Dogs use barking to communicate, which could express various emotions and intentions. Depending on the context, a dog might bark at another dog to express excitement, dominance, fear, or a desire for play, among other things.
7 Reasons a Dog Barks at Other Dogs
- Asserting dominance: Some dogs bark to display their dominance or territorial behavior.
- Feeling threatened: A dog might bark if it feels threatened or anxious in the presence of another dog.
- Invitation for play: Dogs also bark to signal their intention to play.
- Sensing unfamiliarity: If the other dog is unfamiliar or new to them, barking might respond to that uncertainty.
- Aroused state: A heightened arousal due to excitement or anticipation can also trigger barking.
- Attention-seeking: Dogs might bark at other dogs to gain attention from their owners or the other dogs themselves.
- Learned behavior: Dogs may also bark at other dogs because they’ve learned to associate it with a particular outcome, like getting treats or scaring the other dog away.
How to Train a Dog to Stop Barking at Other Dogs? Step-by-Step Guide for Long-Term Results
Training dogs to stop barking at other dogs requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here is a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Understand Why Your Dog is Barking
Firstly, try to understand why your dog is barking at other dogs. Is it fear, excitement, or dominance? The training approach might vary depending on the underlying cause. For example, if your dog barks out of fear, you’ll need to work on building its confidence around other dogs.
Step 2: Begin Training in a Controlled Environment
Start training your dog in a quiet, controlled environment with no distractions. For example, start at home where there are no other dogs. This helps your dog focus on the training and builds up basic obedience skills, which can be transferred to more challenging situations later.
Step 3: Teach the “Quiet” Command
Teach your dog a ‘quiet’ command. Start by allowing your dog to bark, say ‘quiet,’ and then when your dog stops barking, reward it with a treat or praise. For example, if your dog barks when someone comes to the door, allow it to bark, then say, ‘Quiet.’ When it stops barking, give it a treat.
Step 4: Gradual Exposure to Other Dogs
Once your dog has mastered the ‘quiet’ command in a controlled environment, gradually expose your dog to other dogs. This could be during walks or controlled playdates with dogs of friends or family. Start at a distance from the other dog and reward your dog for staying calm and quiet. For example, during a walk, if you see another dog from a distance and your dog doesn’t bark, reward it with praise or a treat.
Step 5: Positive Reinforcement
Use positive reinforcement to reward your dog for not barking at other dogs. This could be in the form of treats, praise, or toys. For instance, if your dog remains calm and quiet when another dog walks by, immediately reward it with its favorite treat and praise it.
Step 6: Seek Professional Help If Needed
If your dog’s barking problem persists despite your best efforts, it might be beneficial to seek help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized training strategies based on your dog’s specific behavior and needs. For instance, a professional dog trainer might identify unique triggers you may have missed and provide more specialized training exercises.
Quick Ways to Stop a Dog from Barking at Other Dogs
Immediately divert your dog’s attention when it starts barking at another dog. You could use its favorite toy, start a training exercise, or give it a command it knows well. This changes the dog’s focus and distracts it from the other dog.
Use a Bark Control Device
Devices like ultrasonic bark control devices emit high-frequency sound unpleasant to dogs but inaudible to humans. They can be an instant remedy to stop your dog from barking.
Treats can also be used to stop your dog from barking instantly. However, timing is important. Only treat your dog when it stops barking to ensure you’re not rewarding the barking behavior.
A gentle tug on the leash or a calming touch can interrupt the barking and refocus your dog’s attention. Always pair this with a verbal command, like “quiet,” so your dog begins associating the command with stopping barking.
Use a Spray Collar
Certain spray collars release a burst of citronella or water when your dog barks. This surprises them and distracts them from barking. It’s important to only use these collars as a last resort and always under vet guidance, as some dogs may find them distressing.
Create a Barrier
Physically blocking your dog’s view of the other dog can sometimes help. For example, if your dog tends to bark at dogs walking by your home, try closing the blinds or moving your dog to a different room.
There are various calming aids available such as dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) diffusers, sprays, and collars. These products release a scent that calms dogs and can help reduce their urge to bark at other dogs.
How to Stop My Dog from Lunging at Other Dogs?
Gradually exposing your dog to other dogs, paired with positive reinforcement, can help manage lunging behaviors. Start at a safe distance and reward your dog for remaining calm when another dog is in sight. Over time, decrease the distance while maintaining positive reinforcement. Consulting with a professional dog trainer may be beneficial.
How to Stop My Dog from Barking at Other Dogs during a Walk?
Consistent training and commands can help manage barking during walks. Use the “quiet” command when your dog begins barking, rewarding them when they obey. Diverting your dog’s attention or changing your walking route when seeing another dog can also prevent barking triggers.
How to Stop My Dog from Barking at Neighbor’s Dog?
This can be addressed through training your dog to associate the neighbor’s dog with positive experiences. When the neighbor’s dog is in sight, reward your dog for calm behavior. A barrier to block your dog’s view of the neighbor’s dog, such as curtains or fences, can also help manage this issue.
Can Adopting another Dog help counter my Dog’s Barking at other Dogs?
While adopting another dog may provide companionship and social interaction for your dog, it doesn’t guarantee a reduction in barking at other dogs. Each dog’s behavior is individual and can depend on multiple factors, including socialization skills, temperament, and training. It’s essential to consider all aspects and potential challenges before adopting another dog.
Why does every Dog Bark at my Dog?
Every dog barking at your dog might be due to your dog’s body language, scent, or behavior that other dogs find intriguing or threatening. Dogs communicate a lot through body postures, and if your dog exhibits dominant, fearful, or unfamiliar signals, it can prompt reactions from other dogs. Additionally, unneutered dogs can sometimes attract more attention from their counterparts.