Crowd control


Five things to do when your dog goes bonkers over other dogs:

1. Stay Calm If you become angry, hysterical, loud, or violent, you only add to the stress that has put your dog over his emotional threshold. Try square breathing: breathe in for three seconds; hold for three seconds; breathe out for three seconds; repeat.

2. Leave When your dog is having a huge emotional outburst, the best thing you can do is take him away. He is emotionally out of control, and all your pleas to sit or lie down are fruitless, as he literally is unable to process your cues.

3. Create Distance If you can’t leave for some reason, at least put distance between your pet and other dogs in the area. Most dogs have a threshold distance, or a distance at which they are able to maintain self-control. It may be as close as 20 feet or as far as 100 yards, and may vary somewhat from one day to the next.

4. Use a visual barrier Some dogs are stimulated by the sight of other dogs, some by the sound. If your pet is influenced by sight try putting a visual barrier between your dog and the other animal. You can use your own body, hedge, wall or fence, or, train your pet to go behind you and sit when he sees another dog at a distance. If his arousal is a reaction to the sound of other dogs, try, Mutt Muffs, available at to dampen the volume of sounds he can hear. Be careful though since the Mutt Muffs will drown out approaching vehicles, or other sounds that help to keep him safe.

5 Teach an emergency exit. This fun game is meant to give your dog such a positive association with his run away cue that he doesn’t think about getting aroused by the sight other dog who just appeared. Your cue should be something that lends itself to happy play, such as “whee!” or “runaway!” Teach it when your dog is walking with you on a leash, by saying the cue in a loud, happy, high voice and then making a 180 degree turn and running as fast as you can in the opposite direction for at least 20 feet. Your dog should be galloping happily after you. When you stop, toss him some yummy treats.