Your furry buddy is acting cool, polite and normal. But when you put a leash on him, he becomes aggressive especially when a dog goes near him--he lunges, barks and acts differently. What could be the problem? In this article, we will discuss leash aggression, its causes as well as the solutions to prevent it.
Bringing your dog with you outside can be fun until you put them on a leash. Sometimes, dogs tend to change their behavior while they’re on a leash which results in excessive barking, pulling and lunging, especially when they see other dogs or anything that catches their attention. Leash aggression is a common problem among dogs. They tend to be frustrated and tense once they are put on a leash. To understand the underlying reasons behind this type of aggression, dog owners must know what leash aggression really is.
Leash aggression or leash reactivity is a typical dog behavior in outdoor situations wherein they are contained in a leash. This behavior is caused by fear, restraint, frustration and other things that make them uncomfortable. These factors affect their behavior, making them defensive and even territorial.
There are many underlying factors that cause leash reactivity. Some of those are:
Leash aggression can be diagnosed by your veterinarian if their aggression is associated with something serious such as psychological or medical-related circumstances. With such, your dog needs to undergo physical examinations in order for them to receive proper treatment.
If your dog shows the following symptoms, you can consult your veterinarian or animal behaviorist in order to address this matter properly:
Never punish your dog when they behave aggressive because it can exacerbate the situation further as it can make them more fearful and frustrated. Treatment and training may take some time and a lot of patience, but it will be worth it. Furthermore, use positive reinforcements (such as giving treats and praises) to your dog during leash training and/or if you see positive changes in their behavior.
Prevention of leash reactivity differs and it depends based on the triggers and how severe the aggression is. Hence, it is important to know what causes the aggression and from there, the best way to deal with this problem is to consult your veterinarian. Moreover, leash training can also help in modifying their behavior--they’ll learn to contain themselves in public, follow your vocal cues and so forth.