How To Train Your Dog To Behave Around Other Dogs

My first dog was a sweet, obedient mutt named Mischa. She was my best friend for 11 years until she passed away last fall, and I thought I’d never be able to replace her. 

But then a friend suggested that I get another dog and he had just the one in mind: his neighbor’s Jack Russell terrier mix named Buster. 

“He’s mellow,” my friend said, “and really smart.” So he brought him over to meet me one night after dinner and we hit it off immediately. 

The next day I went over again with treats and toys and we played on our walks together every day after school for six weeks before we finally decided that it was time to bring him home forever!

Trying to Train My Dog to be Good Around Other
Training your dog to behave around other dogs requires patience, consistency, and gentle guidance.
Controlled socialization activities, such as going to dog parks or enrolling in obedience classes, can help train your dog to behave around other dogs.
Dogs may struggle to behave around other dogs due to a lack of socialization, fear or anxiety, or aggression.
Signs that your dog may be uncomfortable or anxious around other dogs include growling, snapping, raised hackles, and a stiff or lowered tail.
It’s important to work with a professional trainer or behaviorist to develop a customized training plan that meets your dog’s specific needs.
Consistent, ongoing training can help your dog feel more comfortable and confident around other dogs over time, but it may take several months or longer to see significant progress.

Control Your Own Anxiety

You’re a human. You get anxious sometimes, and you can’t always control your own anxiety. If you are anxious, your dog will pick up on that and it will make them anxious too. Try to be calm and confident when training your dog (and in general).

If you are able to remain calm while working with your dog around other dogs, they will learn to trust and follow your lead.

When introducing a new situation or environment, begin by making sure that everyone is relaxed and comfortable. Only then should things progress further into more active play time with the other dogs!

Want to make sure your furry friend is well-behaved around other dogs? Our guide on how to train your dog to behave around other dogs provides a step-by-step approach to help your dog be more comfortable around other pups.

Set Up Positive Introductions

To set up positive introductions, you’ll need to take your dog to a park or other place where you can meet other dogs. It’s important that you pay attention to how your dog reacts when he sees another dog. 

If he gets too excited and starts barking or lunging at the other animal, it’s best if you don’t let him interact with that dog just yet. 

Instead, bring along a friendlier breed like an older Labradoodle that is already used to being around people and other dogs in the park

When your dog does see another dog and he may be wary at first let him sniff them from a distance first before allowing them to get closer together. 

Once they’ve both had their fill of sniffing each other out, reward each of them with treats when they sit down calmly next to each other without making any sudden movements or sounds

Avoid letting them play as this could lead into unwanted fights later on down the road (if one of them decides they want more attention than what was given).

Starting puppy training at the right time can set the foundation for good behavior throughout their life. Our article on when to start training your puppy offers tips on what signs to look for and what to focus on during training.

Start With A Pleasant Dog

Start with a pleasant dog. If your dog is not afraid of other dogs, then you are well on your way to having a well-behaved pup! You can train him or her to be friendly with other dogs by taking them to the park together and meeting all kinds of different canines. 

This will help your dog understand that it’s okay for them to play and interact with other dogs in ways that don’t involve biting, barking or chasing.

Make sure your own dog isn’t stressed out by new experiences (like meeting new friends). When stress levels rise too high during training sessions, it becomes harder for puppies and adult dogs alike to focus on learning new things about appropriate behavior around other dogs. So make sure that both pets feel safe before any training begins!

ConsiderationDescriptionSuggested Breeds
Energy levelHigh-energy breeds require more exercise and activityAustralian Shepherd, Border Collie
SizeLarger breeds need more space and exerciseGreat Dane, Labrador Retriever
Grooming needsCoated breeds require more grooming maintenance and attentionPoodle, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu
TrainabilitySome breeds may be easier or more difficult to trainLabrador Retriever, Golden Retriever
TemperamentSome breeds may be more independent or require more socializationCavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pug
CompatibilityConsider lifestyle and living space to determine the best fit for youMixed breed, Shelter dogs, Senior dogs

Keep Your Dog On A Leash

Another important thing to keep in mind when taking your dog out is to always use a leash. This will help you keep control of your dog, as well as make sure that they are safe. 

