What is Leash Aggression?
Is your dog lunging, barking, snarling or even snapping at others while on the leash? This is sometimes known as leash-reactivity or more commonly known as leash aggression.
Suppose your dog would encounter something strange or scary or simply something he would first like to evaluate for himself while he were off leash. Your dog would have the ability to back off from the scary trigger to a distance where he could think straight again and find a way to get passed the trigger comfortably or avoid it.
Once you put a leash on a dog his ability to reach that comfort zone is greatly limited.
And so, since your dog is now forced into this stressful zone he reacts, usually by barking and lunging, at whatever he cannot avoid. This could be another dog or a skateboard or a scooter or a guy wearing a hoodie or a person with a hat.
There are many ways you can teach your dog to feel more comfortable around these triggers. Start by learning how to predict those triggers and giving your dog just enough space at first that he does not have to freak out and at the same time rewarding him greatly for remaining calm. Once you found how much space you need to give your dog to remain relaxed enough not to freak out you can then start to counter condition him to those triggers by classical or Pavlovian conditioning so the dog sees a trigger and thinks “roast beef” = “drool”.
Contact us at DogRelations for specific instructions and help with leash aggression to successfully remedy this problem that is upsetting for both handler and dog. Also visit our other pages to learn about our other NYC dog training services.