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Thread: why is my dog aggressive towards small puppies?

  1. #1

    Default why is my dog aggressive towards small puppies?

    i have a female japanese spitz 1yo (she is 6 kg). i notice that recently she is getting increasingly aggressive towards puppies that are smaller in size than her. The incidents usually happen when she encounters a puppy and either 1, the two sniff each other's face/mouth or 2, the small puppy licks her face, then she would suddenly lunges forward at the puppy and/or try to snap the puppy. i notice that everytime she encounters a small puppy, her posture is tense with some tail waggings in small movement.

    She is very submissive (lies still and shows her belly) towards older dogs or puppy of larger size (e.g a husky).

    Has anyone encounter a similar situation? is this a dominant behaviour thing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    It is not uncommon for dogs not to like younger puppies. I have had dogs that love puppies, are tolerant of puppies or will snap if a puppy gets in their face. People I know will simply say "my dog does not like puppies" to a puppy owner trying to socialise their puppies. This is the best thing to do because you dont want to give the puppy a bad experience.

    Is it only young puppies or is it also small older dogs?

  3. #3


    its mostly puppies of smaller size and a few smaller older dogs. She is a lot better when she is around submissive puppies or calm smaller older dogs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Usually puppies licking a dogs face - is a submissive gesture - they do to their mum in hopes of getting food.

    I don't let dogs that are pulling on lead greet my dog because it's not going to end well - she will tell them off and it's ugly.

    It's up to you to protect your dog from bad experiences. If your dog doesn't want to say hello on a loose lead or the puppy is pulling - then just stay out of reach as best you can.

    Most Japanese spitz I've met are very aloof - and do go greet every dog on the beach - unlike Labradors.

    My dog recognises the "leave me alone signals" and leaves them alone.

    Leave me alone signals include
    being tense, and little tail wags (not coffee table sweeper wags)
    but they're late signals

    earlier ones that my dog picks up - is when she looks at or approaches a dog for a greeting - it looks away, some stiffen up a bit even then or go behind their owners. Some sniff the ground but they move away from the would be greeter...

    My dog likes to approach indirectly in a sort of loop - sniffing the ground as she goes but if the other dog looks uncomfortable... she leaves it alone.

    She often misreads the excited pulling on lead dogs as friendly - most of them are - but they stomp on her and she scolds them for that so I avoid those greetings.

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