Calm around other dogs

It’s your job to protect your dog.  People with approach you with their dogs and want their dog to play with your dog.  No…don’t let this happen.  Your dog is your service dog and should not be interacting with other dogs.   

As a service dog, your dog should be taught to ignore other dogs.  If your dog can learn this lesson, your dog will be ignored by other dogs.

Remember that your dog needs you.  Your dog does not need other dogs as friends.  Your dog is not a pack dog like a Beagle that is about to go on a hunt.  Your dog is a service dog that is there to serve only you.

If your dog is lunging every time he sees another dog, he may not be suitable as a service dog.  If the dog just recently picked up this behavior you may be able to work with your dog to ignore other dogs, depending on your bond with the dog.  However, if this has been a long-term problem, it may take years to correct, if at all.

Once a dog has learned a behavior, he won’t forget the strategy that it learned worked.   So, if he learned that aggression toward another dog worked he will continue that behavior.

Dog can read your emotions, so if you don’t want your dog to react to other dogs, you need to stay calm.

How to train your dog to be calm around other dogs?  Start in your house work on sit/stay and nose touch to your hand until it’s so second nature to your dog that all you have to say is “touch” and your dog will come running to touch your hand.  Also work on eye contact.  “Watch” is another excellent tool to use.  Remember to act enthusiastic with great praise when your dog is successful at these tasks.

Now take this to your backyard and when perfected to your front yard.  Use a long line and with any luck a dog will walk by and use the sit/stay and touch or watch command.  If your dog is more interested in the passing dog, go back to step one.  If your dog is good, you can take him on a walk, then progress to a local park.  But NO dog parks, ever!  Your dog is your companion, not a stranger’s dog’s companion.  One attack in a dog park can have a long-term impact on your dog.