Animal Care

How To Train Your Dog To Ignore Other Dogs

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Is your dog pushing you toward other dogs? Is your dog reactive, scared, or acting brutally toward other dogs? Whatever the reason, if your dog displays unwanted behaviour around other dogs, you must learn how to train your dog to ignore other dogs. 

Everyone who owns a dog hopes it will get along well with other dogs and enjoy that aspect of life, but it is essential to teach your dog to ignore distractions of all kinds, including other dogs.

This training is essential for many. For example, having your dog focused on another dog while out for a walk might be annoying and unpleasant.

A girl is playing and instructing her dog to take the food


Simple Tactics For Teaching Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs

Following are some basic strategies you can use right away:

  • Pet lead: No extended leashes
  • Time: You will need to make time each day to go for multiple quick walks because practising on walks is essential.
  • Peace and composure: Although you could get frustrated or anxious, displaying calm behaviour will help your dog relax and have a great learning environment.

How to Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs?

A girl is teaching numbers to her dog


Teaching your dog to avoid other dogs during obedience training is essential. However, a key and common distraction are being around other dogs. 

For example, if you teach your dog to ignore other dogs, your dog won’t bother people on walks or start a fight. Thus, you instruct your dog to listen to you when you ask for it and treat other dogs respectfully. Even if you pass other dogs while walking, it wouldn’t matter.

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Select Your Instruction

Professional dog trainers giving training to the dogs in a training centre


An instruction is another name for the same thing, which is typically referred to as a command. Whatever name you give it, you should pick one and use it consistently. Typical instructions include:

  • Please take it.
  • Watch me.

Start Your Training Away From Other Dogs

A man is giving training to his pet


Please don’t put your dog in a high-stress situation immediately and expect them to know what to do.

Before including other dogs in the mix, be sure you can gain and hold your dog’s attention without any distractions.

Start your training in a private yard or your home.

Teach Your Dog to Focus on You

A couple is teaching their dog to follow their instructions

To start, give your dog an instruction (also known as a command) that denotes when they should turn to face you.

You can direct your dog to heel, sit, lie down, etc., once they look at you and pay attention to you.

When your dog looks at you, reward him with love to help him learn this command.

Start by bringing a treat close to your face. Give your dog many compliments and a snack whenever they make eye contact with you.

Do this repeatedly until your dog looks at you before looking at the snack.

Pet dog doing tricks while training with the instructor


Ensure That Your Dog Can Behave Properly While Being Leashed

Before introducing your dog to high-activity and high-traffic areas, be sure they can walk nicely on a leash.

Use your instruction as you walk on a leash to do this. Keep your dog close to you by keeping the leash tight (with no slack). Carry a bag of treats, and give one to each animal every few minutes.

If your dog starts to get distracted, repeat the instructions. Please give them a treat and lots of praise as soon as they turn and make eye contact.

Do this on each walk. Your dog should eventually walk politely next to you and look at you when you go for walks without treats.



Troubleshooting For Leash Training

A girl is playing with her cute pet dog

Your dog could damage itself if it pulls a lot on the leash. It causes a lot of strain on their neck, and many people might need to purchase devices like prong collars, but doing so can cause even more damage.

Consider using a harness as an alternative. Your dog cannot damage himself while wearing a harness, and it is challenging to break free. However, some dogs pull much more violently when using them.

In these situations, think about a harness with two spots for clips and calls for using a double-ended leash. With the help of this collar and leash combination, you have considerably more control over your pet.

Practice in a Wide Range of Environments and With Distractions

Men training multiple dogs together in the park

When your dog responds to your instruction after you say it and does not require a treat, you can progress to practising in various environments and with distractions.

Firstly, go on walks with your dog in various locations. Go on different routes so that the distractions are regularly new and different.

Start practising in these locations:

  • Walks in dog-populated areas.

It could be areas where you are conscious that others walk their dogs or where you know that many distracting dogs are in yards.

  • Walks where other animals are present.

It’s a good idea to practise in areas with trails or other animals that can distract you, such as rabbits or squirrels.

  • Walks in densely populated areas.

Take your dog for walks in crowded places or metropolitan locations.

Why It’s Essential to Teach Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs?

woman training a dog in the park

Everyday obedience includes avoiding other dogs and helps to keep you, your dog, and other dogs safe.

Some dogs, especially those appropriately trained, respond negatively to other dogs. Your dog can and should ignore other dogs who don’t get along with yours if you come across them.

It might easily result in a dangerous and unpleasant dog fight if neither dog is trained to do so and if they are both untrained.

When and How to Introduce Social Interaction to Your Dog?

A woman is playing and showing affection to her dog

Generally speaking, your dog should now understand and be aware of how to ignore other dogs while out for a walk. 

They may occasionally engage with other dogs while restrained, and you might be comfortable with it. However, your dog must first and foremost understand that it is best to ignore the other dog.

It means you must figure out how to signal to them that socialising is acceptable. For example, if you see a friendly dog that you are okay with them interacting with, stop walking and don’t tell your dog to look at you.

They will quickly realise that they can interact with this dog. Please give them the signal to look at you when it is time to resume walking and then do so.

You must never forget to show consideration for other dogs and their owners. Just because you appreciate your dog’s socialisation does not automatically imply that the other owner does. So, before approaching another dog or dog owner, always be sure to inquire.

A professional trainer is training dogs


A dog that rushes at other dogs runs the risk of hurting itself and the other dog, as well as the owner, whether it is motivated by hostility, fear, or an intense desire to play.

It’s essential to teach your dog good manners when walking on a leash to keep everyone safe and ensure that your walks are enjoyable for you both. We hope this article helped you learn how to train your dog to ignore other dogs.


How can I prevent my dog from misbehaving with other dogs?

To prevent your dog from bothering other dogs, you can give him a timeout. When you see signs of bullying, putting your dog in timeout can help both dogs settle down before things get out of hand.

How do you break a dog’s fixation?

Use something reasonably simple at first; don’t try to convince your dog to quit staring at the sprinting cat! Start with toys instead. 

How can I stop my dog from biting her treats?

Simply teaching your dog to receive treats gently will stop him from snapping at them.

Can you fix a reactive dog?

You can teach a reactive dog to behave correctly, but it will take a long time to train them.

How do you break a dominant dog?

You have to be much more calm-assured to train a dominant dog. Also, you must set standards and restrictions.

How can you determine if your dog is acting playfully or viciously?

Staring, excessive low-range barking, snarling, growling and snapping, standing tall, holding ears straight, or holding tail high and moving it awkwardly from side to side are all indications of a dominant and aggressive dog.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.