To take your dog to play with others is a good initiative. The exercising brings about positive effects such as mental stimulation and burning off excess energy. However, if your dog is antisocial and freaks out at the sight of other dogs, then you might want to reconsider your options. That is why training your dog on how to get along with others is not only important but also a way to prevent any accidents that might occur from dog aggression. Here is how to teach your dog to play well with others.
If yours is a puppy, then count it as a blessing. Puppies are easier to train than a mature dog because their aggressiveness is more out of curiosity than fear. You can start by teaching your puppy the STOP, COME and SIT command from home. When you take it to meet other puppies, use the same commands in case of any aggressive behavior. With time it will learn to tolerate other dogs. In the meantime, use best dog playpens as a training space for the puppy. It will be a lot easier for him to adapt to a controlled environment.
Step by step
Introducing an anti-social dog to a dog park full of dogs can cause a lot of stress and anxiety to your dog. It is best to start by introducing it to one dog and then later two or three. You can ask a neighbor or a relative who has a dog to come over to your place and let the dogs play together. Watch them closely and discourage any hostile behavior.
Offer a treat
When introducing your dog to one or two others, carry a box of treats. Dogs respond well to rewards, unlike punishments. Make sure to give it a small treat every time it behaves well. You can also praise it by word of mouth. With time, it will associate good behavior with a reward and choose to behave well. The reward, however, should be immediate so that it picks up the cue, dogs learn best this way.
Teach him to play gently
A dog will often bring out the techniques that have been instilled in him when playing with you. This means that if you have been teaching him to play rough then it will replicate the same behavior when playing with others. Hence train your dog to play well using dolls instead of letting it have direct physical contact. Controlling his behavior when you two are playing will make him a better playmate.
Withdraw from tense situations
Dogs manifest aggressive behaviors such as barking and growling simply out of fear when they meet other dogs. Your best reaction in this situation is to stay calm and withdraw your dog to a safer and quiet place. Then try and soothe it gently until it regains composure before taking it back to the other dogs.
Seek professional training
Sometimes a dog needs to be trained by a professional dog trainer when your efforts don’t seem to be bearing fruit. You can enroll in a class together with other dog owners or find a trainer specifically for your dog. Opt for a trainer who has sound training methods like using rewards instead of punishment.
The most important thing about dog training is their ability to learn. Basically, you can teach your dog to do anything with a little persistence and dedication. Keep in mind though that adult dogs are harder to train and therefore start the training process as early as possible.