It’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare: your pooch takes off chasing after a squirrel, and by the time you catch up with them, a much bigger dog is already in a standoff with your dog. Your heart jumps into your throat as you watch your dog and the other dog begin to growl and bark at each other… But what if you could avoid this situation entirely? In this article, we’ll show you how to train your dog to ignore other dogs.
Things to avoid if you don’t want your dog to chase after other dogs
Dogs have an innate desire to chase other animals. For most, this is a lot of fun. But for some dogs, this can lead to trouble when they encounter another animal on a walk. Instead of trying to wrestle your dog into submission or constantly pulling on the leash, there is an easier way to train your dog not to chase other dogs. All you need is some patience and a few simple rules.
Train your dog to walk next to you on a leash
One of the most basic things you can do to help train your dog not to chase other dogs is to walk them on a leash. When your dog is on a leash, they are more under your control and can be better managed. Make sure to always have your dog on a leash when walking in public, especially if there are other dogs around. Additionally, you can train your dog to walk next to you on a leash. This will help keep them close by and under your watchful eye. When they get close to another dog, simply give them a quick tug on the leash to correct their behavior.
Train your dog to perform tricks
One way to keep your dog’s attention focused on you is to train him or her to perform tricks. This could be anything from sitting or staying put until you release them, to fetching a specific toy for you. Make sure you start training your dog as early as possible, and keep sessions short but consistent. You want your dog to always look forward to training, so he or she will be more likely to obey your commands when out and about. Another way to keep your dog’s attention is to keep them mentally stimulated. Play games with your dog, or take them on long walks to explore new places. The more active and engaged your dog is, the less likely they’ll be to chase after other dogs.
Train your dog to walk on a leash without pulling
Teach your dog to sit and stay when other dogs are around Once your dog is reliably following your commands (sit, stay, come, etc.), you can start to work on the real challenge: keeping them calm around other dogs. The easiest way to do this is to have them practice walking on a leash without pulling. If your dog starts to get too excited, stop and have them sit and stay until they’re calm again. Once they’re in control, start walking again. It might take a little bit of time, but soon your dog will be able to walk right past other dogs without any trouble.
Get a trainer
If you’re having trouble with your dog’s behavior, it’s best to get professional help. A qualified trainer can help you understand your dog’s motivations behind the chasing and offer strategies to help correct the behavior. In some cases, your dog might just need a bit of basic training to understand that chasing other dogs is not allowed. If your dog is particularly determined or aggressive when chasing, a trainer can provide more intensive obedience training to help correct the behavior.
When your dog is properly trained, he or she can be an enjoyable and safe part of the family. However, if not trained correctly, they may become a danger to themselves and others. If you’re having trouble with training your pooch, make sure you read all of our blog posts for additional help on how to train your dog.