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.