What causes some dogs to bully other dogs?

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Some dog breeds are naturally more dominant than others, which can cause them to bully other breeds. Additionally, some dogs who are socially inexperienced, young or very hyper also tend to get labeled as bullies. These dogs do not understand the social characteristics of a dog pack, or being around other dogs; therefore, they can be aggressive with play or carry out unacceptable behaviors around other dogs.

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if a dog is a bully, or just playing roughly. Dogs have different playing styles, so it’s important to know the difference. A dog who is a bully will always be the aggressor in a play situation, and will not likely be the one being chased or acting shy. Most times, a bullying dog will find another dog similar in size to play with, as smaller and shyer dogs will not want to play with them.

Play between two dogs should be equal, with dogs taking turns being the dominant opponent or the submissive. There should be a back and forth that occurs, even if the play looks rough and turns into wrestling or mounting. This is not considered bullying, but is a normal play style for dogs.

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