Leash Reactivity


Leash Reactivity

Does your dog bark, pull, lunge or growl when on the lead? Have you ever thought where this has come from or how it got this bad?

How to leash train a dog? Leash reactivity can start at any time, but usually it begins with your dog’s experiences meeting others when learning how to be on lead as a puppy. Pups are often rewarded with an “Aww cute” or “Yay, you’re making friends” when they greet other dogs by jumping all over them, disregarding manners and getting in their face.

This reinforcement of their behaviour tells them that acting this way on-lead is likely to continue getting them praise. But as pups turn into restless teens and then adults, the intensity of these behaviours increases, and when it’s no longer cute, they are met with a yank on the lead or vocal correction from their owner. “But when I was younger, this was what you wanted, and now all of a sudden I’m not even allowed to meet other dogs on lead anymore?!” How confusing!

Tips for preventing leash reactivity:

  1. Learn the early warning signs that your dog is becoming reactive, and take note of how these signs change and escalate as they work up the Ladder of aggression.
  1. Do not allow your dog to meet others while on lead. There is no benefit, leave it for an off-lead area. You can do this by:
  •  Being alert and looking ahead to avoid instances where your dog must encounter another on lead. This can be done by distracting your dog with treats, maintaining a distance or veering off to the side of a path and getting them to sit while others pass.
  • Use recall, as opposed to pulling or applying pressure on the lead, to lure your dog away from others. When they respond by following you and disregarding other dogs make sure you reward.

If you want to prevent your new puppy from becoming reactive on the lead, or if your teen or adult dog already displays signs of leash reactivity, we are here to help!

Emilia from Ethical Dog Services is a certified professional dog trainer, she has dealt with many dog’s and their owners in need of help of in home obedience training and many other behavioural issues.

Contact us on via our Ethical Dog Services website or call on 0403 433 399.

Written by Jacqui Domanski 19/08/20



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