Does your little furry friend conduct this behavior every time you take him to the dog park? If the answer is yes; then this blog is specifically for you. We always like to take care of our four-legged friends and so to reciprocate our feelings some doggies try to protect you from unwanted threats in the dog park.
Remember, it is their chance to show that they care for you in the same way as you do. And so if you find your four-legged friend growl or bark at other dogs that approach you in the dog park please understand that it is their way to keep you safe.
It is not as if you will not be able to handle the other dogs in the dog park, but you cannot just scold your furry friend just because they are taking special care of the fact that you get adequate protection from other doggies. If you are concerned about the behavior and want to correct it, then it is best to take the help of a professional trainer who can assist your dog in resolving this behavior.
When you find your four-legged friend trying to guard you in the dog park get answers to the following questions to understand the reasons for your doggie to guard you:
- Is he trying to do resource guarding where you are the resource? (This is considered to be one of the primary reasons for the behavior!!)
- Is he trying to hold back excited, nervous or inappropriate energy of other dogs?
- Is it a protective instinct from him to protect you from other dogs?
- Is it a reaction when he sees an excited dog approaching? Does he react the same around calm dogs?
- Is it due to lack of socializing skills on the part of your dog?
- Is it fear of the other animal that is making them guard you?
These questions can be difficult to answer correctly and so we suggest that you take the help of an experienced professional trainer. Even a single one-on-one session with the trainer can be of great help.
Apart from the professional help; you can try these tips to curb this dog behavior:
Conduct a session with other dogs while your dog is around
This activity should not be followed in the dog park strictly. Initially, try it at home with a couple of easygoing doggies. You can take the help of a professional trainer. The basic idea is to create a positive reinforcement in the mind of your dog so that he sees other dogs approaching you in a positive manner.
Now ask the two dogs to approach you and when they come closer give them treats. You want to create an impression in the minds of your doggie that you love when the other dogs approach you. But you need to be very patient with the training since it can be very difficult to find easygoing dogs and then to keep your furry friend quiet when they approach you.
Keep walking when approached by other dogs
If you are at a dog park and find out that other dogs are following you do not just stand still keep walking. Since; if you stand still, your doggie might think that they need to guard you and so you will get the same reaction again. The best thing to do in such a scenario is to avoid direct confrontation. Just pay no heed to the other dogs and ask your doggie to follow your path. Your pooch will definitely follow you. This will let your dog be in the following position rather than the guarding position.
Breakup the two dogs
When the tension between your dog and the other one is building; to break up the energy ask your doggie to come to you through a command like “come” and then ask the other dog to stay away with a little “Hey!” This will defuse the negative energy between the dogs and reduce the chance of a fight. Then, keeping walking in the same direction on the sideways and call your dog to follow you.
Train your dog to follow your command
Before taking your doggie in the park it is best to ensure that he follows all your commands. There are certain things that are bare minimum before taking your dog to the park:
- The dog should remain still and quiet for 5 minutes at home until released with the command “Free” and “OK!”
- When you command “Watch me” the dog must make eye contact while on walks
- The dog should come back to you whenever he is called from the backyard or in the house through the “Come” command
Once these commands have been learnt by the dog it is time to take them to the dog park. So how are you planning to get rid of this behavior in your dogs today? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section and we would be glad to incorporate your ideas in our forthcoming blogs. Till then keep reading!!