It is important to get your dog plenty of exercise by taking him for regular walks and play sessions at your local park. Doing so will not only keep him healthier, it will help keep his mind stimulated and ensure that he enjoys a high quality of life.
But some dogs exhibit behavioral problems that can make regular park visits difficult. For example, many dogs become overstimulated by cyclists and react to their presence by barking and lunging aggressively. This is not only embarrassing for owners, it can be frightening for the cyclist. It can even be dangerous if your dog slips his leash and chases after the biker. Fortunately, you can put an end to this behavior by teaching your dog the ‘let’s go’ command, desensitizing him to bikes and cyclists, or redirecting his attention elsewhere.
Dogs often put on frightening displays in response to cyclists, but that doesn’t mean they want to hurt anyone; fear and anxiety are at the root of most reactivity problems. Accordingly, the best way to diffuse these anxious feelings and put an end to the barking and lunging is to redirect their attention elsewhere. The ‘let’s go’ command works well in this regard, and it can also help stop reactivity to other common triggers, such as mailmen, large trucks and children playing outside.
It isn’t terribly difficult to teach your dog the ‘let’s go’ command. Most dogs would rather focus on their pet parent than anything else, so the command doesn’t require you to get your dog to do anything he doesn’t already want to do.
Reactivity is most common in adult dogs, but you can teach the ‘let’s go’ command to canines of any age, including puppies that are at least 12 weeks old.
To start training your dog to stop barking at bikers, you will need:
You’ll want to start the training process in a quiet, controlled location. You can do so inside if you like, but your backyard is probably the best location. As your dog begins learning the command, you’ll want to find a location in which he can see bicyclists from a safe distance.
My dog goes to doggy day care and gets along with all types and sizes of dogs. He is very social with people too. However, he sometimes becomes very barky and reactive when he sees a dog across the street or in his line of sight. If the dog comes up to him, he plays submissive and they get along. If the other dog ignores him from across the street, my dog starts barking and starts pulling me towards the unfriendly dog. What can I do to get him to stop this type of behavior towards dogs that he doesn't get to greet?
Hello Kelly, Check out the video linked below. I suggest a more firm, structured heeling walk. Where the entire walk and tone of things is calmer and more respectful and he has to work to move forward by paying attention to where you are and stay behind you. Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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