A game can quickly become bullying among dogs if a four-legged friend ignores your pet's termination signals. As part of the group dynamics, other dogs can join the brawler and together they suppress their "victim" and harass them. It is often said: "They make it out among themselves" or "Well, he has to go through it, he should learn to defend himself!" - but that's not true in this case.
Why you shouldn't tolerate dog bullying
In rank order battles that are part of natural dog behavior, it is indeed advisable to stay out as a human and only intervene if the dog dispute escalates. Bullying among dogs has nothing to do with finding out who is the stronger or who owns the area. Rather, it is already clear who is inferior to whom, and yet the stronger does not let go of the weaker. Your dog may then try to get out of the situation and seek protection from you. Do not send him back to the other animals, because you are sending him the wrong signal.
If you don't protect him, your dog will learn that he cannot rely on you. If he comes back into a bullying situation, he may run away from fear or he will react aggressively from the outset to similar members who resemble his bullies because he thinks attack is the best defense. It is also possible that his fear develops into an anxiety disorder or that his aggressive behavior extends to other areas. After that, only an experienced animal psychologist or problem dog therapy can help.
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Protect your dog from bullies: tips
It is best to intervene immediately if you notice that your dog's play partners appear over-excited and cranked up and your four-legged friend shows by means of appeasement signals or other defense reactions that he no longer feels like playing. Then with luck you can prevent bullying among dogs. It is therefore important to allow four-legged friends to play with each other only under supervision and to keep a close eye on them. If one of the dogs starts bullying your pet, ask the other dog owner to put their bullies on a leash. Also, if you're worried about your dog and think the other dog owner wasn't paying attention, try to stay calm and friendly.
Take your own dog out of the game situation and on a leash unless it is running towards you to protect it. It is important that you stay calm all the time and do not spread any hectic pace. Otherwise, your pet thinks there is every reason to be afraid if even his favorite person gets nervous. Leave the scene and take a relaxed stroll. A quiet route where you don't see so many other dogs is ideal. In the future, it is advisable to find more suitable play partners for your four-legged friend. After all, playing is part of normal dog social behavior, of course it should only be fun for everyone. The size, strength, temperament, age and gender of the animals should be as similar as possible so that there is no misalignment and bullying among dogs.