How to Stop a Dog From Barking or Lunging at Other Dogs

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 27, 2023

stop a dog from barking

For this West LA dog training session we worked with four year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback Cooper; sharing tips on how to stop a dog from barking at other dogs.

Because Cooper is sometimes unpredictable when meeting new people, I met him outside and used a Dog Behaviorist trick to make him feel comfortable around me. I recommended the guardian repeat this introduction for any other new people that Cooper is going to meet for the first time.

After heading inside, we went over a number of fundamentals; marker words, when to introduce cues, hand targeting, dog consent and body language, creative forms of exercise, how to teach doggy manners and the importance of celebrating desired behaviors.

One of the reasons that I’m able to get such quick results for my clients because I show them what they are doing to contribute to their dog’s problems as well as how to fix them. After covering all the foundational tips, we headed out to look for a dog so I could show the guardian tips to stop a dog from barking at other dogs.

How to stop a dog from barking at other dogs

If you have a dog with a barking problem, you need to first identify why the dog is barking in the first place. As LA’s resident dog behavior expert I have found that many people fail to take into consideration the dogs’ emotional state of mind. But knowing the “why” is crucially important when you want to change a dog’s behavior.

In Copper’s case, he was uncomfortable around other dogs. Whenever he barked at other dogs, they went away, making him think the barking behavior worked.

An easy to stop dog barking is to create a positive association with whatever it is that they are barking at. After we located a dog out for a walk, I handed my camera to Cooper’s guardian so that I could demonstrate how to stop dog barking using positive dog training methods.

If you have a dog with a barking problem, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

By creating a situation where Cooper was comfortable being around the other dog by managingthe distance, we were able to give him treats while looking at the other dog. Basically we were rewarding him for looking at and not barking at the other dog. This is a great way to stop dog barking if you make sure that you are monitoring the situation properly. The goal is for the dog to practice being around the other dog without barking because the human is managing the situation (keeping enough distance) to make sure the dog feels comfortable. This is super important if you want to teach a dog to stop barking at other dogs it sees.

After we returned to Cooper’s home, I shared some additional tips for this exercise. While the engage disengage game rewards the dog for looking at another dog without barking, I also mentioned how to use counter conditioning. This involves giving the dog treats over and over again while they are around whatever it was that made them fearful, but far enough away so the dog doesn’t feel the need to respond or bark.

Both of these methods are excellent ways to stop dogs from barking at other dogs. In the meantime, I recommended the guardian continue to practice avoidance; crossing the street or going in the other direction when she sees a dog and is not ready to play the engage disengage game.

By the end of the session, Cooper was pretty tired. This was a lot of activity for this handsome dog. I made sure to point out to the guardian that this exercise is a very intense emotional response, and that she should practice in short successful sessions. Many people practice too long and end up with a failure at the end which is the last thing you want to do when training your dog to not bark.

To help the guardian remember all of the dog behavior tips we shared in this in-home West LA dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success summary video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr