Why Does My Dog Bark At Other Dogs? (Solution found)

A dog typically considers their home their territory, but anyplace they associate with themselves or you can be their territory: even your yard, block, car, and walk routes. Dogs will also bark at other dogs outside their door to tell them that this is their territory.


How do I stop my dog from barking at other dogs?

Another great option is to redirect your dog’s attention away from other dogs before he begins barking or engaging. A simple way to do this is to just take a handful of treats and scatter them on the ground. You could also have him do some simple tasks, like “touch” to refocus his attention onto you. Engage/disengage.

Why does my dog bark at other dogs for no reason?

The reason most dogs become reactive is down to one of two things: They’re fearful of other dogs because they had limited experiences of other dogs as a puppy, or have had a particularly negative experience. They bark and lunge towards other dogs to try and make them move away or leave.

How do I stop my older dog from barking at other dogs?

Once your dog learns to consistently bark when you say ‘speak,’ give him the ‘ quiet’ command to stop barking. Hold another treat in front of his nose and give it to him when he stops barking. With practice, your dog will learn to stop barking at other dogs when you say ‘quiet.

How do I stop my dog from lunging at other dogs?

Hold your dog on a loose leash; a tight leash can heighten reactivity. Treat your dog when he walks next to you; if he pulls on the leash or crosses in front of you, stop walking. Use a treat to lure him back to your side. Walk toward the other dog at an angle or perpendicular to the other dog, rather than head on.

Why does my dog go crazy when he sees other dogs?

Most dogs that bark and lunge at other dogs are really stressed out by other dogs. They might be scared, aggressive, or overly excited. Seeing another dog without being able to escape, attack, or go say hi is generally “upsetting,” so the dog barks and lunges. Your dog is trying to get the other dog to go away.

Why is my dog aggressive towards some dogs but not others?

Aggression between unfamiliar dogs can be due to fear, poor communication, defensive, possessive behavior over resources (including perhaps family members or other pets) or territorial behavior over territory or owner.

Do dogs understand other dogs barks?

Experiments have now shown that dogs use different barks and growls to communicate different things. They did the same thing when the barks were reversed, showing that dogs could clearly distinguish between the two types of barks. Using a similar test, the dogs also distinguished between the barks of different dogs.

How can I tell if my dog is aggressive with other dogs?

Signs of dog aggression include raised hackles, stiffness, snapping, or lunging. If either dog shows aggression, separate them immediately. But be careful: Never get between two fighting dogs. Dogs can also become territorial, whether it’s toward a place, food, a toy or a person.

Why Do Dogs Bark At Each Other? – American Kennel Club

Yip, yap, woof, howl, snarl, growl, and grunt are all acceptable sounds. It’s possible that the language your canine partner speaks is more complex than you know. Dogs use their barks to communicate with one another and to express how they feel about something. Depending on the scenario, the cause for their barking might alter. Excessive barking, on the other hand, can be more than just an annoyance; it could indicate a behavioral problem. Deciphering these barks is an important part of being a good dog owner, as it allows you to better care for your canine friend.

Why Do Dogs Bark at Each Other?

Barking, in addition to body language and scent, is the most natural method for them to communicate. Barking may be emotional in nature, indicating that they are terrified, aroused, lonely, or any combination of these. It may also be used in a situational manner to provide protection or to warn you of danger. Some breeds bark more than others, and this is due to genetics. Some dogs were developed to be greater barkers, while others were designed to aid hunters or to guard households. Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, and Chihuahuas are all known for being loud and outspoken dogs.

When you consistently reward a dog for barking — for example, with food, play, treats, or walks – canines will learn to exploit barking to their own advantage in the future.


Some dogs simply want to be fur-friends with everyone, regardless of their breed. Many dogs may bark while they are playing with other dogs or people in order to demonstrate how delighted they are. These jovial growls are indicators of contentment and joy. A “play bow,” in which the dog bows his front legs and wags his tail, is occasionally associated with these barking episodes.

Territorial Behavior

It is normal for dogs to bark when someone comes to the door, when people pass by, or when they observe other animals on their territory, according to the ASPCA. A dog’s territory is commonly defined as their house, but it can also include any location they connect with themselves or you, including your yard, block, automobile, and walk routes, among other things. Dogs will also bark at other dogs outside their door to let them know that they are intruding on their domain. Their way of declaring “I live here, and I’m guarding my house” is through the use of this symbol.


