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My dog is 5 years old now, he is a Great Dane/Mastiff mixed with a Rottweiler. He is large but not as big as one would think, or maybe I am just used to his size. Anywho, my question is why do all dogs bark at my dog?

Anywhere we go, any and all dogs bark at him, even if they can't see him they start barking once we are close enough as if they can smell him.

He never barks back.

I find it odd and don't know why this has always happened.

Is there something wrong with my dog that I am not aware of?
 

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A lot of dogs bark at my girl too, she is a Great Dane. Also many dogs will meet her then snarl, normally after the person says that their dog is friendly. I think it has to do with her size, it's intimidating. I don't let her meet dogs on lead any more, it's not as bad at the dog park with off lead dogs though.
 

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If you're in a city, MANY dogs are dog reactive and weren't socialized that well. Small dogs may react to her size, larger dogs may be dog reactive/aggressive, and even more socialized dogs may react if her posture is stiff/not inviting. Something that will help the other dogs freak out less is to get her attention on you (so she's not staring at them and making them feel less secure) and to just move on at a safe distance. As someone with a dog-reactive dog, it REALLY helps a ton if your dog isn't freaking out/staring back/too close, so giving people space and some time to work around you is easiest on everyone. They appreciate it, even if they can't say it in the moment.
 

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Many extra large dogs get targeted for well...looking scary, so other dogs will be reactive or nasty to them. There's nothing wrong with your dog. In fact you should be proud you have such a solid dog that doesn't react badly to dogs who are mean to him.
 

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I know that Samantha will react more to large dogs, then she does to smaller ones. Not sure I understand all the dynamics involved, maybe a trainer could chime in, but size is definitely a factor governing their reaction.
 

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If you're in a city, MANY dogs are dog reactive and weren't socialized that well. Small dogs may react to her size, larger dogs may be dog reactive/aggressive, and even more socialized dogs may react if her posture is stiff/not inviting. Something that will help the other dogs freak out less is to get her attention on you (so she's not staring at them and making them feel less secure) and to just move on at a safe distance. As someone with a dog-reactive dog, it REALLY helps a ton if your dog isn't freaking out/staring back/too close, so giving people space and some time to work around you is easiest on everyone. They appreciate it, even if they can't say it in the moment.
At least for me, Freyja is never stiff in her greetings. She will play bow and her demeanor is just fairly laid back. When she was younger she was much more excited, but happy. Once at the dog park there was a lab mix that was very put off by her. After he growled and snapped at her she left him alone and played with the other dogs. But this one dog would not leave her be, never bit her but kept snarling, even when she wasn't close to him. Freyja is tall, she towers over most other dogs. I have no doubt it's her size. It's a shame, she really is very gentle with other dogs and loves to play. Once she laid on the ground and was playing with a little 8 week old Shiba Inu. It was very cute.
 

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I agree it's probably his size. Chess is not great with other dogs, but tolerates them. But she is immediately on the defensive with really big dogs, and has been since she was 8 weeks. The first time she saw one was a GSD/wolf mix, and she quite literally took off screaming in fear. She'd seen plenty of small dogs and simply been timid, but friendly.
 

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Thanks you guys. I really appreciate the responses. I only tried to take him to a dog park once and all the dogs started freaking out right away so I just didn't even try to go inside. Once in TJ Mexico we were driving and dogs would run towards the car barking at us.. it's been a lot of instances where I am just confused but I can only agree with you guys that it must be the size.
 

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I think it might be possible dogs are barking for a variety of reasons. Those who bark with out seeing you and your dog are probably alerting to something amiss (your presence or something else you may be unaware of).

Dogs barking at cars is a fairly common dog behavior. Probably was the car in general, not your dog inside the car.

Dogs being excited by a new dog and person entering a park is common and normal. The entrance is actually one of the most common places for problems to arrise at dog parks...

Out and about, dogs actually barking at your dog...
Some dogs are uncomfortable with dogs in general. Some are uncomfortable with specific dogs for various reasons. Size can be a factor if the dog had lack of socialization with or unplesant past experiences with large dogs.

Size can also have nothing to do with it. Could be more situational, for example dogs barking from inside a house, car, or their yards (normally territorial/alert or barrier frustration) and often is triggered by dogs in general, more so than size of dog.


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This happens with my dog all the time. She's a 70lb lab mastiff mix and even if she's not looking at the other dog, they'll bark, growl and even lunge at her. Even dogs her size will lunge at her.

She's definitely confident but she's not aggressive at all so I really don't know what sparks the behaviour in other dogs. My partner and I have even taken turns watching her as we approach other dogs and her posture doesn't change at all. Most of the time she won't even be looking at the other dogs and they still react to her presence.

Someone once suggested it's because she has dark eyes and a dark face (she is actually at lot darker than my avatar shows - in the fall-winter she's pretty much black) or that there could be something about her face shape that is hard to read. I really don't know. I wish I could figure it out!
 

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This happens with my dog all the time. She's a 70lb lab mastiff mix and even if she's not looking at the other dog, they'll bark, growl and even lunge at her. Even dogs her size will lunge at her.

She's definitely confident but she's not aggressive at all so I really don't know what sparks the behaviour in other dogs. My partner and I have even taken turns watching her as we approach other dogs and her posture doesn't change at all. Most of the time she won't even be looking at the other dogs and they still react to her presence.

Someone once suggested it's because she has dark eyes and a dark face (she is actually at lot darker than my avatar shows - in the fall-winter she's pretty much black) or that there could be something about her face shape that is hard to read. I really don't know. I wish I could figure it out!
Are you watching the body language of both dogs as you approach?

Dogs with dark features are often harder to read for people as well as dogs ime.

Disinterest (ignoring, not looking at, etc.) and not offering social/play invitations are signs a dog is not interested in greeting. Can even be a sign the dog is uncomfortable with the other dog.

Really you should avoid approaching or greeting if both dogs do not mutually wish to greet. And by the sounds of it, your dog isn't too interested. Just give other people and dogs reasonable space when passing and continue on your way. If you want to be proactive and help the dogs feel more comfy passing, then keep your dog close and on the opposite side of your body as you pass (you always between your dogs and the other person/dog) and arch or bubble out a bit away from the other dog as you pass. :)
 

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It's not that my dog is uncomfortable, it's just that she's more interested in squirrels than other dogs. :)

I always leave room around other dogs because, unfortunately, we've had too many experiences where owners have lost control of their dog and it's lunged at ours.

I'm quite confident Yoki isn't putting out any negative signals. I just don't understand why other dogs are so agitated by her.
 
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