One of our readers wrote in to say that her dog was obsessed with other dogs and that made walks unpleasant. I’m assuming she meant her dog wanted to approach and play with other dogs. If your dog is known as the “social butterfly” of the block then try the following tips to keep your dog focused.
- Early socialization. Get your puppy socialized with other dogs as soon as possible so that when she sees them, she doesn’t go crazy.
- Set up play dates. For the older dog who desperately wants to play, as long as your dog is under control, consider scheduling some play dates with the (safe) dog of a friend. Start with some play time with one dog, then go for a walk.
- Venture out. When you’ve seen your dog play appropriately with one dog, you can take your social butterfly to a dog park.
- Teach basic skills. While you’re working on providing appropriate play interactions, teach basic skills such as sit, come, heel, and “watch me”. When these skills are reliable, you can put the behaviors on cue when you see another dog coming down the street. Your dog can learn there are times we play and times when she needs to simply walk along with you.
Is anyone currently having a problem with reaction to another dog? Try these tips and report back to us on how it worked with your dog.