Reader Vee DeOllos-Hudsonasked me what to do when her dog cries and acts overly excited on walks when he sees other dogs (dog in picture is not Vee's dog). The problem is, he loves other dogs and can't control himself around them because he is so friendly. He is OK when he meets dogs in other situations, but when he's on a leash, he cries excessively.
So, does anyone have any suggestions for Vee? How do you stop a dog from crying during a walk when he sees other dogs?
I suggested a few things:
First, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise to get rid of any pent-up energy. Not getting enough exercise is usually the main problem. Another good idea is to sign up for an obedience class with a group where your dog can get used to heeling around other dogs while on a leash. But this situation can be created without taking a formal class by walking side by side with a friend and his or her dog. Keep moving forward and do not let your dog smell the other dog until the end of the walk when he is calm.
If your dog cries and pulls near a dog in a yard, try walking by the same dog several times just for practice (and until you drive people nuts). You could try walking in the direction of another dog, and the second your dog begins crying, turn and walk the other way. When he's calm, walk toward the dog again, but walk away if he cries.
I think it's best to correct a dog right away if he begins crying or pulling and to never let an overly excited dog smell or play with another dog until he is calm. The pinch collar works best in most cases for control, although a choke collar or Gentle Leader might work for some dogs. Remember to keep the leash loose except for a quick leash pop. A tight leash and collar will create more tension and excitement and make a dog cry or pull even more.
And my last suggestion: If there is anything the dog likes more than other dogs, like a tennis ball in my mutt's case, carry that with you on your walks to get his attention when needed. Maybe it's bits of hot dogs, jerky or cheese. Use whatever works.
How do you stop a dog from crying on walks when he sees other dogs?
Email your dog-related question to me at Lindsay@thatmutt.com, and I