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Strange behavior when on leash!

My Dog Brookie
August 30th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Hey,
My dog is very aggressive when she is on a leash, but when she is off leash she plays and runs with the other dogs.
Dose any one know what i can do?
Thanks

Marty11
August 31st, 2011, 08:02 AM
That's what my Boston does. She's a terror on leash but when we actually meet the dog, she is over it. I took her to soccer game on Sunday (lots of dogs there), she just observed, no lunging, barking etc.....

Choochi
August 31st, 2011, 09:13 AM
It's a fairly common frustration exhibiting behaviour. It's usually referred to as leash aggression or reactivity. There are a number of things you can do, mainly gradually desensitizing her to the stimuli around her and working on having her focus more on you. This can be done fairly easy with some treats, time and patience.

I suggest you read up on reactive dogs, you should find tons of material on these techniques.

Marty11
August 31st, 2011, 09:41 AM
Would it be a good idea to walk her alone for awhile? It's hard when there is two dogs. I hate the thought of leaving one behind, but I guess I'll have to walk more....:)

Longblades
August 31st, 2011, 09:42 AM
Leslie McDevitt's book "Control Unleashed" might help you. It is aimed at reactive dogs, and her techniques, called games by her, have given me some nice methods to use successfully. Google, you'll see lots of accolades. Obedience classes will help you too. As said above, this is not an uncommon problem. Both the book and classes will show how to reassure your dog that you are in charge, she is not in danger, has nothing to fear and nothing to react to.

Stinkycat
September 1st, 2011, 03:55 AM
Leslie McDevitt's book "Control Unleashed" might help you. It is aimed at reactive dogs, and her techniques, called games by her, have given me some nice methods to use successfully. Google, you'll see lots of accolades. Obedience classes will help you too. As said above, this is not an uncommon problem. Both the book and classes will show how to reassure your dog that you are in charge, she is not in danger, has nothing to fear and nothing to react to.

Great book by a GREAT trainer!

Try to figure out whats happening JUST before the dog reacts.

a) You could indirectly be triggering your dog to react - sometimes a owner will tense up as soon as they see a dog in the distance and pull that leash tight, stop breathing (holding their breath, shallow breaths) increased heart rate because you start panicking about the embarrassing situation that is about to occur, shoulders go forward, voice goes LOW in a firm tone (sometimes with some people).

b) If your dog has a collar on, the pulling on the leash can cut off airflow and cause a dog to panic, then when they see another dog it causes them to stop breathing even more and then act aggressively out of fear.

Did the problem start out of the blue or was it a gradual process?

FIXING THE PROBLEM

Leash aggression or otherwise known as reactive dogs are easily fixed.

#1 - check your local trainer to see if they offer growl classes or reactive classes - here you will work in a close area with other dogs that are reactive using PRT (Positive Reinforcement Training) ONLY. Mainly you will be in close proximity of other dogs while your dog is on leash and your dog is A) taught to ignore the other dogs B) taught to listen to mum or dad when other dogs are around on leashC) Begin to associate being on a leash around dogs equal - not so bad, treats come and he or she gets to meet people and go out.

#2 - IGNORE the lunging and barking and growling. YES this seems silly but in actuality you're just reinforcing the bad behaviours by saying,"no bad dog" (not saying you DO this but incase you do. Sometimes people hold their dogs real close and try to soothe him or her - if you do this you're actually trapping the dog and causes them to react more intensely. The best thing you can do is (in a happy tone), "(dog's name) LETS GO....leave it!" And WALK away from the dog in sight until your dog is NO LONGER REACTING - NOW you can redirect and teach an alternate behaviour, such as FOCUS on handler.

What this training does is change the thought process of your dogs mind.

If a dog is exhibiting an undesirable behaviour he or she is LEARNING from it as long as it's continuing. If you can STOP that behaviour and redirect to a more desirable behaviour and HIGHLY reinforce THAT - that new behaviour will be more likely to happen in that same scenario.

I would put your dog on the NILIF rule (nothing in life is free) for the training period, once you start seeing a difference in your dogs reaction towards other dogs ON LEASH, re introduce affection and loves and cuddles. This training technique is used to increase your dog's attention on you in a highly distracting environment.