly, once a disease is introduced to the immune system, it garners the information required to implement the appropriate response. The immune system, cells, they have affinity and intelligence, and when they see the same symptoms show up years later, then the immune system takes care of it. It "remembers" what to do. I do not think Paula understood or fully read or got the meaning of what you wrote. That is right, giving a dog another vaccination that you previously gave it does not help, and in fact, it can hinder the health of the dog. In addition, if you believe your dog may be wearing thin on strength in terms of handling a disease, then just get a titer test done and they can tell you how potent their immune system response will be to the disease.

  • Charlie Norris

    I would never give my dog a rabies vaccination.

  • Paula

    If it's good or bad for the health of the dog is irrelevant to the point I'm making and I don't want to discuss it either.
    Over vaccinating does not cause aggression, and that's the end of the story.

  • Fataah Ewe’

    In the US, every Tom, Dick and Jane are backyard breeding pit bulls and advertising them as "great guard dogs" and "good with children", as if the marvelous mutts they breed are capable of outstanding temperament. In fact, this is not at all true. Pits and their mixes are flooding towns and cities; these bad actors, quite different than other breeds, mostly un-neutered, are changing the norms of dog behavior. These mixes are commonly very dogs aggressive, from fight lines. Keep in mind dog fighting as a shadow sport is going on in our time, full tilt. When dog fighters large operations are busted, the high prey drive dogs are trucked away to shelters in cities far away, to be adopted out to unsuspecting and often first time dog owners who have no idea of the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the "sweet" pit they are meeting, all waggy and charming.

  • Len C

    Oh so read my Biko's style which unfortunately is one of stay away from me or I'll attempt to kick your butt. He's been through puppy obedience, young adult training and even aced the Good Canine Citizen classes. Then came the diagnosis of kidney failure and all the meds he has to take to stay healthy. Seems his temperament took a dive. Great with people but his relationship with other dogs other than his co-pet Adobo has continued to the point I no longer take him to the dog park. Both are Siberian Huskies and Adobo misses not going to the get togethers as often as we use to attend

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