How Have You Accidentally Trained Your Dog to Bark at Other Dogs

Woofing, howling, growling, barking. You definitely do not want to see those signs in your puppy when greeting other dogs, right? Well, for some dogs, this is the reality they live in. And the problem might not be in them. In some cases (let’s say most), the owner is the one to blame. You have accidentally trained your dog to bark at other dogs.

Why do dogs bark at each other? Well, dogs use their dog bark to communicate and show how they feel. The reason behind the bark might change depending on the situation. Excessive barking, however, is not something you want to see. It is a behavioral problem that shows signs of aggression.

Part of being a responsible dog owner is preventing aggressive behavior in your puppy.

Why do dogs bark at each other?

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why dogs bark at each other. Only one is positive, and most of the reasons are negative. Pay attention to body language and different dog barks.

Some dogs are friendly and they bark as a sign of playfulness. They use their bark to invite other dogs to play with them. A playful growl is a sign of happiness.

Territorial barking and territorial behavior is something that comes naturally to most dogs. It is their instinct. They bark and alert you when someone is at the door or people walk by. And if they see animals on their territory, they will bark to show other dogs they are trespassing. Think of it as a dog’s way of saying “I live here and this is my home. Go away”.

Some dogs bark to get attention, and they can do it toward dogs and people. Demand barking is a problem, and you have to solve it.

Small dogs might bark as a sign of fear, anxiety, and anger. It is their biggest weapon against bigger predators. It is just the way of life out in the wildlife. The bigger animal eats the smaller one. So, a small dog barks to warn the large dog. These barks are lower-pitched and can last longer.

Two Mistakes You Make

There are two mistakes that owners make and they accidentally cause aggressive dog behavior. We will try to explain both of them and find a solution that works better.

The first big mistake with a reactive dog is we ignore good behavior. Does your dog react to every dog that walks by? Of course not. They are calm when some dogs pass by and bark at others. What is the mistake you make? Well, you ignore the good behavior and reward barking behavior.

Basically, you react only when your dog barks at other dogs. What have you done? Well, you have trained your dog to bark, because that gets him feedback. And the problem is, your feedback is unrepresentative. And now you have a barking problem.

What you should do instead is reinforce good behavior. Whenever your puppy passes by another dog on walks and stays calm, reward him and praise him. Do not let any proper sniff go unrewarded.

Reward your dog any time they look at another dog without a reaction. Now you are teaching your puppies that quiet behavior will get them treats. It is a form of operant conditioning, developed by professional dog trainers around the world. You want to reward your puppy with dog treats for exhibiting uninterested or disengaging signals when they see other dogs.

Read on to find out how to get your dog’s attention toward you instead of reacting at other dogs.

The second mistake we do is we have not defined roles. You have let your dog pull the leash and lead you while walking. So, as a leader, your dog feels it is his job to defend you against other animals.

Also, when you see dogs passing by, you keep your dog on a tight leash. This gives your puppy a signal danger is coming, and he has to be in guard dog mode.

Why is Your dog Reacting

There are many reasons why dogs react and why are they nervous around other dogs.

But the biggest part is the lack of proper socialization. You have to socialize your puppy in the first few months of his life. Socialization is a big part of dog training and dog behavior.

Socialize your puppy with other dogs, other animals, other people, and in a different environment. The goal is to show your dog it can live in existence with multiple dogs around.

How to Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs

There are several techniques you can use to train your barking dog to ignore other dogs or calmly greet them while walking.

The first technique is teaching your dog to carry a ball on walks. Why does it work? Well, you basically give your dog a job to do. He has a purpose. And he knows that if he drops the ball, the game stops.

Another game you can play is tug. Teach your dog to play tug, and when you see a dog coming your way, pull off your tug toy, and have your dog play with you and focus on you. All you have to do is shift his focus from another dog to you.

The third technique you can use is to have your dog calmly sit. You can achieve this with positive reinforcement obedience training. Every time you see a dog coming your way, have your dog sit and reward him. Wait until the other dog passes by, and then continue with your walk.

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