What is Leash Aggression?
Leash aggression is the barking, growling, lunging, spinning, pulling and/or excitable behavior that your dog does when she is on-leash and spies another dog or other trigger. This behavior can be embarrassing, frustrating and very worrisome for you, the owner, and can turn walking your dog from a pleasure into an absolute nightmare.
Leash aggression (also sometimes called Reactivity) happens only when your dog is attached to a leash, and dogs can display the leash aggressive behaviors towards many things, including dogs, people, bikes, scooters, cars and small animals like cats.
Leash aggression is a very common issue in a society where dogs must be on leash for safety and legal reasons. You are not alone if the above descriptions sound just like your dog.
What are the Causes of Leash Aggression?
Leash aggression generally has three root causes:
The Myth of Socialization and Leash Aggression
You may hear or read that you need to up your socialization game in order to “fix” or help your dog. This cannot be further from the truth.
More exposure to the things your dog feels worried, scared or overly social about may do more harm than good and we do not recommend doggie daycare, dog parks or trying to have your leash aggressive or reactive dog meet with other dogs in the hopes that more exposure will help her feel better.
Your dog does need exposures to her trigger(s), but she needs calm, controlled exposures where we can manage the intensity of the trigger, duration of the exposure and the distance from the trigger so that she can learn how to successfully cope with future situations.
How We Can Help
We have transformed the behavior of our own leash aggressive dog and have helped hundreds of clients along this same journey.
In order to help your dog and make long-term behavior change we:
The first thing to understand about leash aggression in dogs is that it is an issue of EMOTION. After helping hundreds of clients and their dogs with leash aggression and reactivity, we developed a training program that focuses on addressing the emotion first. Once your dog understands how to regulate her emotions in the presence of triggers, then we work on the strategies and behaviors you and your dog will need to stay cool, calm and collected anywhere and everywhere.
We know how stressful leash aggression can be and we want to help both you and your dog feel more confident, calm and in control. You can get started with a virtual or in-person Initial Consult. We look forward to meeting you!
Training Solutions for Both Ends of the Leash
Ask Me Anything
Schedule your 50 minute virtual Ask Me Anything for quick, laser focus on one issue. Quick questions on house training, why your dog won’t come inside (if you have a fenced yard) puppy issues and jumping up are examples of appropriate topics. Not suitable for aggression, biting or other serious issues.
Take a deep dive into your dog’s behavior. We look at the Whole Dog. We ask Why is this behavior happening, then move into the How, how do we stop it, how do we change it, etc.
Allow 1.5 – 2 hours for this deep dive.
On demand courses are available online and at your convenience. They are an effective and fun way for you to learn and improve your dog’s behavior from the convenience of home. Click below to check out our ever-expanding library of courses.