Do you feel drawn to other dogs by your dog? Are they simply looking to play with all dogs they see? Is your dog fearful or reactive? No matter the reason your dog is having trouble with other dogs being calm, you will likely have noticed that staring is the first sign of a dog’s reaction. Staring at another dog can lead to confrontation. If your dog stares at other dogs, it is likely that they will not be able to listen and pay attention to you.
How to Train your Dog to Ignore other Dogs?
Teach your Dog to Stop Staring at You
We have established that your dog shouldn’t stare at other dogs. Now it is time for us to talk about how we can train our dog not to stare. These are the basic steps that you can use to train your dog to not stare at other dogs. You may have to break down these steps into smaller steps in order to help your dog succeed.
Why you Should Discourage your Dog from Staring
Staring at someone is rude. As children, we are taught to not stare at strangers. It can be difficult to look at strangers and it can trigger your fight or flight response. Either you try to escape the stare of the stranger or you stare back at them and dare them not to look.
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Dogs are no exception. Dogs can be aggressive in a variety of ways. Staring with stiff posture and intensity is one part of the ladder. This is most common in dogs just before they start growling.
Start by Reinforcing Deferential Behavior
You can start by teaching your dog deference inside the home. Our post on deference is a great place to start if you’re just starting out with dog training. The deference blog post contains tips to teach your dog to listen to you. This is an essential foundational skill that every dog should have. After you’ve finished reading this post, grab some treats for your dog and go to a quiet place to start training.
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More Tips to Train your Dog to Ignore other Dogs
- Before you take your dog for a walk, be sure to call him by his name. If your dog looks at you, give him a treat.
- For the next few days, repeat the process around the house until he looks at you every time he calls your name.
- Start with a long distance walk. Begin walking your dog at a distance away from other dogs. When he sees them, you can call his name. If he looks at your face, give him a treat.
- You can work your way up to other dogs by using the same approach. If he behaves, give him a treat or move further back if not. Then start over again.
- Continue to work together until you are able to pass others up close, without having your dog misbehave.
- Your friends and their dogs should be placed 20 feet apart.
- Ask your friends to take their dogs with you to the place where you are standing.
- If your dog barks or lunges at other dogs, say “NO” to him and tell him to stop. Give him a treat if he does. read what to feed golden retriever puppy?
- You can continue to train your dog for around 30 minutes each day, or more often than once a week. After your dog is proficient in this skill, you can take him for walks in public spaces and expect him to behave the same way.
- As you walk, be calm and relaxed. Dogs can sense this and will behave the same way.
- Do not let your dog lunge at another dog if he sees you.
- To distract your dog, you can gently push him to the side with your knee. If he settles, give him a treat.
- If he doesn’t back down, you can give him a tug on the leash and call his name. If he behaves, give him a treat.