What should I do if my dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore?
It’s a bizarre sight at times, especially if the behavior is different to what’s normal. It can be something as simple as going to the dog park and seeing your dog sit in the corner refusing to play.
If your dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore, it’s essential to find out what’s going on. Don’t assume this is normal behavior and/or it’s going to go away on its own!
The reasons can include:
- Bad Experience with Other Dogs
- Health Concerns
- General Anxiety
Each situation is going to be different when it comes to a dog that doesn’t play with other dogs. You have to be patient and figure out what’s changed since the last time your dog played.
This article is going to help answer the question, “What should I do if my dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore?” and what works best for a long-term change.
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Tips to Follow If My Dog Doesn’t Play With Other Dogs Anymore
Tip #1 – Invest in Good Dog Toys
The first step is to buy good dog toys for home.
Yes, dog toys are wonderful because they are going to give your dog something new to do. Each dog is unique when it comes to interacting with other living beings and that is why you have to be patient with your approach.
If your dog has a history of interacting with other dogs then it’s already possible to get them to do it. The goal is to start with dog toys as a way to calm them down. You can keep these dog toys around when bringing other dogs around.
The benefits include:
- Helps Soothe the Dog
- Provides an Outlet for the Dog
- Offers Another Option for Playtime
The stability of new dog toys is something that will help out over the short and long-term.
Your dog will want to find something comfortable to carry from one place to the next. If that is what you are after, it’s best to start with something as straightforward as this.
You are going to appreciate being able to use a quality dog toy because it will yield great results. The dog is going to remain calm and it will have something it can carry around from place to place too.
Tip #2 – Play with Your Dog
Yes, it is important to play with your dog and spend more time with them.
There are several situations where a dog simply doesn’t get enough time to interact with other living beings including you. In situations such as these, they become independent and simply don’t want to be around others.
This is why a good starting point is to at least get them used to your presence again.
It can be something as straightforward as going for longer walks after you come back from work/school. You can even take your dog out for playtime at a nearby park if that is something the dog likes doing.
Unfortunately, a lot of people will want to find a good solution but don’t have the time to spare for their dog. This can make it harder to initiate a change in your dog’s behavior.
If possible, you should look to create a set schedule that increases the amount of time you are spending with the dog.
If your dog begins to open up to you and plays more, this is going to make it ten times easier to introduce other dogs into the equation. Otherwise, you are going to be struggling while trying to make things work out in your favor!
Tip #3 – Invite Dogs to Your Home
If you are wondering “What should I do if my dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore?” then it’s time to look at setting up a structured plan at home.
For the average dog, their home is going to be a “safe space” and one they are comfortable with. In essence, this is going to be their territory.
If you have a dog that is easy-going then you will want to invite other dogs into the home. This is going to allow you to see how the dog interacts with those dogs inside its safe space. It is a simple change that is going to yield good results as your dog becomes comfortable.
The benefits include:
- Interaction in a Safe Space
- Builds Positive Relationship with Other Dogs
- Helps Spot Issues with Your Dog’s Behavior
Don’t assume the dog is going to get better on its own!
You will have to work your way up to going to the dog park or walking outside. A lot of dogs that fall into this habit of not interacting with other dogs do so because they are uncomfortable.
The reasons can vary, but you want to start out at home.
Take the time to invite other dogs to your home and see how your dog does. It may not work out at first, but you have to get the dog used to this type of situation again.
Tip #4 – Use Dog Treats
Dog treats are an ideal way to get your dog to remain comfortable.
Imagine being in a situation where a dog isn’t healthy. This can happen for a number of reasons and that includes psychological concerns.
Your top priority is to ease the dog’s nerves and that’s where dog treats help. If your dog needs to feel comfortable, you should start at home and simply add more dog treats to their routine. This is a good way for them to start relaxing and feeling good about themselves.
Over time, you are going to use the same dog treats as a way to incentivize playing with other dogs.
If you have a dog that used to play with other dogs and doesn’t do it any longer then this is a good way to approach things.
Otherwise, your dog is going to curl up and hide. This happens because there is an underlying issue that is bothering the dog. By using dog treats, you can start to understand what the main issue is.
In some cases, your dog will just need a little push to feel good around dogs again.
In a situation where you are asking, “What should I do if my dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore?” it’s best to stay focused on the short-term.
A lot of dog owners will get confused and are going to try to force the issue. This is the wrong approach to take and is going to make your dog nervous.
Instead, you want to start slowly by building a positive relationship at home. The dog needs to know it is safe and as cozy as possible before it starts playing with other dogs again. In this case, the dog will have had a past where it played with dogs, so you want to get it back to feeling comfortable again.
It’s also recommended to visit your vet to see whether or not there are health-related issues your dog is facing.
By taking the time to implement these tips, you are going to have the opportunity to learn more about what is going on with your dog. This is key if you are asking, “What should I do if my dog doesn’t play with other dogs anymore?”
For more on how to help your dog, please go through these articles – how to stop an anxious dog that’s licking the floor, ways to blowdry a dog’s coat, tips for covering a dog with a blanket at home, and best muzzle for dogs.