How to stop your dog barking at other dogs? Have you ever wondered why your dog is friendly but barks at other dogs? Get him to quit by following these steps.
When you’re out on a walk with your dog, but they’re constantly barking or lunging at other dogs, it may be a real real hassle.
It can also be confusing if your dog gets along well with other dogs when he or she is off-leash. What should you do if your dog is barking at another dog while you’re out on a walk? And what’s the deal with them acting in this manner?
If your dog is acting in this manner, it is typically an indication of anxiety, which is made worse by the fact that they are tied to a leash and so have no means to escape.
In order to modify your dog’s natural response, you’ll need to teach him new behaviours. Dogs on leashes need to be taught to see encounters with other dogs as an opportunity rather than a threat.
To get you started, we’ll talk about why your dog reacts this way to other dogs while on a leash, how to walk your dog so that this doesn’t happen as often, and how to train your dog to have a new, more positive reaction.
Why Is Your Dog Barking at Other Dogs All of a Sudden?
Fear is the most prevalent reason why your dog is acting this way, but there are many more. Knowing why does your dog bark at other dogs on walks will give you better understanding on how to stop this behavior.
They’ve come across a strange dog that they don’t recognise, and since they’re attached to you by a leash, they have no way to get away if it attacks them.
Behaving aggressively scares away other dogs and people, which is what dogs have learned through experience.
They attempt to frighten the other dog away as a safety measure since their fight or flight impulse is confined to fighting.
Many of us walk our dogs in a manner that exacerbates their apprehension in this circumstance. Doing so is considered both disrespectful and aggressive by dogs.
This puts them in an aggressive scenario when we walk our dog right approaching their dog on the walkway.
There are many additional reasons why your dog may bark and lunge at other dogs when on the leash, and fear is not the primary factor in these behaviours.
Because they are unable to play with their new acquaintance due to the leash, the second most prevalent reason for this behaviour is dissatisfaction.
To determine if your dog is scared or just having a good time, pay attention to their bark and overall demeanour.
If they’re ready to play, they’ll start leaping on you in a fun manner to get you into the game.
Too many dog owners mistakenly attribute their dog’s behaviour to their desire to see the best in him. The problem is that in most situations, fear is the root of the behaviour.
How to Stop My Dog Barking at Other Dogs on Walks
This sort of behaviour is far less likely to occur if you follow a few easy steps when walking your dog.
By avoiding all other dogs while out and about, which would be tough but necessary, you can keep your dog out of trouble.
Changing your route if you often meet a dog that elicits this kind of behaviour in your dog implies avoiding strolling on sidewalks where they are likely to come face-to-face with other dogs.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for other dogs who could be crossing your route, and then alter your course to put some space between yourself and them.
2. Staying Calm
Staying calm when other dogs approach is also crucial since anxiety is infectious.
Your dog will pick up on your dread and anxiety, and it will amplify their own, whether this is a fear trigger for you as a consequence of prior life events or the behaviour of your dog.
Your dog will be calmer if you remain cool, and you’ll be able to handle the issue more effectively.
3. Controlled Leashes
When we approach another dog, many of us automatically shorten our dog’s leash.
As a result, we’ll frequently use the leash to keep them close to us, particularly if they’re lunging at us.
Again, we are teaching our dog that another dog’s approach is something to be dreaded, and this may lead to undesirable behaviours like growling and lunging.
No-pull harnesses may assist reduce the harmful effect of your dog’s lunging habit.
4. Don’t Use the “Sit” Command
In order to keep your dog close to you as the other dog passes, you may be tempted to tell them to sit and remain.
Since a result, individuals may get even more anxious, as they are unable to do action because of this threat’s proximity.
A better strategy is to divert your dog’s attention to something else, like a game of fetch. If they’re having a good time with you, this other dog will appear a lot less relevant.
5. Make Your Walks Exciting and Challenging!
Distracting your dog from possible danger from other dogs is another benefit of making walks entertaining and difficult.
It’s a good idea to change up how fast you’re going, make circles around oneself, and even reverse on yourself. Keep your dog’s focus on you rather than possible predators by engaging in any of these activities.
6. Watch Out For Arousal
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s level of arousal, since this might intensify their terror reaction.
Playing with other dogs in public places or barking at passersby from behind a fence are all examples of scenarios when your dog’s adrenaline levels may be boosted by adrenaline-inducing stimuli.
You should know strategies on how to stop your dog barking at other dogs through fence for this kind of situation.
They may be more inclined to react with aggression when they come into contact with other dogs when on the leash because of this.
Be on the lookout for signs that your dog is in an elevated level of arousal during a walk. Limiting their exposure to these sorts of high-intensity settings may also be a good idea.
This video by Zak George shows you how to teach your dog not to bark at other dogs and people on a walk.
Why is My Dog Reactive?
The onset of adolescence, your dog’s teen years, often occurs around the age of 5 months. At this stage, your dog has completed the process of creating its basic worldview and is through a flurry of physiological changes.
There is a lot of growth and development, as well as new hormones and feelings.
Adolescence is often known as a “fear phase” or a “fear stage.” Things that your dog was previously perfectly comfortable with suddenly become a little on the shaky side for around two weeks.
For example, they could growl or bark at the bin you pass every day on your stroll, or at your buddy who recently shaved his head.
Adolescent dogs, by and large, have a lot to say. When they’re in a state of anxiety or excitement, they’re more likely to engage in larger-than-life actions.
A dog’s reactivity may be caused by one of two factors:
1. They’re afraid of other dogs because they didn’t have much exposure to them as puppies or because they had a bad encounter with another dog.
