How can I prevent my dog from lunging at other dogs on a walk?

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Training a dog to walk on a leash and avoid distractions, such as other dogs, may seem like a daunting task. Dogs are innately curious creatures, especially when it comes to seeing and meeting other dogs. While most dogs have good intentions when it comes to meeting one another, some dogs are not so well behaved during these encounters. When walking your dog, it’s best to keep your dog away from other dogs so neither dog gets hurt.

Often times, when a dog is walking and sees another dog, he will lunge at the other dog in an attempt to smell and greet the other dog. Pulling towards another dog to “say hello” is a normal occurrence, but aggressively lunging towards another dog is not normal behavior. If your dog is lunging at other dogs on a walk, correct this behavior by slightly jerking back on the leash to get your dog’s attention. Then, have your dog sit. Controlling your dog’s behavior by getting him into a calm and submissive state will reduce the need for your dog to lunge forward.

Once your dog becomes well behaved on walks, you can begin to introduce him to other dogs in a neutral place, such as a park. A good way to introduce two dogs is to walk them beside each other, with each owner keeping their dog on a short leash. The dogs will learn that they are equals, and be more receptive to meeting after the parallel leash walk.

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