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How do you stop a dog from crying on walks near other dogs?

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?

Let me know in the comments!


Friday 8th of January 2021

I have a similar problem. I think it's an exercise thing. I have a Jack Russell mix and I know he really needs more exercise now that I've moved. When I have taken him for nice long walks to wear him out he is much better all around,especially with other dogs. That said, he does have that terrier spirit and can be somewhat territorial. .


Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

When walking our 3 dogs, they go completely crazy when they see or hear another dog. They practically pull my arm off and it is embarrassing. Turning the other direction does not help and they are too excited to give any treats. We are very upset by their behavior.

Silvia Martin

Tuesday 27th of March 2018

My dog was use to a yard now we live in a condo when she sees other dogs she cries and pulls on her leach


Thursday 28th of October 2010

I don't see why a dog who simply cries when he sees another dog should be punished. Maybe he's just lonely and wants to say "hello." Dogs are social animals. There are a lot of worse things to be concerned about.

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 28th of October 2010

Good point. The dog should not necessarily be punished. But, the dog should not be rewarded for acting overly excited, either. It's best to distract the dog or redirect her attention and then go visit the other dog once she is calm. That way the dog learns that if she is calm and quiet she gets to go greet other dogs.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 22nd of August 2008

Vee, thanks for keeping us up to date on Jake's progress.