Some dogs bark at humans or other dogs in order to gain attention or to receive prizes such as toys, treats, and hugs from their owners.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs suffering from separation anxiety, worries, and phobias may bark to comfort themselves. Some dogs will bark excessively if they are left alone or if their owners are not around to hear them. This style of barking is often heard at a high volume. Barking may be caused by separation anxiety, in which case you should consult with a professional trainer or specialist.

Fear or Anger

In the face of larger predators, such as large dogs, a loud bark is the most effective weapon for tiny dogs.

It can also be a warning bark or growl in some cases. These barks are often lower in pitch and linger for a longer period of time. It is possible for dogs to respond in this way if another dog is playing too rough with them or gets too close to their meal.


When it’s time to go for a walk or on a vehicle journey, some dogs may bark enthusiastically.


Some dogs are unable to socialize with other canines because they lack socialization skills. This might be due to the fact that they haven’t had many opportunities to interact with other canines or that they haven’t been properly taught. The fact that they don’t know how to socialize with other canines might lead them to feel anxious. It is possible that this uneasiness will manifest itself as reactivity, such as straining or lunging on their leash to get away from other dogs or barking at them to tell them to “keep away!”


Some dogs bark because they haven’t been socialized, while others bark in order to get socialized! A few barks from certain dogs will indicate that they have heard another dog barking nearby, whether in the neighborhood or at a park. They don’t even have to see the other dogs in order to greet them in a sociable manner with a bark.


When a dog is greeting a person or another dog, it is common for them to bark. These dogs will bark or even whine in addition to wagging their tails and engaging in other exuberant behaviors.

Fight or Flight

Dogs are constrained when they are behind a gate, fence, or window, when they are in a cage, or when they are connected to a leash. If they come across another dog, they are powerless to do anything. They are unable to meet or flee from the dog, nor can they even smell them. They also don’t have any other means of communicating with dogs other than via barking. Your dog may grow irritated and respond by barking at any other dogs that they come into contact with.

Frustrated Greeting

Some canines like socializing with their canine companions. They are quite happy to spend their days at doggie daycares, puppy schools, or dog parks, and they have no issues with other canines at all. However, while out on a walk, these same canines begin to bark and lunge at other dogs for no apparent reason. This behavior is caused by your dog’s frustration at not being able to say hello to all of the other dogs that they encounter. It is their want to say hello to the other dog, but the leash stops them from approaching him.

This pattern of behavior continues because each time they see another dog, they become agitated again.


A bored dog will bark because he or she is lonely, wants attention, and has a lot of pent-up energy in their system. This type of bored dog often only need some attention, which may be provided through walks, hugs, or games. It might even be a method of informing you that it is time for them to add another four-legged companion to their family!


The majority of the time, dogs who bark are not being hostile. Barking is essentially a threat intended to keep people at bay, but it is not aggressive in any sense.

How to Prevent Excessive Problem Barking

Although most dogs bark, there are methods for reducing this behavior. The most effective strategy to avoid issue barking is to maintain control over your dog’s surroundings and eliminate any potential triggers that may be causing the behavior. In order to keep your dog from becoming bored with the same routine and to avoid certain areas, it may be necessary to change your dog’s walk routes. It is feasible to train dogs to bark less often than they now do. To teach your dog the “Speak” and “Quiet” commands, it’s a good idea to work with a professional dog trainer.

Maintaining your cool when walking your dog in public is also important; your dog will pick up on your tension if you become agitated.

A breed with a low proclivity to bark is also an option, albeit all dogs emit some level of barking.

Some breeds, such as Akitas, Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds, and Saint Bernards, are well-known for their calm disposition. Others, such as Rottweilers, are more active. You may also choose aBasenji, which is a breed that is well-known for its yodel.

Why Does My Dog Bark at Other Dogs?

A lot of circumstances might lead to your new puppy yapping or your neighbor’s dog woofing. When you’re out for a stroll with your dog, he happens to notice the neighbor’s German shepherd across the way. Slowing his pace, his ears perking up, his tail beginning to raise and wag, all of which culminate in an explosion of loud woofs from your dog. You find it difficult to continue walking because he is determined to remain there and bark for as long as he can. This continues until your dog’s eyes are no longer drawn to the neighbor’s dog, but you are well aware that as soon as his gaze returns to the Golden retriever in front of you, the cycle will begin again.

