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Leash aggression and what to do about it: Don’t just say NO!

leash aggression

Does your dog bark and lunge when you are out walking in the streets of New York City? How can you teach your dog to stop doing that?

First, notice what sets your dog off and keep a list of what she finds objectionable.
Is it all other dogs? What kind of dogs? Big, small, hairy, pointy- eared? Or maybe your dog hates skateboards or shopping carts? Is it runners? Bikers maybe?

These are a some of the common things that drive dogs crazy.

You will also want to make a mental note of where your dog is more likely to explode. She might be ok on a wide sidewalk but definitely not ok in a narrow alley.

Your goal is to avoid outbursts as best you can. Be vigilant! When you see a “known” trigger appear, keep your dog at a safe distance from whatever it is, and try to create a pleasant association instead. Offer your dog very yummy treats. Now she does not care about the annoyance anymore! If your dog prefers toys use a favorite squeaky toy instead. If your dog does “lose” it then your reward is not special enough or you have waited too long to offer your goodies.

Very soon you will have taught your dog that a rolling cart means, ”reward time”! Many dogs will start to look at you expectantly when they see something that used to cause them to bark and lunge. That is a sign of success. As always, proceed in tiny increments. Once your dog can look at a rolling cart 20 ft away easily, wait for the rolling cart to come 19 ft away. Observe your dog closely as you delay the reward and don’t get discouraged if you miscalculate or get surprised by your dog’s trigger appearing out of nowhere! That happens in a busy place like New York.

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  1. How adorable! Such manners for Nono and Sia. Very creative on the adults end.

    Comment by karen on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  2. That is totally hilarious! Great job and really fun to watch!

    Comment by Fran on June 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm
  3. Actually my friend and website designer Kendra Dixson was the person who sent me the video. So 99% of the credit goes to her!

    Comment by Elisabeth on June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am
  4. Hee hee, well a good friend of mine forwarded it to me so the list goes on. I think it is so cute and I’m amazed at how well the dogs are behaved, although you do see a little help from the human hands so they don’t dive their noses into their dish. lol

    Comment by Kendra Dixson on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
  5. yes the dogs are great! I also liked HOW they helped the dogs by pretending it was a human “putting your chin in your hands” gesture. It is most entertaining.

    Comment by Elisabeth Weiss on June 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm