A dog meets other dogs, that may result in barks and lunges. It is called reactivity wherein canine pets display a strange behavior when seeing another dog. That is simply annoying in public places.
It may lead the pets to hurt each other, and no one wants that to happen. However, understanding the reasons for barking is so crucial in the first place. If your dog has bad barking behavior towards other dogs, this post will help!
Reasons for Reactivity
Does your dog change its behavior while walking in the park and sees other dogs? Here are two main reasons why dogs act that way:
The importance of taking dogs outdoors from time to time is to release them from fear. Once a dog start walking on-leash, it might be a strange thing for the pet. This results in aggressiveness upon meeting other dogs and people on their way. The fear before other dogs will cause the barking to protect himself.
Dogs without proper training could be difficult to calm down when dog encounters happen. Some dog keepers used unkind ways like shouting over the pet with bad behavior. As a result, dogs will bark even more.
Seeing other dogs may surprise an under-socialized pet. The pet thinks to bark as a way of fight response when it saw a new dog. That is why a pup must undergo socialization training at an early age.
Pets wanting to play out the fence will feel stress during inactivity. It is one way that triggers dogs to bark at other dogs, as they also want to play around.
10 Ways to Stop Dogs From Barking At Other Dogs
Having an idea of the reasons why dogs bark at other dogs will simply bring up the ways how to stop them.
Here is a list of ways to stop your dog from the habit of barking towards other dogs:
1. Relaxation Technique
Your dog must be trained to calm down when seeing another dog in the park or anywhere it goes. This is a trial and error way to stop a dog from barking.
First, go to an area where there are some dogs around and bring your dog on-leash. Once your pet begins to bark, keep yourself and your dog away from the other dog. The distance will depend on your dog’s response.
Do this technique over again until your pet learns to calm down when other dogs come its way.
2. Verbal Commands
Training a pup with verbal commands will work in many ways. Verbal cues will alter the attention of the dog instead of barking nonstop on other dogs. Start at home or in an area free from distractions.
Better pick short phrases like “watch me”, and “look!” to easily understand by dogs. It will catch the pet’s attention that easy.
Another is the “speak” and “quiet” commands which control barking behavior. Avoid yelling over your pet when saying these commands.
Give your pet a treat after responding well. Be consistent in saying these cues so your dog will learn to respond correctly.
3. Avoidance Technique
When you walk a dog on-leash the first time, better avoid going to places where other dogs reside. Avoidance could be the easiest way to prevent your dog from meeting other dogs.
However, there are high chances of seeing another dog outdoors. Walk in another direction as you see dogs at a distance. Do not wait for your dog to start barking.
4. Teach to Dog Heel
Use a loose leash in teaching your dog to heel whenever other dogs are approaching. This will prevent your dog from lunging to other dogs.
The training starts when your dog pulls on the leash to attack the other dog. Get a treat to catch its attention. Stop walking until the dog calms down and walks in a perpendicular angle to the other dog.
This approach shall be done in many series. An off-leash play session could be a great reward for your dog afterward.
5. Additional Cue to Dog Heel
When your dog masters the heel command, up next is to teach him to turn. The turn creates a distance between your dog and the other dog, without him knowing. Say the cue “turn” and wait for your dog to respond.
It could work for a 90-degree or 180-degree turn. Assist your dog on how to turn properly by showing hand signals. This will also deliver calmness over the pet as he draws near to you.
Reward your dog with a treat while in the heel position. Your dog might still be tempted to bark but only minimal.
6. Switch-On White Noise
If you are caring for several dogs at home, they have a habit of barking at one another. White noise helps to draw their attention away from making other noises.
Examples of white noise are television, radio, and other background noises. Turn on one of such devices before your dog starts to bark. It helps to drown out noisy tags made by dogs outdoors that might trigger barking.
The white noise will overpower the dog’s noise until he decides to stop barking. Prepare a treat on hand to reward the pet.
7. Use Dog-Friendly Equipment
Walking a dog on a leash is one way to secure him from attacking other dogs. Make sure to use a good-quality leash or harness for better control in case lunging occurs. Do not use electronic collars especially on pups, though other trainers recommend the device.
Be gentle in walking with your dog to bring comfort. Prevent from pulling the leash to pull your dog back. It might hurt your pet and trigger barking even more.
A short and a tight grip will not help as this may trigger your dog to pull the leash. Try to hold the leash not too tight and yet firm enough not to let go of your pet.
Move your dog away from the other dog, if possible, without hurting him. Aggressive dogs will surely pull the leash, so be strong enough to pull back the leash gently.
8. Dog Toys
Divert your dog’s attention by giving him a toy to play with. For example, are food puzzle toys to maintain the focus of your dog.
The owner can also play with the dog to keep him distracted, like hide and seek and fetch. These things will keep your dog away from the other dogs during a walk.
9. Be Fun
Draw his attention on you and not on other dogs, and this will happen if you are fun to be with.
Let your dog perform different activities rather than just walking in the park. Teach your pet to roll over or play dead whenever he starts barking. These positions make barking difficult for dogs. Add up other verbal cues in doing such activities.
You may also change the walking pace and direction from time to time. This will eliminate the boredom feeling of a dog frequently walking outside.
10. Barrier Method
Putting your dog in a fence could be the safest way to keep him away from other dogs. Take him out once in a while to develop his social skills.
This works to prevent your dog from engaging in fence fighting. Whenever another dog is barking over your dog, lead your pet into its fence, and block any access.
A barrier method trains a dog to run toward his fence to stay safe from the other dog’s attacks. It may be annoying as barking continues in a moment but will suddenly stop.
In conclusion, it is normal for dogs to feel irritated over other dogs, especially during their first meeting. We might not prevent dogs to bark at other dogs but we can stop them. Use friendly approaches over a canine pet with barking behavior like what is shown above.
Visit a pet clinic near you for more recommendations. Or, you can ask questions in the comment box.