Looking for tips on how to train your dog to ignore other dogs? These tips, along with patience and consistency on your part are sure to have your dog focused on you in no time…
Let’s get this out there right away: training your dog to ignore other dogs is one of the harder, more time-consuming training endeavors you’ll encounter as a pet owner.
Some pups are more excitable than others by nature, and it can make walks and park days tough.
Don’t let that scare you away, though!
The training tips are simple enough, just know that it’s going to take some time. It’s also important to understand why your dog is lunging and barking at other dogs.
Once you understand your dog, and you have the goal set to limit these instances, you can begin training in a great mindset.
How to Train Your Dog to Ignore other Dogs
As always, you’re going to tackle this bad habit by using positive reinforcement.
Grab your training treats, and let’s go!
Take 2-3 Fifteen-Minute Walks a Day
Yes, that sounds like a lot.
It will really help the situation if your dog has plenty of chances to practice, though.
Once they know this is a regular part of their schedule, things will start to fall into place.
Give a Treat Before Leaving
Before you even walk out for your walk, call your dog’s name.
If they look at you, give them a treat.
This is setting the standard before you even begin.
The second you notice another dog walking nearby, and you watch your pup hone in on them, call their name.
If they respond by looking at you: You guessed it!
Keep Your Distance at First
Try to choose routes that usually have fewer dogs being walked.
This isn’t always possible, depending on where you live. But it’s important to have some one-on-one time with your dog in the beginning.
Simply walking around your backyard, or a quiet part of your neighborhood will help massively.
This gives your dog the chance to practice having a ton of distractions and smells, yet choosing to focus on you.
Slowly Get Closer to Other Dogs
As your dog’s behavior improves, you can start to venture closer and closer to other pets on their walks.
It may seem impossible, but at some point, you’ll be able to walk next to other pets on the same sidewalk.
The early days will be rocky.
Simply call your dog’s name, and reward them with treats when they look at you.
If Your Dog Stops Behaving, Move Further Away Again
As soon as your dog starts to get too excited and stops listening to commands, it’s time to keep your distance again.
I would recommend staying away for 1 day and then trying again.
Your dog will be able to pick up on how you’re feeling.
If you’re on edge, they’ll be on edge as well.
Stay calm, you’re doing a great job!
I know how stressful it is to walk a dog that lunges at others and causes a scene.
The more you act like a leader, the more your dog will learn to listen.
General Leash Training is Vital
Read my full guide on leash training for help.
More often than not, long-term issues with lunging at other dogs while on walks have more to do with a lack of leash training than the excitement at other dogs.
Go back to the basics if you feel your dog is not great at walking with you in general.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Patience is key here.
Some days are going to feel like an uphill battle.
Has your dog even made any progress? Don’t worry.
Get out there and go on that walk anyway.
You won’t see immediate results, but it will be worth it.
What issues are you having while training your dog to not lunge and bark at other dogs? Let us know in the comments!
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