Dogs barking at strangers in the field

Posted by Chris-Parker
Sep 14, 2009
Hi there,

I have 2 collie crosses, they are both male and neutered. One is 2 years old (Bailey) and the other is 1 years old (Finley). They were both from the dogs trust (UK dog rescue organisation), however we have had the older one for around a year and half and the other for 10 months.

The issue we have with them is that when we take them for walks, if a stranger without a dog is walking through the field, Bailey our older dog tends to run up to them and continuously bark at them. When he does this our other dog generally joins in and barks too. He usually only does this to males, but somethimes couples or children. He does not appear to do it in an aggressive manor i.e. baring teeth and biting or touching them however it still can be intimidating and is embarrassing. Other than this he is a very friendly dog and not dominant at all.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to prevent this., I dont know if the best way is to shout at him or what. His re-call is reasonably good but he does not respond everytime, especially when he is barking.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Many thanks

Posted by KOPsarah
Sep 26, 2009
hi chrisparker, and thanks for your post.

In order to sort out this problem you may need to temporarily walk your dogs separately and on leashes (you can use a long leash if you prefer). Head collars would also be ideal as they give you quick, easy, and non aggressive control over your dog.

When you are walking your dog and another dog or person comes into sight begin praising him gently for calm behavior as soon as the other dog comes into view. When he starts to bark and misbehave immediately but calmly walk him in the opposite direction so that you are removing the privilege of interaction. As soon as he calms down praise him again. Do not attempt to reassure him or tell him off during his inappropriate behavior, just keep with the clear message that walking him in the other direction sends.

While you are out training your dog you may well get some unwanted looks and comments from other people as your dog reacts badly however the more you take your dog out the sooner this problem will be resolved and dealing with these people will be only a memory!

Keep up your general obedience and alpha-dog training too as this will help. If your dogs don't feel like the leaders of the pack they should feel a lot less obliged to protect you from other dogs and people on walks.

Hope this helps, and let us know how you and your dog get on. All the best,