Three Tips for Anxious/Barking Dogs

Here are three tips for you if you have a worried dog who barks or reacts problematically when he/she sees another dog:

1. Don’t punish a dog who barks aggressively at another dog.

If he’s barking because he’s scared, (and most are!) it will just make him worse.  Just turn and walk away if your dog’s behavior is problematic.

2. Teach your dog to look at you on cue when there is nothing to distract him, and then gradually begin to ask him to do so when he sees another dog. 

Be sure to use something that your dog really wants as a reinforcement. Food is great, but backing up and then playing a tug game is even better because it also relieves tension. Don’t ask for too much too soon! If your dog spits out the food and keeps barking, you are too close to the other dog.

3. Don’t hesitate to manage the situation to help your dog stay out of trouble:

Walk when it’s quiet; cross the street if another dog might get too close; and use every opportunity you can to reinforce calm and quiet behavior.

”  ~Deena Lavine, Owner and Professional Dog Trainer at Daily Visits Pet Sitting

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