Should I Worry That My Puppy Doesn’t Interact With Other Dogs?

Puppy afraid to interact with other pets.

Puppies are enchanting whether they’re sleeping or at play. They’re awkward and clumsy and hands-down adorable. But when your pup is at puppy social hour, he doesn’t want to play. Is there something wrong?

Pet Socialization: Not a One-size-Fits-all Activity

It’s important that your puppy learns how to get along with other dogs, people, and household cats. Early socialization in a puppy class with an experienced dog trainer can get your puppy off to a good start learning proper interaction behaviors. But your puppy backs away from rambunctious play. What are some reasons your puppy may not want to play with the other pups?

  • Size—Not all puppies are small in size or weight. But regardless of the size, they come with teeth that bite, and body slams and tackles can hurt! If your puppy is a small breed or shy by nature, big pups could intimidate or terrify your little one.
  • Aggressive & dominant play—Some puppies have built-in tendencies toward aggression and dominance. They want to win their pack position as leaders and establish themselves through fierce play. If your puppy is one of these, training will show him you are the leader, and he will put all his trust in you to teach him acceptable behaviors.
  • Fear—If your pup is badgered in play by other puppies or dogs, he will become fearful and could develop aggressive, self-protective behaviors. Positive reinforcement of good behaviors during play and training will go a long way toward building confidence in your puppy.

Puppy Socialization Plus Training for Good Manners

If your puppy is shy, a small breed, or bothered by pushy playmates, he still needs to learn how to behave well around people and animals. At East Sacramento Veterinary Center, we encourage our pet families to learn along with their puppies to prevent fearful and aggressive behaviors before they start.

We recommend gentle exposure techniques for early training and socialization. You want your puppy to feel safe with you and to approach new environments and situations with confidence. Positive reinforcement for good behaviors can include yummy training treats.

My Puppy Still Doesn’t Want To Interact With Other Dogs. Should I Be Worried?

Successful puppy training will not change your puppy’s personality. Like people, every dog has preferences, and some pups prefer to interact with their family members. They don’t need a lot of outside stimulation if they get plenty of affection, exercise, and playtime at home. If your puppy doesn’t want to play with other dogs, even if they are his size and temperament, that’s okay!

We Welcome Your Questions About Training and Your Puppy’s Health Care Needs.

Call us with questions at (916) 737-5670 or schedule an appointment using our convenient online form. We offer pet wellness plans that will help you keep your pets happy and healthy. Our veterinarians are experts in animal health and can provide educational resources for you to make sure your pets thrive in your care. We are your partner in pet wellness!