  1. Is your dog unpleasant to other people?
  2. Or does he simply believe that every dog he encounters provides him with an opportunity to warm up his voice chords?
  3. Dogs bark when they encounter new humans, when they encounter fast-moving things, and indeed, when they encounter other dogs.
  4. (And her capacity to communicate in this manner is one method to ensure that she is a contented pupper.
  5. A behavior specialist cannot answer with 100 percent certainty why your dog is barking at other dogs in every scenario unless they are present to see it.
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Dogs are beautifully sociable creatures who are eager to participate in the activities of their environment. Occasionally, a dog will bark to attract the attention of another dog, resulting in a chance to meet (sniff, sniff!) or play with the other dog. If your dog has a canine buddy in your area, and the two of them have already enjoyed some enjoyable play sessions together, he may yelp whenever he sees his canine companion. Your puppy, who is still learning how to communicate with other dogs, may bark in order to begin some form of engagement or touch with another dog.

A slack body posture, an open mouth, and play-initiating behaviors like bows and a bouncing stride are all signs that your dog’s barking is social in nature and not something to be concerned about.

Photograph courtesy of Amber Aiken Photography / Getty Images


Reactivity is defined as an excessive response to external stimuli such as other dogs. Fear, distress, and previous experiences all have a big influence on doggy behavior. When a dog is really unhappy, he may react by barking excessively in response to his discomfort. Barking may arise in conjunction with other reactive-related behaviors like as lunging or growling in some instances. Even while it may appear to be aggressive, this is not always the case. This is most typically caused by a strong reaction to something frightening, such as another dog, and the objective is to get that frightening item to go or to stop coming any closer.

A dog’s reactivity develops when they are placed into situations they do not want to be in, such as when a busy dog barks or when an off-leash dog runs at them.

Reactivity is a rapid, natural (and reasonable) response to an uncomfortable circumstance. Consider seeking the assistance of a trained animal behavior consultant or veterinary behaviorist if you are worried about your dog’s excessive barking, especially if it appears to be reactive in nature.


Frustration is a wide category that can manifest itself in a variety of circumstances and for a variety of causes, including but not limited to: Most dogs become irritated when they are restrained by anything, whether it is a leash, a fence, being inside the home (looking out a window), or simply being separated by physical distance (from across a street). This is frequently referred to as barrier frustration, and it is experienced by some dogs in conjunction with reactivity in some cases. This inability to gain access to the object of their desire (such as another dog) might result in irritation responses such as increased barking.

  1. Frustration is typically something that can be dealt with by employing simple management techniques.
  2. It is possible to reduce frustration by combining management with positive reinforcement training sessions to educate your dog to provide alternative behaviors in lieu of barking.
  3. Consider collaborating with a professional dog trainer that is familiar with indifferential reinforcement to get you started on your training journey.
  4. Dogs bark and need to be able to bark in order to function properly as canine versions of themselves.
  5. However, when combined with other intense behaviors directed at other dogs, it might be worrying.

How to stop a dog barking at other dogs: 6 expert-approved tips

It is normal for dogs to bark and lunge at other dogs when out on a walk. It’s crucial to recognize when the barking becomes inappropriate, aggressive, or excessive, even though it’s a nice canine welcome in most cases. First and first, if you want to stop your dog from barking at other dogs, you must discover what it is that is causing him to bark in the first place. Discovering what they are thinking and feeling will assist you in better understanding the source of their loud noises. “Barking is a kind of communication often employed by dogs to encourage something they link with being ‘positive,’ or to avoid something they associate with being ‘negative,'” a spokeswoman from the Dogs Trust told Country Living.

If you’re not sure what to do, have a look at the Dogs Trust’s advice on how to stop a dog from barking, which is included below.

1. Take a different route

If you want to limit the amount of barking your dog produces, it may be worthwhile to go along a less traveled road. When out and about, many dogs will bark at other dogs and humans, so stay away from crowded locations. We’re told to “walk your dog on calmer routes during less crowded times of the day” so that you’re less likely to come across other dogs, according to the Dogs Trust team. If you do happen to come across other dogs, refrain from yelling at your dog for barking, since this may cause them to become anxious or confused.

2. Learn to recognise how your dog is feeling

While your dog may bark at humans or other dogs for a number of reasons, it’s critical to identify and treat the underlying cause of the barking in order to reduce or eliminate the behavior. While some dogs may bark at others in order to greet them, others may bark in response to a perceived threat posed by their presence. According to the team, it is critical to pay attention to your dog’s behavior, and if you notice something unusual – for example, if your dog barks repeatedly or for extended periods of time – you should consult your veterinarian immediately so that any possible medical reasons for the behavior, such as pain, can be addressed.

You may expect them to design a customized program to assist you in changing the way your dog feels and behaves among other dogs.”

3. Keep moving on the walk

For many people, taking their dog for a walk is the highlight of their day. However, controlling the dog’s persistent barking may be difficult. If you’re having this problem on a frequent basis, keep your dog on a leash and continue walking. “A dog that is concerned or scared may bark at another dog in an attempt to increase the space between them and drive the other dog away. A scared dog that is unable to avoid the other dog, for example because they are on a leash, may be frustrated as a result of this, as well “the members of the team inform us

4. Distract your dog through training

Learn some methods, tactics, and cues to help your dog ignore distractions while you’re out on a walk in this article. It may take some time and patience, but your dog will eventually learn to move on. Don’t forget to bring some sweets with you as well. These will come in helpful when you wish to express your appreciation for their exemplary behavior to them. In addition, the Dogs Trust states that “there may be occasions when you need to divert your dog.” “Practice tossing a handful of goodies around the house while shouting ‘find it’ to your dog, so that he needs to put his nose to the ground and smell them out before he can get to them to enjoy them.

Eventually, the more times you play this game, your dog will start looking down at you when you say “find it,” awaiting their rewards. You may then utilize this to divert your dog’s attention when you spot other dogs in the neighborhood.” Johner Photographs Photographs courtesy of Getty Images

5. Teach your dog to pay attention to you

While it may appear straightforward, understanding how to train your dog to look at you on cue, check in with you, and pay attention to you on walks may be really beneficial. Not only will it assist them in remaining focused in the face of distractions, but it will also deepen your relationship with them. Don’t forget to give them goodies when they walk quietly by another dog and you see that they have done so.

6. Take your dog to a training class

If you still need assistance, you might want to try enrolling your dog in a training class (some are running virtually due to lockdown). In addition, the team states that “Dogs Trust’s Dog School delivers high quality, welfare-friendly dog training during enjoyable, instructive lessons.” Dogs and their owners may live peacefully together if they learn useful skills from our trained coaches, who provide short courses for pups, teenagers, and adults. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Like what you’ve read so far?

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Help! My Dog Barks & Lunges At Other Dogs! — Your Dog’s Friend

This review will assist you in better understanding why your dog barks and lunges at other dogs, as well as what you can do to prevent this behavior. Considering that our Reactive Dog Class (explained at the conclusion of this article) is not particular to your dog, you might want to explore working privately with one of the trainers on our website’s recommendation list.

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But First… What Success Looks Like

Ace is on the line. He arrived to our Reactive Dog Class behaving in the same manner as any other reactive dog: barking and lunging if he encountered another dog in the vicinity. On their neighborhood walks, his mother hoped that Ace would be able to settle down and concentrate on her rather than yipping and lunging at the other dogs they encountered. Ace, who is just halfway through our Reactive Dog Class, is shown here: Ace is tucked into a “down” on his mother’s side, with aid dog Mozart just a few feet away from him.

  • There will be no grumbling.
  • He glanced at Mozart for a moment before returning his gaze to his mother.
  • “Can you tell me what you’d like me to do now?” If you live in the Rockville, Maryland area, we can assist you in achieving your goals.
  • You can also learn more about our Online Reactive Dog Class by clicking here.

Reasons for Reactivity

Is this anything you’ve seen before? We must first acknowledge that, despite appearances, almost all reaction is motivated by a sense of threat or danger. Aggressive behavior in your dog allows him to keep other dogs and their owners at bay, which is exactly what he desires. A dog that is not on a leash may flee. When a dog is restrained, he feels imprisoned and reacts fiercely to protect himself. Frustration is second on the list of common causes of reactive behavior. Some dogs pull and bark while they are on a leash in order to go to another dog to play with.

However, we have a tendency to blame our pets for this reason far more frequently than we should.


TTouch and Freedom harnesses are available for purchase at our training center. The most straightforward and quick solution is to employ managerial strategies. You should always turn and go the other way when you see another dog, even if your dog hasn’t noticed. You can also cross the street or get behind a car when you spot another dog. You get the gist of it. Don’t wait until your dog starts to show signs of distress. Try as you may, you can’t seem to sidestep the problem and keep your dog from engaging in the reactive behavior.

  • After all, it is effective in keeping other dogs away.
  • We, on the other hand, put our dogs in this situation on a regular basis by strolling on sidewalks.
  • Make an effort to select a location that is less congested and more open – such as outside an office building or in a park.
  • While you’re out walking, remember to have fun so that your dog is focused on you rather than what’s going on around him.
  • It is critical that you maintain your composure.
  • Keep the leash on your dog as short as possible, despite your inclinations.

