How to Teach Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs On Walks

Imagine this:

You and your doggo are walking along the sidewalk in peace and relaxed. Suddenly, another individual is coming your way also walking with their doggo. Your buddy saw his buddy and starts to bark excitedly and lunges toward the other dog.

Not only does this type of behavior is rude and inappropriate, it could lead to someone or someone’s buddy becoming seriously injured. Also, you surely do not know how the other dog will react with your buddy’s enthusiastic greeting and can return an aggressive behavior.

Now, let us look at it from a different perspective:

You and your doggy are walking along as above, however, this time your dog just calmly walks by your side totally ignoring the other pair as they also walk by on their side of the sidewalk.

Isn’t this a much better scene?

You can experience such scenario as long as you are willing to invest time in training your pup to ignore other dogs on walks. You can easily teach a canine friend of any age to behave in this manner as long as they are old enough to master basic commands.

You should teach your buddy to ignore other as young as possible, preferably when training him to walk on a leash. However, you can also train older dogs to behave in walks but will take a little longer. No matter what age your dog is, learning to behave while around other dogs can save him and the other dog from any serious injury or fights.

Training Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs

There is no need for much supply when it comes to training your buddy to ignore others. Instead, you’ll need a lot of time to for walks every day and it is recommended if it is more than once a day.

You only need 4 things for this training:

  • Leash for walking
  • Treats for rewarding
  • Time for at least 2 – 3 15-minute walks each day
  • LOTS OF PATIENCE

Here are 3 methods to train your dog to ignore other dogs on walks:

THE ATTENTION – REWARD METHOD

  • Before going out for a walk, call your dog by his name. Give him a treat if he looks at you.
  • Repeat the process several times around the house for the next few days until he always looks at you when calling his name.
  • Try a distance walk first. Start walking your pup at a distance from other dogs. Now, when he notices them, call his name. Give him a treat if he looks at you.
  • Using the same method, start your way closer to other dogs. Give him a treat if he behaves or moves further back if he does not and start again.
  • Keep working closer until both of you can pass by others up close without you having to worry about your dog misbehaving.

THE FRIEND METHOD

  • Ask help from several of your friends and have them agree to bring their dogs over for a training session.
  • In a large area, put your dog on a leash and stand beside him.
  • Have your friends and their dogs line up with a space of 20 feet apart.
  • One by one, ask your friends to walk their dogs past to where you and your dog are standing.
  • Each time your dog lunges and barks at other dogs, tell him “NO” and command him to sit. If he does, then give him a treat.
  • Keep the line going for a training session of around 30 minutes every day or at least several times a week. Once your dog has mastered this, you can now take him to walks in a public space and expect the same behavior.

THE NUDGE METHOD

  • Take your dog out for a walk.
  • Keep calm and relaxed as you walk. Your dog can sense this and shall behave in the same manner.
  • If your dog sees another dog and starts to lunge towards them, do not try to pull his leash since this will make him pull harder.
  • Instead, gently nudge your dog to the side using your knee in order to distract him. Give him a treat if he settles
  • If he does not back down, then you can make a sharp tug on his leash while calling his name. Give him a treat, if he behaves.
  • This method should take a few weeks, so you need to be patient in order to fully accomplish the behavioral change you want to teach him.

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9 thoughts on “How to Teach Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs On Walks”

    1. It all makes sense. But I continue to have trouble with my Schnauzer. Treats don’t really work with him. He seems to be getting a little better each time when I walk him but still barks and lunges at other dogs. Is there something else I can try?

      1. Keep yourself between your dog and the other dog. They feel the need to be more protective otherwise. When approaching another dog, tell your dog what you want BEFORE it happens. Say his name to get his attention, and tell him no barking, or heel. Repeat it until you pass. Stop and give him so much praise and attention when he behaves. If he lunges, immediately tell him to sit, and stand over him until the dog passes. I find that just communicating with your dog before the event, and praise alone is a great motivator.

      2. See if you can find something he really likes. A friend of mine, whose dog isn’t very food oriented, uses roast beef to get his attention. But yes, I have a Husky, so I know how stubborn a dog can be!

      3. Make sure your treats are really high value, find something your dog absolutely loves – kraft singles are what works for mine 😍

    2. This is so har with a #135 Great Dane, we have up the treat to a higher treat value, but still continues to lung at other dogs on a walk

  1. I have found that if my dog can sit at a distance and just watch the other dog that keeps him calmer, like walking AND behaving at the same time is too much. I agree with the other commenter to get your dog’s attention before he gets worked up. And instead of saying his name to get his attention I make a little clicking noise. He’s gotten much better using this method (make sure the treat offered is a really good one), but it does take a while.

  2. Hello Thanks a bunch for this article I am struggling so much to keep control of my young Labrador when we meet other dogs on a walk, he just doesn’t seem to pay any attention to me but other times he is fine. I’m going to try the method with the a couple of my friends fingers crossed it works. I also stumbled across a review of this dog training course and a wandered if anyone has used or heard of it, it sounds really good and I was thinking about buying it but I want to make sure it’s worth it first.
    https://sites.google.com/view/about-my-pup/the-best-dog-training-course

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