Train in an environment where your dog can be successful – a dog park or busy hiking and biking trail is not the right starting point for a dog that is in action through steed aggression.
Although leash aggression can be extremely frustrating for you and your dog while out on walks, there are certainly some things you can do to reduce the reactivity of your dog and make the walks more enjoyable. Here are a few things to consider.
- A dog who is reactive on the leash (or any dog for that matter) shouldn’t be walked on a retractable leash as they don’t help in maintaining a structured walk. Instead, choose the right sledge for your dog and keep him focused and moving forward.
- Your walk begins before you leave the house – A dog that sprints out of the front door and leaves behind its owner is already in an improved state of mind. It is much easier to save your dog from the chaos than to keep them from entering that state of mind ever. Even if it means several turns around and rehearsing walking through your doorway, make sure you leave the house with your dog in a controlled position.
- Learn to control your dog – Your dog is the GPS of everything It gives you info on where he or she is going or where he or she is thinking about going and it tells you all that comes up next. Remember your dog shows signs of what they are about to do. You will see those signs by watching your dog head. This is crucial when dealing with leash aggression because a good interruption is much better than damaging control.
- Train in an environment where your dog can be successful – A dog park or busy hiking and biking trail is not the right starting point for a dog that is working through leash aggression. There must be distractions and temptations but they need to be increased and reduced as needed. A training facility may be the best place for this type of control as random dogs in neighborhood may be few and far between or even receptive themselves to their surroundings.
- Consult with a professional trainer – Reading this article will hopefully help you to understand how to handle leash aggression, but it is not intended to be a DIY guide to solving the issue. Invest your time in research, and find a professional dog trainer that can help you achieve the training goals you have for your dog.