The use of a leash that won’t slip through your hands (a leather leash, for example, rather than a nylon one) with knots tied every few feet, holding the leash stable against your body rather than allowing your arm to flail around, and a harness with a front clip, to give you better control if your dog starts lunging, are all beneficial considerations.

What you don’t want to do, and this is a typical response, is to force your dog to sit and remain while the other dog is coming up to him or her. When you do this, your dog feels trapped, as if he has no way to escape.

Your Dog’s Emotional Response

In order to adjust your dog’s response to other dogs, begin working with him while standing motionless and at a distance from him where he may observe another dog without responding and where other dogs are not walking toward you, as seen in the video. If you’re near the edge of a parking lot where dogs get out to go to a dog park or pet store, you may attempt this activity. As soon as your dog spots the other dog, start giving him extra-special goodies. Once the other dog has left, or you and your dog have walked away, cease giving your dog treats altogether.

  • After a while, your dog will notice another dog and look at you as if to say, “Where’s my treat?” After a while, your dog will see another dog and look at you as if to say, “Where’s my treat?” If your dog begins to bark and lunge at you, you are too close and need to back away.
  • Don’t expect him to pay attention to what you’re saying.
  • You may see backsliding if you get too near and too quickly.
  • Break the goodies into pea-size pieces because you will be utilizing a large number of them during this process.
  • Feed your dog in little pieces at a time, and remember to minimize the amount of food you offer him at mealtimes.


Notice how tight the dog’s body posture is when it is highly stimulated. Dog parks and huge daycare facilities are popular places for individuals to take their reactive dogs because they feel that their dog enjoys playing and will have no difficulties in these off-leash environments. When dogs get highly stimulated, hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released into their system, causing them to become hyperactive. Those substances, which were formerly necessary for survival, are now just used to increase the energy of our pets.

  • Furthermore, the chemicals produced remain in a dog’s system for up to a day or longer, increasing the likelihood of aggressiveness.
  • Not all of these styles are compatible with one another.
  • Because dogs have little opportunity to unwind in these conditions, it’s not unexpected that conflicts break out from time to time.
  • The more the number of times a dog is in an alert state, the lower his tolerance for the usual pressures of ordinary life.
  • At other times, such as when your dog barks at the postal carrier or races through the fence with your neighbor’s dog, the arousal and consequent release of adrenaline and cortisol are repeated.
  • You know that the postal carrier was going to go otherwise, but from your dog’s perspective, the person departed because he caused a commotion in the neighborhood.
  • It appears to your dog that his dashing and barking at the fence has kept the neighbor’s dog on his own land.
  • Avoid putting your dog in circumstances that will raise his or her level of arousal.
  • This film allows you to look out, but not your dog.


When a dog is stressed, his or her behavior deteriorates. As a result, if your dog behaves more aggressively on one day than another, it might be because he has had to deal with more on that particular day. Consider the following scenario: your dog has been barking at other dogs passing by your house all morning, there is construction next door, your children are being noisier than normal, and one of their friends goes over to pat him. This is not an uncommon scenario. Any or all of these things may be enough to send your dog over the edge.

For example, if you are walking by a dog that appears to be outside all the time barking, you may consider changing your route.

He despises being afraid and anxious, just as much as you despise the “poor” conduct that comes as a result.

Walking Your Reactive Dog

Take a look at these suggestions to help you and your dog relax more when out walking. Make sure to use them on a regular basis, rather than only when you meet another dog. If you don’t, you’re giving the impression that there’s a dog up front. The more unexpected you are, the more likely it is that your dog will concentrate on you rather than searching ahead to see what is out there. Avoidance The most straightforward course of action is, of course, to stay away from other dogs. Keep in mind that you should not wait for your dog to react.

  • Instead of being alarmed, be reassured.
  • We panic, raise our voices, tighten or tug on the leash to regain control.
  • Practice your sentence in your own house.
  • When you repeat this phrase, your dog will begin to pay attention to you, and when you use it on walks, it will assist you in diverting your dog’s attention away from “encroaching danger.” Be unexpected and have a good time!
  • Slowly accelerate, then accelerate again, then spin once more.
  • If your dog isn’t sure what his crazy owner is going to do next, he will focus his attention on you rather than “out there.” “After all, who cares about those other dogs?” says one.
  • Your dog will understand this cue as a fun activity that will, incidentally, get him away from the dog in front of him if you get trapped anywhere.

