A dog that doesn't get along well with other dogs can limit your, and his, social life. If your dog barks aggressively, hides behind your legs or simply wants to drag you to every dog he sees, taking him outside will be no walk in the park.
Teach your dog to wait calmly by your side. You can teach him to sit on command or allow him to stand. The goal is for him to wait, on a loose leash, by your side. Do this by giving him a treat when he is waiting like you want. Be generous with the treats and he will quickly learn that hanging out by your side is the best place to be.
Expose him to other dogs from a distance. If the neighborhood park is a common area for dog walks, take him there, but keep to yourself. Stay far enough away that he doesn't bark, pull or whine. Walk a few minutes, stop, and reward him if he stands or sits like you want. If he is restless or aggressive, walk some more, moving away from the other dogs. Repeat this scenario until you can easily keep his attention, which may happen in one trip or several.
Work your way closer to the other dogs. Try to do this when the area isn't particularly busy. Don't rush him; if he starts to tense up, the hackles on his back raise or he starts to whine, bark or pull, simply head off in the other direction. Again, this process may take days or weeks, depending on how ingrained your dog's behavior is.
Introduce your dog to others. Once he can walk close to other dogs and behave, allow him to meet other dogs, nose to nose. This works best if you have a friend with a dog, but if you hang out in the same area as other dog owners, you will probably have the opportunity to introduce yourself, and your dog, to them. Keep the introduction short, if both seem relaxed, allow them to touch noses and sniff. If either seems tense or aggressive, turn and walk off.
Items you will need
- If you have a small dog, resist the urge to pick him up when he acts bad. You may feel like you have more control over him when he's in your arms but, from his perspective, he just got a whole lot taller, and tougher.
- Keep training sessions short. Ten to 15 minutes is probably good, but cut it even shorter if your dog starts to become tense or anxious. If he acts badly because of fear aggression, he may get more agitated as the training session progresses.
- Be generous with treats during the training process. While you do want your dog to get comfortable around other dogs,another goal of this training is that he learns to pay attention to you. If he's doing what you want and expect, he will probably stay out of trouble.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images