Trainer shares the secret to getting your dog to ignore other dogs and focus on you — and it’s so simple!

Three dogs playing in a green field in a sunny afternoon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

We've all been there — you let your dog off leash thinking they'll stick close to your side, and before you know it they've sprinted off into the distance to greet another pup! 

If you try to call your fur friend back in these situations and aren't successful, there could be many reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable

But rather than trying to fight to get your dog to come back to you, it's best to arm yourself with the best puppy toys and treats and use these as your secret weapon to prevent them from running off in the first place.

With that in mind, expert trainer Adam Spivey has shared a very simple and straightforward way that you can get your dog to focus on you when you're out and about.

Read on to find out more...

"It's not difficult to teach your dog not to run over to other dogs," says Spivey.

"The mistake people make is they take the dog out and because it's friendly they let it off the leash and then it just runs over to the other dog."

Spivey says that in that moment the dog learns not only that you can't stop it, but that the other dog or person it's running over to may be more exciting than you. 

In the video, Spivey can be seen working with a young dog named Mila who spots a German Shepherd dog working with its trainer in the distance.

Mila starts to position her body in the direction of her potential new friend, but Spivey gently waves a tug toy in front of her face and she quickly moves back towards him to play.

"By not allowing the dog to make those bad choices and having something positive for the dog to play with, very quickly the dog doesn't care about other dogs," explains Spivey. 

This simple method of replacing what's captured your dog's attention with something that's even more high-value will teach them that you are more interesting than anything else in their environment.

So next time your dog shows an interest in another dog or person, why not try bringing their focus back to you with a toy or treat?

You may just find it turns out to be one of the best ways to have more fun with your dog on walks!

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.