How to Train Your Dog to Not Run After Other Dogs

Medium
4-12 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Are you tired of having your arm ripped out of the socket every time your dog sees another dog? Most dogs are quite social and merely want to get to know each other, but there are times when this behavior is less than friendly.

Imagine this: You are standing on the sidewalk chatting with a friend who is taking her dog for a walk. Your dog is lying at your feet, he isn't growling, barking, or trying to launch himself at the other dog. Instead, he is simply laying there looking at you as if to say, "Hey mom, can I go say hi?”

This doesn't have to be a dream, you can easily teach your furry friend to behave this way. It just takes plenty of patience and the desire to behave for rewards.

Defining Tasks

Training your dog to stop running after other dogs is not an easy task. This type of behavior is inherent in most, if not all, breeds. The concept behind this training is to teach your dog to completely ignore other dogs and to stop them running or lunging after them.

Whether you are trying to teach your dog to behave while he is on the leash, off the leash or both, this is a very important skill for your pup to learn. It could save you, your dog, and another dog or its owner from serious injury.

When walking on the leash you should be able to simply use the "No!" command to keep your dog in check. When he is not on a leash, you may need to rely on a strong recall or ‘down’ command to get the job done. Always remember, training your dog a new skill should be fun for both of you! Heap tons of praise on your dog and always be ready with plenty of his favorite tasty treats to reward him.

Getting Started

You will need:

  • Your pup's favorite treats: Your dog will learn better when he knows there is a tasty treat waiting for him when he gets it right.
  • Clicker training tool (optional): Some pet owners and trainers prefer using a clicker for training as it makes it easy to identify the desired action.  

The best place to start training your dog to behave around other dogs is a nice quiet area with a dog yours is friendly with, but tends to lunge after. Make sure everyone in the family is in on the training and knows exactly what you are doing to ensure you are all on the same page.

You need to schedule training sessions of ten to fifteen minutes three times a day until your dog finally learns what is expected of him. Of course, you should also practice every time you take your dog out for a walk as well. Remember, the earlier you start teaching your pup to behave, the easier it will be to train him.


The Long-Line Method

Effective
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Step
1
Leash your dog
Attach your dog to a long-line leash and ask your family or friends with dogs to walk their dogs near yours.
Step
2
Let him wander
Slowly over the first few days, let your dog wander closer to the others, but maintain control.
Step
3
Call him back
As he starts to take off towards the other dogs, call his name and use your recall command. If he returns to you, be sure to praise him and give him a tasty treat.
Step
4
Hold steady
If he doesn't come back, use the leash to stop his forward movement, and then go and bring him back the starting distance.
Step
5
Practice
Repeat this process until you can let the leash trail behind him and he will come back when you call him.
Recommend training method?

The Run Away Method

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Step
1
Out for a walk
Take your dog for his usual walk, keeping your eyes out for other dogs.
Step
2
Run away!
When you see another dog, use a fun, friendly voice to command your dog to "run away."
Step
3
Head elsewhere
Head off in a different direction, making the whole thing into a game your dog will enjoy.
Step
4
Come with me
This should get your dog to run with you away from the other dog.
Step
5
Lure with treats
If he doesn't run with you, try tossing a few of his favorite treats in the direction you want him to run until he gets the idea.
Recommend training method?

The Body Block Method

Effective
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Step
1
Daily walks
Take your dog out for his daily walk watching for the approach of another dog.
Step
2
Don't pull back
If he starts to pull towards the other dog, don't pull back, stand still and hold your spot.
Step
3
Just say no!
Use a correction word such as "No!" and gently tug on the leash to pull his head to the side.
Step
4
Put your body to work
Use your body to turn your dog around instead of pulling him around.
Step
5
Reinforce with treats
If he behaves, be sure to give him plenty of love and a tasty treat.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Arnold
rat terrier mix
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Arnold
rat terrier mix
4 Years

My dog does great at the dog park for the first 10-15 minutes but then becomes aggressive. He's triggered by other dogs running and playing and he will run after other dogs and growl or bark at them when he catches up to them. He doesn't bite but has body slammed other dogs before. The behavior does not look playful. We always have to cut our time at the dog park short because he always does this.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brittany, Unfortunately, Arnold needs to stop going to the dog park completely. You can continue to have structured play dates with one or two other dogs that you know in your own fenced yards, and practice obedience between play times, to work on his impulses. You can also participate in dog walks with groups like meetup.com, or do structured dog sports, or hikes with Arnold with other dogs. If you continue going to the dog park the behavior will likely only get worse. Because of the pack environment of the dog park, the lack of structure, and how unsafe it would be to use treats or a long leash to enforce training at a dog park, you cannot safely and effectively train a dog in a standard dog park. You have to train a dog in other environments and then use your dog's current training at the park. The running of the other dogs creates arousal, and the pack mentality of the other dogs can cause dogs to act like bullies, try to control other dogs' movements, and even cause fights. It is the opposite of a calm and controlled environment, and some dogs don't do well with the lack of structure and odd behavior and emotional states of the various dogs at the park. This environment can bring out the worst in some dogs and actually cause behavior problems that were not there to show up and continue to get worse. Dog parks are not necessarily bad in general, but they are not a good place for all dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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