This is probably the simplest approach to use, however there are other alternatives available farther down the page.

In the event that you are walking your dog and come across anything that is far too exciting for him, you must immediately turn around and take him with you in the opposite direction.as fast as possible.

When you come to your dog’s shoulder, turn into him with your legs and hips to assist him in turning around more easily.

If your dog is on your left, you will come face to face with him on your left.

It is beneficial to bend your knees (especially when dealing with a little dog).

You may capture your dog’s attention by using a catchphrase, mentioning your dog’s name, or making a loud noise that is out of character.

It may appear like your dog is enjoying himself, but you are able to keep an eye on him and see what is going on in front of him.

If you have taught your dog to target (“touch”), now is an excellent moment to engage in a fast targeting game with him or her.

Avoid subjecting your dog to the humiliation of being challenged. To avoid being bitten by the other dog, learn to walk in an arc away from him, as if you were walking in the shape of a banana.

A Blueprint to Help Your Dog

The five facets of on-leash dog-on-dog aggressiveness that we address in our Reactive Dog Class are as follows: Make use of these as a model for how you should interact with your own dog.

  • Making your dog’s emotional reaction to other canines more positive
  • Dog management approaches
  • To prevent your dog from repeating the behavior
  • To remove your dog as fast and readily as possible from an unforeseen circumstance
  • On walks, provide distraction and entertainment to assist your dog become less focused on the outside world. Owner self-assurance: You study and practice what to do with your dog in public, and you become less worried with your dog in public. lowering the overall degree of arousal in your dog The use of equipment that can assist you in keeping your dog from pulling (without the use of a choke, prong, or electronic collar)

When you have a hyperactive dog, life might be difficult. It’s possible that it’s even humiliating. You, on the other hand, clearly adore your dog and want the best for him. Keep in mind that your dog isn’t a fan of this type of behavior either. He is attempting to deal in the most effective way he knows how. Regardless of what your dog has gone through in the past, your dog is fortunate to have you as a parent now. It’s true that you’re seeking for assistance.


  • “Help! Dr. Leslie Sinn, a veterinary behaviorist, will discuss “My Dog is Reactive.” “Walking Your Reactive Dogs” is a YouTube video featuring Online Reactive Dog Class teachers Sarah Stoycos and Marnie Montgomery on how to walk your reactive dogs. You may watch a video on YouTube. Patricia McConnell’s book, Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog, is out now. Karen London is a writer who lives in London. Practical Management, Prevention, and Behavior Modification of Aggression in Dogs (Aggr in Dogs: Practical Management, Prevention, and Behavior Modification), Brenda Aloff is a woman who lives in the United States. Pat Miller’s book, Beware of the Dog: Positive Solutions for Aggressive Behavior in Dogs, is a must-read. When the Dogs Come Home at Night: Positive Training and Practical Tips for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogsby David E. Smith Dog Training Nation has an amazing piece on dog reactivity written by Annie Phenix
  • And a great article on dog aggression written by Annie Phenix. a free online approach for assisting dogs with behavioral issues
  • Reactive dog owners, trainers, and anyone involved with dog rescue, shelter, and foster care can join a Facebook page dedicated to reactive dogs. Private yards or locations that you may reserve for your reactive dog to play are available.

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Still Need Help?

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries or concerns. We are available to assist you. Your Dog’s Friend is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating and assisting dog owners and their pets. The organization provides dog behavior and training advice, sponsors FREE workshops on a variety of topics, runs positive dog training, behavior-related, and sports classes, refers dog parents to trainers, dog walkers, and other professionals, and sends out an e-newsletter with articles, resources, and announcements to dog parents.

Consult with a positive reinforcement trainer or an animal behaviorist if you are in a scenario that you believe is hazardous or in which you do not feel well prepared to deal with it.

Why Does My Dog Bark and Lunge at Other Dogs?

Just as you’re getting into the swing of things with your dog on a walk, she goes into a frenzy of barking and lunging. She practically knocks you off your feet as she tries to get closer to another canine. You may also become aware of the problem while you are at home and discover that your dog loses her wits if another dog goes by on the sidewalk. Having a dog who barks and lunges at other dogs is a pain in the neck. In the dog training industry, this condition is known as “reactivity” or “leash reactivity.” It is an extremely prevalent behavior problem.

Getting to the bottom of why your dog behaves the way she does can be a beneficial insight, but it is not always essential for her behavior to be corrected.

You will also discover a wealth of other information regarding reactive dogs in our archives.

But first and foremost, let’s get to the heart of the problem. We’ll go through some fundamental concerns concerning your dog’s reactivity (barking and lunging) as well as how to resolve the issue in the future.

What Is Reactivity?

“Leash reactivity” or “reactivity” is a phrase that trainers use to describe dogs that bark and lunge at other dogs while they are on a leash or when they are not. In essence, we’re suggesting that these dogs are exaggerating their reactions to things that are going on around them. These dogs are readily roused by the slightest provocation. Most of the time, just seeing another dog is enough to set off their alarm. The majority of dogs that bark and lunge at other dogs are really freaked out by the presence of other dogs.

It is often considered “upsetting” to see another dog without being able to run, attack, or even go say hello, thus the dog barks and lunges.

Your dog is attempting to dissuade the other dog from approaching.

The barking and lunging of these dogs is more of a manifestation of displeasure than a defensive response.

Is My Dog Aggressive?

When dogs bark and lunge, they aren’t typically considered aggressive in the classic sense – but that depends on your view of what constitutes “aggressive.” Occasionally, dogs that growl and lunge behind windows and fences or while on a leash are actually very friendly when they are not on a leash. Barking and lunging are essentially a threat demonstration intended to keep people away from the dog (as I said, inmostcases). It has the potential to escalate into hostility, but that is not the same thing at this point.

Reactivity is typically restricted to situations in which your dog is restrained or enclosed by a barrier.

Additionally, if her troubles with other dogs extend to off-leash hours, she isn’t simply “reactive,” she is “aggressive.”

Why Does My Dog Bark and Lunge at Other Dogs?

Several factors might be contributing to your dog’s barking and lunging towards other canines, including: We can only speculate because we are unable to ask your dog. Some of the most popular (and best) explanations for this behavior include the following:

  1. Fight or flight is the only option. When your dog is restrained by a leash, enclosed by a fence, confined in a box, or barred from entering a room, she is considered “trapped.” In the event that she is displeased about seeing another dog (maybe the previous dog she saw was unpleasant to her, and she wants more space this time), she does not have many ways to express her feelings. She can’t get away since she’s on a leash or otherwise restrained, but she wants the other dog to leave her alone. In effect, your dog learns that barking and lunging are effective, and she continues to do so, maybe even increasing her frequency of behavior as time goes on. Frustrated Greeting. Some dogs never truly learn how to pass other dogs in a nice manner on the street because they are too young. They spend their time in puppy courses, dog parks, and doggy daycares, where they get to interact with other dogs and have a great time. When they’re young, their well-intentioned parents allow them to pull over to “go say hello.” After then, their owners cease allowing them to “go say hello.” They notice another dog (another playmate! ), and they immediately want to go up to him. But they are unable to do so due to this obnoxious leash! They become agitated and bark. When they come upon another dog, they become agitated once more.
  • The same problem can occur whether you let your dog to “go say hello” to other dogs on a regular basis or only on a limited basis. It can also occur if you used to let your dog to come up to you and say hello, but no longer do
  • Undersocialization. Some dogs just do not understand how to engage with their canine companions. This might cause them to become overly frightened when they are around other canines. When undersocialized dogs learn that being on a leash means they can’t get away from the other dogs, they are more likely to become aggressive against the other animals. This relates back into the “fight or flight” response that dogs have when they bark and lunge. Techniques for training that are not recommended. In many cases, however, training practices might actually exacerbate your dog’s tendency to growl, bark, and lunge. Barking and lunging are both behaviors that may be corrected without choking, scolding, slapping, rolling, or any other means of correction. This is because your dog has learned that other dogs (or humans, or whatever it is that she barks and lunges at) are responsible for you having to perform these undesirable things. With her increased barking and lunging, she attempts to keep the other dogs at a greater distance
  • Even if the corrections you’re delivering aren’t very unpleasant or frightening, this can nevertheless take place. Even something as innocuous as a loud noise or a somewhat unpleasant smell might cause your dog to become more afraid of, skeptical of, or aggressive towards other dogs and people.

The majority of shy dogs and those that have been taught to bark and lunge at other dogs do not behave in this manner at all. Dogs with this habit are more prone to develop the problem than other dogs, which indicates that there is a hereditary component to this behavior as well. When you combine this with in-utero hormone exposure, early life experiences with the litter and the breeder, continuous socialization, and ongoing training, it becomes increasingly difficult to pinpoint a single explanation for your dog’s barking and lunging.

