Dogs are known to bark at other dogs when they pass them by. This is why training a dog not to bark at other dogs becomes important.
I’m not a dog trainer, but I am a new dog owner. As you may have heard, one of the most difficult parts of owning a dog is training them to follow the basic rules that we humans set forth with both simple and complex commands. Getting them to stop barking at other dogs has been a challenge for me as well as many other owners, but I have found that there are some things that can help!
- If your dog is barking at other dogs, it’s important to determine whether or not this is a learned behavior. If it is, then you can train your dog to stop barking at other dogs by using treats as a reward for good behavior, and redirecting your dog’s attention to something else whenever he barks at another dog (like playing fetch with him). If your dog barks out of fear, then you’ll need to get him accustomed to being around other dogs before trying any training. This can be done by taking him on walks with other dogs, or having friends with dogs over for playdates and training sessions.
- When training a dog not to bark at other dogs, it’s best to start with one-on-one interactions between the two animals—if there are multiple people present when you begin training, they should all leave except for one person who will be working directly with the animals (this will help the dogs focus on each other). Make sure that everyone involved in this part of the training knows how to handle dogs safely and appropriately; if necessary, consider hiring an experienced professional trainer or bringing in a friend who has experience working with animals.
The best way to train a dog not to bark at other dogs is to use positive reinforcement. This means you reward your dog for doing what you want it to, and you don’t punish it for doing something you don’t want it to do.
You can practice this training by bringing your dog to a place where there are lots of dogs. You want to find a place where there are no signs that say “No Dogs Allowed.” If there are signs that say “No Dogs Allowed,” that is okay too because they will teach your dog how important it is not to bark at other dogs in public places.
Once you find a place where there are lots of dogs, start walking with your dog on a leash and get close enough so that they can hear each other’s noises. As soon as they start barking or growling, stop moving forward and wait until they stop making noise before continuing again. Do this over and over until they learn not to bark when they hear another dog making noise nearby!
Training A Dog Not To Bark At Other Dogs
If you want to stop your dog barking at other dogs, you must first determine what is causing your dog to bark in the first place. Discovering how they feel will help you better understand the root cause of their loud noises.
“Barking is communication generally used by dogs to get something they associate as ‘positive’ to happen, or to prevent something they feel is ‘negative’ from happening,” a spokesperson from the Dogs Trust tells Country Living.
More from Country Living
“If barking is successful in bringing about the desired outcome, for example a bark resulted in them receiving their favourite treat, a dog will learn that barking was a good choice.”
If you’re unsure what to do, take a look at the Dogs Trust’s tips on how to stop a dog barking below…
1. Take a different route
If you want to reduce your dog’s barking, it could be worth taking a less public path. Many dogs will bark at other dogs and people when out and about, so avoid busy areas. “Walk your dog on quieter routes at less busy times of day, so you’re less likely to encounter other dogs,” the team at the Dogs Trust tell us.
If you do find yourself meeting other dogs, don’t tell your dog off for barking as this might make them worried or confused. “Be mindful that you do not accidentally reinforce the barking.”
2. Learn to recognise how your dog is feeling
While your dog may bark at people or other dogs for a variety of reasons, it’s crucial to address the motivation behind the barking. Some dogs may bark at others to greet them, while others may bark because they feel threatened by their presence.
“It’s really important to pay attention to your dog’s behaviour, if there is anything you’re concerned about – for example if your dog barks repeatedly or for prolonged periods of time – you should always ask your vet, so that any possible medical reason for the behaviour, such as pain, can be treated,” the team advise.
“If the barking persists, your vet will then be able to refer you to a suitably qualified and experienced behaviourist. They will create a tailored programme to help change the way your dog feels and behaves around other dogs.”
3. Keep moving on the walk
A dog walk is the highlight of a day for many, but it can be challenging to control constant barking. If you’re experiencing this regularly, keep your dog on the lead and continue to walk.
“When dogs are worried or frightened, they may also bark at another dog to try and increase the distance between them and make the other dog go away. A worried dog who can’t avoid the other dog, for example because they’re on lead, might also be frustrated by this,” the team tell us.
4. Distract your dog through training
Learn tips, tricks and cues to help your dog ignore distractions on a walk. It might take a little training, but soon your dog will move on. Don’t forget to bring treats along, too. These will come in handy when you want to praise them for good behaviour.
“There may be times when you need to distract your dog,” The Dogs Trust add. “Practise scattering a handful of treats in the home, saying ‘find it’ as you do, so that your dog has to put their nose to the ground and sniff them out to enjoy. The more you repeat this game, your dog will start to look down when you say ‘find it’, expecting their treats. You can then use this to distract your dog when you notice other dogs out and about.”
5. Teach your dog to pay attention to you
This might sound simple, but learning how to teach your dog to look at you on cue, check in with you, and pay attention to you on walks can help. Not only will it help them to stay focused when distractions arise, but it will strengthen your bond, too. Don’t forget to reward them with treats when they walk past another dog calmly.
6. Take your dog to a training class
If you still need additional help, consider taking your dog to a training class (some are running virtually due to lockdown).
“Dogs Trust’s Dog School provides high quality, welfare-friendly dog training during fun, educational classes,” add the team. “Our knowledgeable coaches deliver short courses for puppies, adolescents and adults, teaching valuable skills that enable dogs and owners to live together happily.”