Among other behavioural problems, dog leash reactivity is a tragedy for many dog owners. Typically, it happens when you take your dog for a walk, and for some reason, he feels threatened or agitated by the surroundings- say, when he sees other dogs, birds, unfamiliar sounds, etc. Leash reactivity is often accompanied by loud barking, growling, and lunging, which can be humiliating for dog owners. We’ve seen a whole lot of dogs do this an you might find the cases on Dog Harmony reviews.
If you are experiencing the same predicament, you are not alone. Dog leash reactivity has been a nightmare for many dog owners, many of whom have decided to avoid dog walking. In some severe cases, dog owners have actually considered putting their dog out there for adoption. But with Peter Hargreaves dog trainer here to help you, this painful alternative isn’t for you!
Usually, the leash reactivity problem is categorized as an aggression problem. More often than not, this behaviour is aggravated by fear and not aggression. Luckily, with appropriate training and behavioural modification, you can fix the fear issue. This post will equip you with some tips on how to reduce leash reactivity in your dog.
Why Is Your Dog Reactive?
First, be considering any particular remedy; it is utterly important that you establish why your dog is reactive.
First things first, you need to rule out chronic pain as a cause of your dog’s reactivity. Like humans, dogs also suffer from aching joints and arthritis, which can essentially become a source of leash reactivity every time you go out for a walk with your dog. Dog Harmony reviews have many such cases documented to help you understand that that this is a reality!
With the right kind of treatment, arthritis and joint pains are manageable. After ruling on medical issues, it highly possible that your dog feels threatened. As a result, your dog is more likely to develop leash reactivity and barking as warning signs/ defensive strategy.
How Do You Support Your Reactive Dog?
If your dog suddenly develops a reactive behaviour, it is important that you “stay put” – avoid getting annoyed. This is the first piece of advice you will get from Peter Hargreaves dog trainer! All refrain from any physical punishment. It will only worsen the situation. Redirect your energies to preventing your dog from continued reactive behaviour.
For instance, your dog’s reactivity behaviour could be resulting from fear of an unfamiliar environment. In that case, it would be best if you considered exercising your dog in less crowded places/parks in less busy hours of the day. This way, the dog will be less agitated as there is no source of aggression. In the that the trigger appears in sight, slowly turn your dog and walkway. Please do not make it such a big deal for him!
Dogs have a great sense of vibration; they can feel tension and stress with their owner, which does not make it easy for them- especially not the dogs with a reactive problem. They react to your tension and will lead and pull the leash at the mere sight of the aggressor. Therefore, it is essential that you remain calm under such circumstances.
Also, you could take charge of your dog by shortening the leash and pulling him close to you before he has a chance to react. It will help reaffirm his fears.
How to Reduce Leash Reactivity in Your Dog
Well, there are several general tips that you can use to reduce and control leash reactivity in your dog. Save them somewhere for later because Peter Hargreaves dog trainer is still here in person to help you through!
- Stay still and do not panic: As we said, dogs have a heightened sense of fear, and they will sense when you feel tense. So, if you speculate that your dog is about to react, it is important that you remain calm. It will help keep him confident of the situation. Avoid gripping the lead and shouting. It will only make the situation worse.
- Keep the dog occupied: It is an attention redirection tactic that works wonders. Engaging your dog in alternative activities helps redirect his attention from situations that scare him. For example, you can play the old “Fetch” game and treat your dog for good behaviour.
- Change the route: Dogs are adventurous in nature. It is much more interesting to them than you know. So, if you have been walking your dog on the same route for weeks, months, or years, then it is time you consider changing the route. New sights and scents will keep him interested and distracted from aggression triggers.
- Make it more fun: During walks, you should consider changing your pace and get inventive on how you walk your dog. This way, they will feel much comfortable as they get to interact with the surrounding environment.
- Walk away: If the aggressor is in sight, then you might as well choose to walk away slowly. It is a simple way to avoid leash reactivity.
With the above tips, we are confident that you can now remedy your dog’s leash reactivity problem. If you are still having some problems, you can always ask for help from and qualified and experienced dog behaviourist. Peter Hargreaves dog trainer is here to help you through this problematic time and experience all the fun times with your dog!