Is your dog barking at other dogs?
Does your dog not hear when he sees other dogs?
Does your dog rush towards other dogs?
There is only one thing that helps: You have to get your dog used to other dogs and understand why he behaves like this.
Smaller dog breeds can still be restrained well, larger dogs cannot. Also, tugging on the leash doesn’t solve the problem – it just circumvents it.
So that you don’t end up in the terrible situation of an actual fight at some point, we have analyzed the problems for you and looked for solutions.
We have created a step-by-step guide that will take you and your dog by hand and paw.
In a nutshell: Practice dog encounters – this is how it works
Teaching your dog not to attack others is not that difficult. Often it is more the fear that something could happen or the shame because your dog bullies in public.
Here is the short version of the step-by-step guide for you:
Initial situation: Your dog is on a leash and you see another owner about 15 meters ahead with a strange dog, also on a leash.
As soon as your dog sees the other dog, stop and give him a treat.
Then you increase the distance massively. For example, change the side of the street.
With each attempt, you decrease the distance.
Teaching a dog to ignore other dogs: you still have to pay attention to that
We don’t want to sugarcoat anything – some dogs have experienced a lot and these experiences sometimes create dangerous situations.
To ensure that you, your dog and the other team are safe, you have to consider a few things.
Dog bullies other dogs
If your dog starts barking at first glance, you need to realize that your dog is showing too much aggression towards other dogs.
In nature, dogs don’t pass each other if they don’t know each other. They dodge, run away or attack.
Attacking is usually the last option when the dog sees no solution other than live or die.
In this case, you need to give your dog more security.
You protect the pack – not him. Then you attack – not him.
In this case, first work on your dog perceiving you as a noticeably dominant part of your pack.
Dog fixes other dogs
Well! It’s better than swinging your fists.
In situations like this, you need to reward watching – if it’s done without a growl.
Say to your dog, “Ah very good, you’re looking. Look, what a nice dog, he doesn’t attack at all.”
Once the “threat” (the other dog) is gone, move on.
Insecure dogs tend to act excessively. So allow your dog to calmly observe the situation.
Give him time to determine that the other dog is not attacking.
Reward him for this if he watches calmly and keep a sufficient distance from the other dog.
Uncertainty in dogs also causes them to start barking. You can find out more about this topic in our article: Dog barks out of insecurity?
Dog draws to other dogs
Sometimes your dog is just in a good mood and wants to say hello. If that’s okay with the other owner, go for it.
If not, you need to distract your dog. Make him do a simple command like “sit” or “down” and reward him.
You could also start playing with his favorite toy until the other dog could pass.
How long will it take…
… until your dog ignores other dogs.
Since every dog learns at a different rate, the question of how long it takes can only be answered vaguely.
Most dogs require a lot of time. Around 15 training sessions of 10-15 minutes each are normal.
Treats! Food helps enormously with training.
Toys that can distract your dog are also very helpful.
Step-by-step guide: Teach your dog to ignore other dogs
For this you need another owner-dog team that knows the rules of the game.
- You start with your dog on a leash in a quiet environment.
- The other team will appear 50m away from you, walking back and forth or standing still.
- Reward your dog when he looks calmly at the other team.
- The team disappears again and your team gets closer.
- The other team reappears, pacing back and forth, or standing still.
- You reward your dog again when he remains calm.
- You repeat these steps slowly until your dog is still calm at a distance of 5 m.
It is easiest if your dog is allowed to practice with another team.
Since dogs would never walk close to each other in nature, you should always keep a safe distance from unfamiliar dogs.