Combating Leash Reactivity

Something we find many dog owners struggle with in regards to their dogs behaviour on walks is knowing of the way the look at a trigger (dog/person/cat/etc) is a 'good' or 'bad' one.

It's not that your dog shouldn't look at things - it's the intent behind the look that matters. Unfortunately what happens for many owners is that they wait to see what their dogs look means today - giving them a chance to look, and maybe do it right. The down side is that your dog has a history of reacting - whether it be fearfully, friendly excited-like, predatory, or aggressively - and even if the reaction is minor, there is usually always some 'flavour' behind the mindset when your dog locks eyes, erects their ears, wrinkles their forehead, and sets their mind on what's ahead of them.

The advice I give my clients is that right now, your dog has a long history of seeing triggers and reacting to them. Right now, your dog needs your help to not fixate and 'go there', so whenever you see your dog locking their gaze and loading - correct it. This early into training, they just don't know how to 'look' without intent. After many walks, many moments of not reacting, and many months (or longer), your dog will start to self regulate their ability to glance and look away with much softer and a more manageable attitude.


Special Thanks to 'Take The Lead K9 Training' for allowing us to share this article