How to Manage Leash Aggression in Dogs
You may wonder why your dog keeps pulling, lunging, growling, or barking when on a leash. This is called leash aggression, a common reaction triggered by fear or frustration. Even a friendly dog can become aggressive when feeling unsafe because of another person, other animals, or other reasons. The leash makes them feel strained, and they want to go away as far as they can from a stimulus. They cannot free themselves from the leash, which is why they often become aggressive.
Off-leash dog training is the best way to manage aggressive behaviour in such situations. Read on to learn how to manage leash aggression in your dog to make the daily walk pleasant for you and your pet.
How to Train a Leash Reactive Dog
It is essential to identify the cause before addressing the problem. You need to determine the reason for your dog’s discomfort and whether they are afraid of anything. Aggressive dog training techniques can help you find these answers and desensitize your pet to the stimulus. Simultaneously, the training prepares them so that the trigger is no longer a cause for concern.
Here are some ways to handle the situation and calm your leash reactive dog.
Never punish your dog if they lunge on the leash. Punishment of any kind, including intimidation, can worsen the situation. For instance:
- Your dog may stop showing aggressive behaviour once you punish them. However, they may quickly learn that such conduct will not lead to punishment when you are not around or watching.
- For some pets, a mild punishment may become a way of drawing attention, resulting in undesirable behaviour.
- And in some others, punishment can make them more fearful of the situation or people, animals, or specific things.
Change How Your Pet Feels About the Threat
Positive reinforcement techniques can help you change how your pet feels about a threat. For example:
- If you notice your dog becoming uncomfortable at the sight of another dog, intervene with their favourite food, toy, or anything of high value to them. This way, they will associate the presence of another dog with positive things, which helps in the emotional transition.
- If you see your usually friendly dog lunging on an approaching stimulus, walk slowly away from there. If you keep doing this every day, it will help your dog become less reactive to the stimulus.
Desensitize Your Leash Reactive Dog
Our off-leash dog training experts advise that desensitizing a reactive dog involves the following steps:
- Identifying the trigger – Observe your dog’s behaviour to understand what makes them uncomfortable. Recognize the signs and monitor their reactions to the stimuli.
- Controlled exposure – Once you have the knowledge to predict their triggers, start exposing your dog to them in a controlled environment. It is vital to be patient and teach at their pace. Try distracting them with rewards and things that make them happy. Evaluate their behaviour and responses to decide the further course of action.
- Repetition – Be sure to repeat the process and generalize the concept so that they stop identifying the triggers as threats.
How Long Will Off-Leash Dog Training Take?
Training aggressive dogs is a process and won’t happen overnight. Moreover, every dog is different. The completion time for off-leash training depends on your pet’s breed and learning ability. It helps to know that off-leash dog training has one of the highest success rates. Continue the steps until your dog walks past the trigger without reacting aggressively.
Contact Us for Training Aggressive Dogs
Off-leash training involves teaching your dog to walk with you when not on a leash. It is a unique training technique that enhances the trust and bond between you and your pet. We at Alpha Paws offer personalized aggressive dog training that suits your schedule and meets your dog’s unique needs.
Alpha Paws is happy to achieve one of the highest success rates in off-leash dog training. Our qualified dog trainers are skilled at teaching your dog to listen to your commands while taking care of their holistic health.
Our Private Off-Leash Dog Training Program
- We will coordinate private training sessions.
- Our trainers will work with you and your pup to understand their behaviour.
We recommend follow-up practice sessions to see the best results.
Contact us at 905-830-9500 or at toll-free 1-877-868-7297 to speak with our professional dog trainer. You can also fill out our online contact form to learn about our different training programs. We will ensure you establish and enjoy a great relationship with your pup.