Reducing excitement around dogs
The essence of this technique is that when a dog is present, good things (treats) come from you. At that moment, you are more interesting than the dog. At first, you will need to be quite far away from the dog for this to be the case, but with practice your pup will learn to look at you when they see a dog, and they will be able to do this even when dogs are close. Take your pup to a location where you will see dogs but can keep a good distance from them. Keep a distance from other dogs that does not make your pup bark, lunge, pull or stare intently at the dog in such a way that they cannot look at you when you say their name. Allow your pup to look at the dog, then say their name and when they look at you, say “Good!” and give them a treat. If, when you say their name, your pup is not able to look back at you, then step further away from the other dog until your pup is able to respond to you. For the whole time that the dog is around, every time that your pup looks at the dog, say their name and when they look at you, say “Good!” and give them a treat. When your pup begins to offer eye contact voluntarily when they see a dog, say “Good” and give them a treat when they do. With time, slowly reduce the distance between your pup and other dogs while you are training, always making sure that they can still look at you when you say their name.
- Your dog sees the other dog
- Let them watch the other dog for 1-2 seconds
- You say their name
- They look at you
- You give them a treat