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Want to Walk More but Leash Aggression is Stopping You?

13-DogTreading-blogIt’s frustrating, heartbreaking and embarrassing all at the same time.  Your dog in the house is the most loving best friend ever.  Does little dance shows for your friends, is incredibly happy to see you every single time you walk in the door, and even sleeps in bed with you.

In fact when you walk out the door for the exercise not only you desperately need but your dog does too, there are the moments of glee, sniffing, and trotting along in perfect cadence with the rhythm  of your step.  And then….

Another dog appears on the scene, also happy go lucky in his jaunt with his best friend owner…. but your dog changes attitude entirely.  Hair above the back of the tail starts to raise.  The panting starts to elevate, the bark begins to erupt and tension on the leash causing you to hang on with most or all of your might as your dog is full on in the midst of an effort to get at the oncoming dog.

You’re able to either divert an ugly attach or at least the fear of attach by moving in another direction, pulling harder on the leash, holding your dog far enough away from the other dog as to avoid confrontation, or… well… the worst, your dog takes down some one’s unsuspecting dog out for their exercise and moments of peace.

Addressing Dog to Dog Leash Aggression

There are a variety of reasons some dogs end up with leash aggression.  In fact I could write chapters about it, but for the sake of learning something TO DO rather than staying frustrated about it and trying to decipher who is at fault or what is the reason for it, here are a few pointers on dealing with leash aggression.

First and foremost if this has been an ongoing problem you should seek a professional to help you with this behavior.  Dogs do in fact work on a different vocabulary than your co-worker, husband, wife, friend or child!  Keep in mind, not all “professional dog trainers” agree on what to do so make sure to do a bit of due diligence in asking questions before you hire more than one in a row without effect and end up getting frustrated again.  There are good professional dog trainers who know their stuff….

A Few Things You CAN DO to Leave Dog Aggression Behind

  • Dogs learn and think in pictures.  That being said, when you decide to take the step

    13-DogTreading-blogv2

    to refocus your dog’s behavior, change up what you do.  Don’t think you are going to go out on the same walk, same route, same dogs that he or she always lunges at and change anything without first spending some time showing your dog another scene to learn a nicer walking game in.

  • One of the traits dogs who display leash aggression share is they are exerting a lot of energy in the act.  Taking the edge off of that energy from the get go is important in a rehabilitation program.
  • Exercise is key to taking the edge off, but you can also spend some of that pent up energy by using mental games and short “go get it” dog games before entering into a walk.   Dogs don’t tend to get bored with the simplest of games unlike toddlers so realize you can run off a lot of energy by playing hide and seek, go get the ball (even in a small space), or perhaps a quick round of obedience drills can help to start the endorphins flowing in a good way for your dogs mind and body.
  • Realize your dog isn’t going to change behavior in one walk if you change nothing about what you normally do.  That means get creative.  Find places to take your dog where you can keep his or her attention with more open space.
  • A wide open park is a good place to start.  Find a space and work with your dog in a small square.  Walk the square one direction, then the other direction…. reward, reward, reward with what works for your dog.  For some dogs that could be food, for other dogs that could be a tug toy… find what turns your dog on.. and use it!
  • Keep the game going when another dog comes into the area, but be aware and don’t let the space between dogs get too close.  This is why having a big open space is a good idea to start working with your dog.  The idea is to desensitize your dog to other dogs being nearby, while you are making a game out of it.  Over time this game will allow you to work closer and closer to other dogs with a positive reaction rather than throwing your dog right into the space of another dog and expecting a result different than you have gotten before.
  • It takes time and patience and again.. it is best to consult a professional dog trainer when you embark on a rehabilitation program.

Why More Professional Dog Trainers are Using Dog Treadmills to Solve Leash Aggression

The concept wasn’t heard of a few years ago.  In recent years the success of trainers who work with aggression all the time using dog treadmills is starting to find it’s way to a quicker, positive method in calming aggression from fear to dominance.

If only more knew about it!  Treadmill training is a way to use  energy and get exercise without the fear of an attach or something bad happening.   It’s a bridge to a dog who does suffer from this behavior to make way to the great outdoors again.  Once dogs begin a treading program the added exercise and what one could describe as endorphin level increase, allowing calm behavior to take place… even in the presence of another dog.

What Leash Aggression Questions Do You Have

Facebook-linkIt can be a complex problem, but the solution can be simpler than you think.  If you have questions or need more direction in what TO DO to help your dog overcome “does not play nice” when seeing another dog on leash, please join our conversation on Facebook.  Simply give us a “Like” and you are on for a “FB Consult”.  Get help for your dog today… it will get you walking and your dog the life you had planned having with him or her… along with a lot more wagging tail.

Jt Clough, has studied, applied and taught others how to create a balanced life with calm dog training techniques through her lifetime commitment to health and fitness. Clough is also the creator of dog wellness programs and author of the 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs and Treading for Dogs DVD,  further inspiring people to introduce playtime in life through the eyes of a dog changing unwanted behaviors to practicing a healthy lifestyle.

k9fitnesskit_125x1251 Get your dog started on this detailed 30 day Treading for Dogs DVD… no better time than today!

4 responses to “Want to Walk More but Leash Aggression is Stopping You?”

  1. K9 Coach says:

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