Just when you take your dog to a peaceful walk enjoying the view in the park, it explodes lunging and barking on other hounds. You try hard to pull the leash too hard but the straining gets out of control. This continues until the other canines disappear out of sight. Does it mean that your dog is unfriendly, anxious, or scared? Well, there are numerous reasons for this behavior and as you are in this article, you are looking for a solution. Guess what? You are at the right place. After reading this comprehensive guide, you will be able to identify the cause of this behavior and learn ways to solve it. Dog training experts refer to this condition as reactivity and for your satisfaction, it is pretty common. But getting to the bottom of this behavior and solving it, you need to understand what reactivity is?
What Is Reactivity?
Leash reactivity and reactivity are the terms that expert trainers use when your dogs is overreacting to the things or activities around them. When a hound is suffering from this condition, it easily gets provoked. Sometimes, it becomes hard to even control them when they see another hound.
Your dog will likely behave like this when they are aggressive, scared, stressed out, or overly excited. So, when they see another dog without attacking, escaping, or saying hi to them, they become upset and start barking.
Mostly, this reaction relates to the distance. This means that it revolves around asking the other pooch to come closer or go away. In other words, your dog is barking due to frustration rather than a defensive display. In the following part of the article, you will find some beneficial solutions to this problem. So keep reading.
How to Train Your Dog's Reactive Behavior?
Firstly, you should avoid training methods that include choke chains, slip leads, no-pull harness, prong collar, and other techniques such as hitting when they bark. These training techniques make your pooch uncomfortable, worry, and in pain.
Keep in mind that your dog is weirdly acting because of an emotional breakdown, treating like this will add more and hurt their feelings. This treatment will increase the intensity of their behavior. They might bark even harder and try hard to get free from the leash. But you may wonder what should you do, right?
Well, first of all, you should identify the root cause of this behavior. If you are unable to understand the reason for their behavioral change, you can consult with a professional trainer or qualified behaviorist. They will not only evaluate the behavior but also solve the problem through effective techniques. But, if you do not feel like consulting a trainer, you can follow the following techniques all alone:
1. Understanding the Triggers
Understanding your dog's triggers is the first step towards the training process. You need to identify when your doggy starts reacting. For instance, they are barking when the other dog is too close or they bark on a particular breed, sex, or size of the hounds.
Also, notice the time and place they start barking such as when it is too dark or when they are near home. That way you will have a bigger picture about when your dog barks and how to make them comfortable.
2. Trying Stress Detoxification
Socializing your pooch with other canines will not help reduce their stress level. They will become more aggressive. Instead of keeping them surrounded by other hounds, take them for a walk during hours when there are fewer dogs on the streets. Completely prevent your hound from meeting other dogs. Still, if you notice another dog approaching your way, keep your canine out of sight. This is important to keep them calm and lower their cortisol levels. Other than that, they will be able to cope with the situation the next time they see a dog.
3. Implementing New Training Techniques
What is your dog’s favorite treat? Do they love peanut butter, oats, salmon, or liver treats? No matter what they like, keep them along as you go for a walk with them. Whenever your rover looks at another dog, say yes! And give them the treat. That way they will concentrate on their favorite treat instead of barking.
If you notice that your dog's focus is still on the other hounds, their stress level is higher. There could be other reasons too, as they are too close to the other dog. Keep in mind that you need to maintain distance and keep away your pet from getting too close. Also, keep offering them the rewards regardless of what they do.
Now you may wonder how your dog will learn not to bark at other pups. This technique will not teach your dog to stop barking, but they will learn that looking at other dogs is a good thing. Next time, whenever they see another doggy, they will look at you instead of barking.
Remember, to keep this method in practice, and eventually, your dog will worry less and focus on you instead. You will consider this technique successful when your doggy looks at you after seeing another dog. This will work better than saying no or asking your dog to sit as the other hound pass by.
The answer to the question "why my dog barks at other dogs" can be as long as you want. There can be numerous reasons for your dog to bark when they see other dogs. But these techniques will work for almost all of the reasons. Keep in mind that it will take time to change this behavior of your dog.
Some hounds start engaging within a few months and behave politely while approaching other dogs. However, other hounds will take time for adjustment. Their training process needs lifelong management, but that is okay. Your canine is acting this way due to stress and if you care for them, you need to keep trying. Remember, that giving your dog some space and treats is a small price in replacement of mental peace and comfort.