It never occurred to most dog owners to teach their dogs to ignore other dogs on walks until they find themselves in this situation.
Imagine you and your dog on a peaceful walk. You are enjoying the scenery, while your dog is just as happy to finally get some exercise. Then all of sudden, another dog is spotted on the same path.
Before you can maneuver your dog to look at something else, they are already wiggling around on their leash, attempting to control their excitement.
This is a struggle for most dog owners as dogs are naturally social creatures. Thus, when they see a companion, it is hard for them not to express their excitement.
This can be an aggravating problem for dog owners to deal with. So we’ve put together this 3-step guide on how to train your dog to ignore other dogs on a walk.
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How to Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs
There are 3 effective methods that can get your dog to ignore other dogs. Feel free to choose the method that you feel is best for you and your dog.
- Friend method
- Nudge method
- Attention and reward method
Tools Needed to Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs
Before starting, you will need a couple of items:
- Leash: To go on a walk.
- Bag of treats: For when your dog behaves.
- Time: Around 15 minutes each day until the training is complete.
- Patience and calm behavior: You’ll need lots of patience because your dog won’t get it at first.
How Do You Teach Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs?
The Friend Method
- For this method, you will need friends and a group of other dogs to participate.
- Take your dog (along with the other dogs) out to a large field with a leash, and have the “test” dogs and friends line up approximately 20 feet apart.
- Let each dog approach yours one by one. If your dog automatically gets excited, point for them to sit down and tell them “NO!”.
- If your dog does this successfully, then give them a treat.
- Repeat for at least 15 minutes
This method is a realistic simulation because when your dog gets to the point where they can successfully ignore all 20 dogs, then they will definitely be able to do this in real circumstances.
The Nudge Method
- First, take your dog out on a walk like you normally would.
- It is essential to remain calm, as your dog will adopt the same relaxed behavior.
- If another dog approaches your dog, instead of instantly pulling your dog back, do not, as this will raise their excitement.
- Instead, nudge your dog to the side to distract them. If they calm down, then give them a treat. However, if they still remain occupied, try calling their name.
This method might take a little longer for your dog to master, but it is still a good practice to be aware of whenever you come into the vicinity of other dogs.
The Attention and Reward Method
- This method first begins before going on a walk. Try calling your dog’s name, and if they give you their attention, give them a treat.
- Continue to repeat this before you go on a walk, as this will train your dog to give you their attention even if there are other dogs around.
- If you are on a walk and your dog comes in contact with another dog, try using this method. If they are still having a hard time focusing on you, try putting a larger distance between your dog and the other dog.
This method is easily the most efficient as you can practice it around the house as well.
Why You Should Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs
One of the main reasons to teach your dog to ignore other dogs is that it is an essential part of obedience training.
By teaching your dog to ignore other dogs, you can help keep both your dog and other dogs safe.
This is especially important if your dog is reactive to other dogs, especially while on a leash. In such situations, it is important that your dog ignores the other dog and remains focused on you.
If neither dog is trained to ignore the other, it can quickly escalate into a dog fight, which can be dangerous and traumatic for both dogs and their owners.
Therefore, it is crucial to train your dog to ignore other dogs as a way of promoting obedience and preventing potentially dangerous situations.
Wrap-Up: Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs
There you have it, our three-step training to stop your dog from going crazy when he sees another dog.
The key to successfully training your dog to ignore other dogs is to be patient and invest time in the process.
Refrain from using excessive force, such as jerking on the leash, as it can make your dog even more excited.
Instead, remain calm as a way to help your dog calm down and learn to back off from other dogs.