Does your dog freak out when other dogs are around and you’re looking for a way to get them to stop? In this article we look at four techniques you can use to train your dog to stop barking at other dogs.
1) Divert your dog’s attention
One of the best ways to train your dog to stop barking at other dogs is to distract them when another dog is around. Training games and commands are a great way to do this. If you can get your dog interested in a game or following your command the other dog won’t seem like such a big deal.
You can build on this training technique by constantly practicing the same training game or command every time your dog sees another dog. If followed up by a treat your dog will start to associate other dogs with a fun activity and a treat.
2) Avoid other dogs when possible
Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to get your dog to spot barking at other dogs is to avoid other dogs as much as possible. While this technique doesn’t do anything to address the barking behavior, it does help you control the situation.
If your dog barks and freaks out around other dogs and you simply want to get a daily walk in or take your dog outside to use the bathroom, then simply going places where you know there are no dogs is fine. There’s nothing wrong with a short term solution in this case.
3) Socialize your dog with other dogs
If you’re looking for a more long term solution to get your dog to stop barking at other dogs then it will help to socialize your dog. This is one of the most effective ways to train your dog to stop barking at other dogs. Now do not just throw your dog into the middle of a dog park and say you socialized your dog. Socialization needs to happen gradually.
Start by taking your dog to a place where other dogs are and observe them from afar. Observe from that spot until your dog settles down and gets used to seeing other dogs. Once that happens, come closer to the dogs. Repeat this process until your dog begins to build confidence and interact with other dogs.
Once your dog becomes more comfortable around other dogs, he or she will be less likely to bark at them.
4) Stay calm
If you are outside with your dog and you come across another dog, it is important that you stay calm. If you immediately start scolding your dog, tightening their leash, or communicating in any way that you are nervous then your dog will become nervous too.
Try to restrain your reaction to other dogs and speak normally to your dog when one approaches. You need to model to your dog that there is nothing to be worried about if you see other dogs! Remember that you dog’s emotional state is heavily influenced by yours.