Even if you’re confident that your dog will be friendly towards other dogs and not try to fight with them, it’s still important to use a leash because sometimes things can happen quickly and unexpectedly. 

Someone else may have a small child who runs up between two dogs or there could be another type of distraction happening nearby, which could cause one dog to snap at the other one unexpectedly. 

If this happens while both dogs are leashed then at least you’ll have time to react before anything serious happens!

Dog training can be challenging, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can hinder progress. Our article on 15 common mistakes to avoid when training your dog outlines what to watch out for and how to overcome mistakes.

Check The Other Dog’s Body Language

If you notice the other dog is growling, barking or lunging at your dog, then it’s okay to back up and keep your pup leashed. 

If the other dog is wagging his tail, then it’s safe for you to approach him.

Reward Calm Behavior

If your dog is exhibiting calm behavior around another dog, reward him. You can do this in a variety of ways, including giving him a treat or praising him verbally. 

When he’s not being calm and relaxed, give him nothing at all. Don’t reward his bad behavior with attention or affection; instead, ignore it completely until he starts acting like the good boy you know he can be.

If your dog is on leash and leashed to someone else’s dog when you see them approaching, ask their owner if they will let go so that your dog can run up and meet theirs without being restrained. 

If both owners are comfortable with this idea (and many are), then make sure everyone has a hold on their respective leashes before letting go of them so that neither pet gets injured by running into each other unexpectedly or getting tangled up in each other’s leads when one person lets go first than the other does.

Reward TypeDescriptionSuggested Use
TreatsEdible rewards such as small pieces of kibble or bite-sized treatsUse for quick and simple obedience training
ToysPlaytime rewards such as a favorite toy or gameGood for interactive and stimulating play
AffectionPhysical rewards such as praise, cuddles, or pettingGreat for bonding and relationship building
Clicker TrainingA training tool that uses a clicker and treats to mark and reward desired behaviorEffective for shaping specific actions
Positive Reinforcement AppMobile applications that use positive reinforcement methods to track progress and provide rewards for good behaviorGood for tracking progress and motivation

Back Up And Reward Calm Behavior Again

Back up and reward calm behavior again. If you really want to make him feel safe, move a few steps back and give him a treat when he’s calm.

If he’s still anxious, try a different approach. If your dog is still anxious or barking at the other dog, then you may have to try something else! 

You can try doing this while he’s on leash so that you can control his movement easier (though we wouldn’t recommend it).

Whether you’re new to dog training or looking to improve your approach, our guide on the ultimate guide to dog training offers expert advice and 13 tips to help you communicate effectively with your furry friend.

Try Some Obedience Training

While training your dog, it’s important to maintain a positive and consistent relationship with your pet. You can do this by using positive reinforcement techniques. 

Positive reinforcement is when you reward your dog for doing something right by giving them a treat or praising him/her in some way. 

For example, if your dog sits when commanded, you could reward him/her with a treat or praise that lets him know he did what you wanted him to do!

Training is generally broken down into four different stages: obedience training, trick training, advanced tricks and finally agility competitions (AKA the most fun part).

Each stage has its own goals and rewards that help build on past skills while making sure every dog learns at their own pace

Training MethodDescriptionBenefits
In-person classAttend scheduled classes at a local training centerPersonalized instruction, socialization, and structure
Online classParticipate in virtual classes and training sessionsConvenience and flexibility
Private trainerHire a certified trainer for one-on-one sessionsCompletely customized training plan and schedule
At-home trainingPurchase training resources or videosAffordability and autonomy

This table outlines different obedience training options for pet owners who want to improve their pet’s behavior and obedience. Each option offers unique benefits depending on the owner’s goals, lifestyle, and budget. In-person classes and private trainers offer personalized instruction and structure, while online classes offer flexibility and convenience.

At-home training may be a more affordable option for pet owners who prefer to work independently. It’s important to carefully research each option and consult with a trainer or behaviorist to find the right fit for both you and your pet.

Practice, Practice, Practice

It may seem obvious to you that the more time your dog spends around other dogs the better he will be at interacting with them.

But what you might not realize is that socialization is a learned behavior. It’s not something that just happens over time—you have to teach your dog how to behave around other dogs. 

That means lots of work on your part! You have to be patient and persistent, but don’t worry: if you keep working with him day after day, week after week, month after month…well…he will get better!