All of these things might come together to “cause” your dog to bark and lunge in response to something. It’s possible that you’ll never figure out what’s causing your dog’s hyperactivity. However, you may take efforts to correct the situation.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Barking and Lunging?

For dogs who bark and lunge, I do not advocate employing correction-based training methods, as you can see from the examples above. These training approaches can be effective with some dogs and expert trainers – but they are frequently ineffective overall. The use of praising and stroking alone will not be sufficient to overcome the overwhelming emotions that the majority of reactive dogs are experiencing. Finally, if you utilize treats inappropriately, they might be completely ineffective. So, what can we do to make it better?

Prevent Your Dog From Barking and Lunging

This is a critical initial stage in the process. Make certain that you understand what is causing your dog to bark and lunge. Is it children, pets, guys in caps, bicycles, or automobiles? Then make certain that you understand how intense that item has to be in order to cause troubles. It’s no big deal for some dogs to see a sleeping dog across the street, but for others, seeing a rushing dog in agility class is a Very Big Deal. When it comes to the “bad things,” the distance, pace, quantity, and volume of the “bad things” (referred to astriggers from here on out) may all influence how your dog perceives them.

  1. Exposing your dog to them on a regular basis will not suffice.
  2. That’s a little late in the day!
  3. Become more aware of your surroundings and cross the street when you notice the triggers.
  4. Basically, avoid placing your dog in a scenario where she will bark and lunge by doing everything you can to keep her safe.

Stop Barking and Lunging Right Now

Of course, things will occasionally go awry despite our best efforts. Damage control mode is activated when your dog begins to bark and lunge at anything. In order to deal with a dog that is barking and lunging, you can use one of several strategies:

  1. Get the hell out of there. This should always be the first option you consider. If you have the opportunity, work on a ” emergency U-turn” at home. Alternatively, if you haven’t done so before, you may need to physically remove your dog from the scenario. Whatever you do, try not to make your dog feel uncomfortable, no matter how ashamed (or furious) you are. Treats should be thrown because your dog is already agitated, and punishing her will not help at this time. Yes, you are correct. If your dog will eat, even if it is only in between barking, give her something to eat. This assists in teaching your dog that her triggers result in goodies being given to her. Throwing goodies on the ground to entice your dog to play the “find it” game is one option, or you may feed your dog as you make a beeline for the exit is another.

Feeding her regardless of what she’s doing is referred to as classical counter-conditioning, and it’s truly a fundamental principle of sound educational philosophy. You can rely on me (andtrust the science). Avoid attempting to coerce your dog into sitting or making eye contact with you if she is already barking and lunging. The use of treats in this situation has the potential to be quite detrimental. It’s probable that your dog is completely immersed in her “lizard brain,” and that she will not cooperate with your directions.

How to Really Stop Your Dog’s Barking and Lunging

A technique called classical counter-conditioning, which involves feeding her regardless of what she is doing, is a fundamental component of sound learning theory. Believe me when I say that (andtrust the science). Avoid attempting to coax your dog to sit or make eye contact with you if she is already barking and lunging. The use of treats in this situation has the potential to be disastrous.

It’s probable that your dog is completely immersed in her “lizard brain” and will not obey your directions. As a result, you’ll become upset (and maybe feel dumb, if you’re anything like me), and she’ll continue barking and lunging.

Why has my dog begun barking at other dogs on the street even though he has been socialized?

Your dog’s conduct might be motivated by a multitude of factors, ranging from fear to territorialism to simply being irritated at not being able to meet the other dog. Nonetheless, here are a few things you may try, but we recommend calling a professional dog trainer who can see your dog’s behavior in person and develop a tailored plan for you and your dog. Because the behavior is new, you should be able to get them back on track very quickly: First and foremost, remember to carry extra tasty goodies when you go on a stroll with your dog.

Immediately upon seeing the dog, begin generously praising and rewarding them with a tasty reward.

Barking and lunging aren’t necessary if the dog is associated with a treat.

If your dog does respond, gently say “nope,” block them for a second with your body, then turn and walk away from the other dog to avoid provoking them more.

When you encounter a dog, or if and when your dog lunges, try to maintain as much calm as you possibly can.

Also, make certain that the walks have a defined structure.

This implies that when they see another dog, they will not pay attention to you.

Allow children to sit for a number of minutes on a stroll simply because you requested them to.

All of these things will assist your dog in understanding that you are in command when out on a walk.

Dog training is a term that is used to describe the process of training a dog.

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