Over-reactivity, on-leash lunging or aggression are caused by dogs feeling restrained,frustrated and therefore unable to behave naturally in social situations. Under normal circumstances, an off-leash dog will move away from another dog a sufficient distance, but the leash does not allow it to do this and it is unable to increase the distance between itself and the perceived threat.
Your dog’s only recourse is to behave aggressively in the hope that the other dog will move away to relieve him. Tension and attacking on the lead is very difficult to change.It’s a bit of a closed circle : The dog owner who observes this behaviour in his friend, when passing another dog, tightens the leash more and more in order to avoid the situation. Dogs sense our energy and thus feel more stressed themselves.Not all dogs that behave in this way are aggressive.Many dogs are very reactive on the leash,but as soon as the leash is released they greet and play with other dogs without trouble.
WHATS MY DOG THINKING?
● I don’t feel comfortable.
● It’s frustrating.
● Move away from me,stranger !!
What could you try?
To change this behaviour I started with basic training. Learning my dog the command WATCH ME in different environments was very helpful.
Sherlock knows this command very well today and whenever he feels uncomfortable around another dog I use it.
If you have a frustrated dog on the leash u can simply turn around and walk away from another dog until your dog is more calm.You can also give your dog a ball or a toy to hold.It has a comforting effect on dogs.When a toy or a command doesn’t help, you can try to start playing with your dog as soon as you pass another dog. The part of our four-legged friends’ brains that activates during play, shuts down the part of the brain responsible for fear.
Never punish a dog for being over-reactive to other dogs on the leash.This will make the behaviour worse. This can result in every time your dog sees the other dog’s side he will associate this with the pain of the punishment and it will work more frustratingly on him.