They yell and lunge at other dogs in an effort to get them to leave or move on. It’s very uncommon for nervous dogs to be reactive while they’re on the lead, and much more so when they’re off the lead.
2. Dogs are annoying them since they’re used to meeting every dog they encounter, but now they’re unable to do so.
To say hello, they bark and tug on their leash. They’re so pleased they can’t bear not being allowed to do so.
With other dogs off the leash, a frustrated dog is usually alright, but he or she may not listen to you and could even be a bit nasty or over the top while they’re playing.
Teach Your Dog to React in a Diverse Way
It’s possible to educate your dog to behave differently in the same circumstance by changing the way you walk them, as well as changing the environment in which they walk.
For this training, the most important thing is for you to educate your dog to link seeing other dogs while on the leash with good things rather than bad.
It is necessary to expose your dog to other dogs in order to train it. It’s important that your dog can see the other dog from a safe distance at the start of the encounter.
The other dog, on the other hand, should not be approaching or surrounding yours in any way. Your dog’s training efforts will be undermined if he exhibits one of these alarming habits.
Allow your dog to become aware of the other dog’s existence while maintaining a safe distance. If required, give your dog a command to remain calm.
Call their attention to you and praise them for their calm demeanour as they observe the other dog.
Make careful to split the snacks into extremely little pieces so that you may reward them several times throughout the short period of time that they are watching the dog.
There is greater importance in how often a reward is given than in its amount. Praise might gradually take the place of some of the goodies as they progress in their achievement.
As soon as you’ve had some success, it’s time to try again at a closer distance.
Keep in mind that a big setback might force you to start over from the beginning.
It’s important to remember that your dog will eventually equate seeing other dogs on the leash with positive reinforcement rather than fear and anxiety.
How can I train my dog to stop barking at other dogs?
You should avoid training practises that cause your dog to be uncomfortable, in pain or fearful.
Tools and tactics such as beating your dog when it barks or tugging abruptly on the leash are all included in this category, as well as electronic collars, prong collars, and ‘no-pull’ harnesses.
To make matters worst, adding additional ‘big feelings’ onto a dog that is already unable to handle their emotions tends to make their reactivity worse: they will start barking from even farther away, or they will become even more intense in their behaviour.
Working with a skilled dog behaviourist and trainer is essential if you want to deal with your dog’s reactivity effectively.
If you’re looking to train your dog, instead of just telling them what they shouldn’t do, we recommend positive reinforcement as a better approach. This is a far better way to teach dogs than just telling them “no,” since you can give them alternatives.
Identify your dog’s ‘triggers,’ which are the things that set them off and the distance at which they must be from you before your dog begins to respond.
Your dog’s reaction may be exacerbated by certain dog breeds, sizes, or sexes. In other cases, it may be specific locations or periods (e.g. at night). Your dog’s comfort will be improved as a result of this.
At this stage, just introducing your dog to other dogs will not help. As an alternative, walk at calmer times in quieter locations to prevent encounters with other dogs.
If you notice a dog while you’re out walking, you should go as far away from it as possible to keep your dog calm.
Avoiding high-intensity activity, such as playing with other dogs, going to doggie daycare, or playing fetch, is also helpful. It might be difficult for our dog to relax and make wise decisions if he or she is involved in high-intensity activities like these.
For the following two weeks, give it a go and see if anything happens. The adrenaline and cortisol levels in your dog should drop, allowing them to better handle their next encounter with another dog.
Enrichment is a kind of mental stimulation for your dog. Dogs, like people, need mental as well as physical stimulation in order to be able to regulate their emotions and calm down.
Things that entice your dog to lick and chew are especially helpful in calming him down. The use of lickimats, kongs, and chews may help your dog learn to use these naturally relaxing behaviours as a means of relaxation.
However, you do not need to spend money in order to provide cerebral stimulation for your dog. Scattered food about the yard or stuffed inside toilet paper tubes for your dog to shred are as effective as concealing food in a wrinkled up blanket.
Treats are a great way to show your dog that you care about their well-being when out on a walk. Say “yes!” and give them a reward as soon as they see a dog so they don’t even have time to consider barking. As long as the dog is in view, keep doing this.
There is too much going on for your dog to handle, and the other dog is too near for comfort. The next time you see your dog’s trigger, make a mental note not to come too near, but keep rewarding them for being around it!
They won’t learn to bark at other dogs by doing this. Because it encourages dogs to concentrate on you instead of barking or lunging when they encounter other dogs, it also teaches them that other dogs are a nice thing to see.
While doing this, your dog will get less concerned about the other dog as time goes on. You know you’ve made a major impact in their training when they can look at another dog and gaze back at you without barking.
As opposed to telling your dog “no” when they do something you don’t like, this method addresses the source of the problem: your dog’s emotions.
But keep in mind that this is only the beginning of your dog’s recovery. Steps two and three are heavily influenced by your dog’s unique character traits, background, and current emotional state.
Awareness is the key to preventing your dog from barking and lunging at other dogs when on the leash. Knowing how to stop your dog barking at other dogs effectively is a must.
One of the most important things you can do for your dog is teach him to equate meeting other dogs while on a leash with happy encounters rather than negative ones that can set off his fear reaction.
Nevertheless, even the most well-trained dogs might submit to their fear instincts under certain circumstances. We can’t blame them for falling to their fear instincts if they’re being attacked by a dog that’s many times their size.
For dogs who are fearful and responding instinctively, getting them to a safe distance where pressure and tension are relieved and they can respond better to your directions is the greatest thing you can do for them.
Do you have a dog who barks at other animals? Have you tried any of the methods listed in todays article? In the comments box below, please share your stories.