How to teach your dog to be gentle with other dogs? What methods should you use or what you should do? and you are confused between whether your dog would be uncomfortable or what you should do to your dog to be gentle with others or your friend’s dogs.
Then, you are on the right article, and going through the whole article will solve your problem in no time. We will talk about why your dog must be gentle with other dogs, and how to teach your dog to be gentle with other dogs.
You can say like humans, in dogs, there are also introverts and extroverts. Some dogs like to play socially with other dogs. While others don’t even like to look at other dogs. No matter what the reason is.
An overview of why your dog must be gentle with other dogs.
Being gentle with other dogs will give new friends to your dog. It will make him happy and keep him more active. It will also generate a likeness towards your dog by other people and dogs.
With this importance, your job is to not let your dog self-drained because of other dogs. But to make him learn to feel happy with other canines.
Check out the video by Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution Channel titled Trying to train my dog to be good around other dogs.
5 ways on How to teach your dog to be gentle with other dogs?
Apart from socializing your dog from a young age, there are some techniques you can use to teach your dog to behave and play nicely with other dogs.
- Teach your dog ‘settle’ training:
To make this training work for you, make sure your dog is familiar with the basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come here’.
The ‘settle’ method can be used to distract your dog from many bad behaviors with other dogs if trained properly. Make sure to start with the no-distraction zone. Just you trying to let your dog know it’s time to calm down when you utter ‘settle’.
Call your dog to sit at a particular place or keep the food below and tell him to ‘settle’. If obeys, give him a treat. As some training session passes, the dog develops an understanding of what he needs to do. Increase the time of giving treats.
Within a few days, take your dog to the park or meet a friend who owns a dog. Practice the training to calm down your dog and reduce his excitement.
If your dog is well-socialized, use this method when an unexpected behavior throws in. Keep the special and favorite treat of your dog with yourself at this moment.
Train your dog so well that he listens to you in every situation. Rewarding him every time you say settle will get attached to good things in your dog’s brain. With or without another dog, he will understand if he obeys you when you give the command ‘settle’ or behave nicely, he will get something special.
- Don’t encourage bad behavior:
Dogs can easily get excited. This excitement can lead to some bad behavior like not understanding the signs another dog is giving to him. Growling, and a little bit of sniff also sometimes show you that now it’s getting worse. Although, your dog can growl also because he is enjoying it.
When any bad behavior comes into the scene, say your dog ‘leave it’ in a firm voice. Everything should be left behind when you say it. You need to train your dog to obey you like the settle cue.
‘Stop’ command can also be a good way. Whenever you want your dog to leave something, the ‘leave it’ command should be in charge. If he obeys, reward him after he comes to you.
You should make your dog understand that any inappropriate behavior towards other dogs or puppies is unacceptable. And if you do so, you will have to leave it and you will miss the playing sessions.
Remember don’t be too harsh on your dog especially publicly or for that matter in front of another dog. As he will connect the pain with the person or dog. This way it can be difficult for your dog to socialize in the future.
- Socializing by only ‘meet’ and ‘greet’:
Don’t force your dog to become friends at the first meeting.
Take out the dog for a walk in the park where he can meet many other dogs. Socializing by only ‘meet’ means not forcing a dog to be friends. The dogs should look at each other from a distance. Give a Reward every time to your dog as he remains calm after watching another dog coming straight toward you. Keep the leash long and a little bit loose also.
Then start with the ‘greet’ process. The ‘meet’ process should be at least followed until the dogs become comfortable and can cross each other without rewards. It can take more than 2 weeks. Depending upon how socialized your dog is.
During the ‘greet’ method training keep the leash loose and long, to be more in control. This way you can anytime change the direction of your dog if something aggressive happens. Like, stiff body language.
The ‘greet’ method is like meeting the other dog saying ‘Hi’ and ‘Hello’ for 3-5 seconds and moving on. Or tell the other dog’s owner to go back a little bit, if your dog gets over-excited. Come back again and repeat the procedure. Do three to four sessions. Then part away.
It’s better to keep the positive experiences. Both the dogs will have eye contact, will sniff, etc. If the first experience is good, do it consistently. But when coming back after greeting, give your dog a ‘treat’ and appreciate him.
Always keep an eye on dogs’ body language, to understand if they are frustrated or enjoying the experience. It will also reveal what they are up to.
- Teach your dog to share (food and toy) with other dogs:
“Sharing is caring”. Apart from caring, sharing builds a stronger bond and connection. Same works for dogs. By sharing things with other dogs your dog will not only be liked by the dog but also by the owner himself.
To reinforce this behavior you need to train your dog with ‘give’, and ‘drop’ commands. Take a valuable toy to your dog. Let the dog play with it. Show a treat to your dog. Give it near him. When the dog tries to catch it, leave the treat on the floor. Take advantage of the moment and grasp the toy from the other hand.
After some sessions, reinforce the commands ‘give’, and ‘drop’ with a reward. Moving on further sessions, try removing the treat and make your dog listen to commands and react accordingly.
Praise your dog for his behavior. The training should be first in no distraction zone. Then try using situations like with other dogs( do it the first time with the dog who is liked by your dog himself).
- Reward him if he behaved nicely repeatedly (the treat should be something extraordinary):
Like humans, dogs like appreciation and praise. Praise is in the form of treats, and toys for dogs. It can make your dog behave more obediently.
Any time the dog behaves with or without people, you need to make him his behavior is appreciated. Give him proper attention in this situation. Some dogs behave rudely to get attention. Your dog mustn’t be one of them.
Be near your dog as he plays with another dog. This way you can give him a treat whenever he behaves amazingly. With that not giving attention and reward, if any bad situation occurs. During this moment, the treat should be something special that your dog loves.
Whenever your dog is playing with other dogs. Keep an eye on his body language, what signals he is giving, when he gets aggressive, etc.
As Zak George says the more you will let your dog socialize with other dogs, the more he/she will behave correctly. But remember to be a little bit close to the dog while they are meeting for the first time because you never know when your dog will get aggressive.
Use all the methods above as per your situation and your dog’s personality. We have managed to bring you all the information in the simplest way. Just understand your dog well, his habits, and his body language. No matter what method you use, do it consistently. It will be working in a few weeks. If not, consult a behaviorist.
- Why should you interact with a healthy dog?
Ans: The healthy and well-socialized dog will behave correctly and politely. It will create a positive experience for your dog. One first bad experience can ruin the whole mental health of the dog. Being with a well-socialized dog will expose a great circle and good habits.
It would lead to a great friendship between the two dogs. On the contrary, an aggressive dog will leave a bad impression on your dog.
- Should you use a basket-type muzzle on a walk?
Ans: Basket type muzzles are recommended if the dog is aggressive. This muzzle prevents the dog from barking and attacking any new person or dog you are meeting. On a walk, you will meet a lot of people and some dogs. You obviously don’t want to hear complaints about your dog. So, try it out.
- How is giving treats to your dog when he behaves negatively?
Ans: There is a method called classical conditioning. When the dog behaves negatively, you have to call him and if he comes, reward him. Another method can be talking to your dog calmly. As he gets distracted give him a treat.
This method can work for some dogs. In some tense situations, this method may not work. As dogs may react harshly sometimes.