Avoid Public Areas That Might Be Stressful For You Or Your Dog.

When you are out in public, avoid taking your dog to places that might be stressful for them. This includes crowded areas like the grocery store or park where there will likely be a lot of people and dogs around. If your dog is nervous around other animals, it’s best to avoid public parks altogether.

Hire A Trainer Who Specializes In This Type Of Problem.

If you’re having trouble with your dog and you want to hire a trainer, there are some things you should look for in your candidate. 

First and foremost is experience. A good trainer should have years of hands-on experience working with dogs. 

They should also be certified by the organization that certifies trainers (the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers). 

This means they’ve taken exams that test their knowledge base, as well as demonstrated an ability to train dogs successfully by having clients send in videos of themselves training their own dogs using methods taught by the applicant.

The next thing to look for is whether or not the person has worked specifically with dog-dog aggression problems before this will be obvious if they list this specialty on their website or LinkedIn page, but sometimes it’s not listed there so ask them directly if they have ever worked on aggressive behavior between dogs before.

Remember That He’ll Get Better With Time

It can be a bit disheartening when your dog doesn’t behave the way you want him to right away, but just keep at it and don’t give up! 

Dogs are unpredictable creatures, so even if they’ve shown signs of aggression before, they may very well surprise you by being sweet and calm around other dogs once they’ve been trained properly.

ImmediatelyVulnerable and disorientedComfort, safety, and rest
1-7 daysPain and discomfortMedication and rest
1-2 weeksReduced activity and loss of appetiteLight activity and appetite stimulants
2-4 weeksGradual return to normal behaviorIncreasing activity and socialization
4-6 weeksNear-full recovery and return to routineReturn to regular exercise and diet

This table outlines the recovery timeline for a pet after an illness or injury. It includes expected behaviors and actions to take during each timeframe. The recovery timeline will vary depending on the severity of the condition, and some pets may recover more quickly or slowly than others.

Remember to consult with a veterinarian for tailored advice, especially if you are unsure of the best methods for your pet’s recovery.


To be honest, your dog’s behavior around other dogs is going to be influenced by a lot of different factors. 

For example, you may have a dog who is very social and loves to play with other dogs but can’t seem to stop barking at them. 

In this case, it might be best for you to work on training an alternative behavior in your dog that won’t upset other dogs or make them scared of being around you. 

If your dog has some problems that need addressing before he will learn how to behave around other dogs, then it’s best not to push him too far just yet until he has been given time to grow up in all aspects of life!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you with training your dog to behave around other dogs:

How Do I Keep My Dog Calm While Walking Around Other Dogs?: Learn tips on how to keep your dog calm while out for a walk in the presence of other dogs.

Be Calm Around Other Dogs: This article discusses strategies for training your dog to remain calm around other dogs.

Get Along with Other Dogs: Discover steps you can take to help your dog get along with other dogs and feel more comfortable in social situations.


How can I train my dog to behave around other dogs?

Training your dog to behave around other dogs requires patience, consistency, and gentle guidance. One effective approach is to start with controlled socialization activities, such as going to dog parks or enrolling in obedience classes.

What are some common reasons why dogs may struggle to behave around other dogs?

Dogs may struggle to behave around other dogs for various reasons, such as a lack of socialization or fear and anxiety around other dogs. Dogs may also become aggressive or territorial if they feel threatened or if they are not properly socialized.

How can I tell if my dog is comfortable or uncomfortable around other dogs?

Dogs that are comfortable around other dogs will typically display relaxed body language, wagging tails, and playfulness. Signs that your dog is uncomfortable or anxious around other dogs include growling, snapping, raised hackles, and a stiff or lowered tail.

Can all dogs be trained to behave around other dogs?

While all dogs can learn new behaviors, some breeds or individual dogs may be more challenging to train due to their temperament or personality. It’s important to work with a professional trainer or behaviorist to develop a customized training plan that meets your dog’s needs.

How long does it typically take to train a dog to behave around other dogs?

The amount of time it takes to train a dog to behave around other dogs will depend on several factors, such as the dog’s age, temperament, and past experiences. Consistent, ongoing training can help your dog feel more comfortable and confident around other dogs over time, but it may take several months or longer to see significant progress.