View Full Version : Leash aggression
8th May 2009, 03:52 PM
This is a great blog post (http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/leash-aggression) on how to work with dogs with this common problem.
8th May 2009, 04:26 PM
Thanks Karlin! I'll study this. Lucky and Sparky have both developed this problem since dogs (and dog owners) in my neighborhood don't like to socialize on leash. They used to be fine, so I've been looking for some techniques/advice to try. :dgwlk::dgwlk:
11th May 2009, 02:08 PM
Daisy has this problem and it has progressively gotten worse and worse. I used to feel confident that if the other dog owner agreed, and I allowed her to approach the other dog right off the bat, then she would always be friendly. I could tell that the lunging and barking were frustration at not being able to run right up to the other dog like she wanted to. Now, I can't count on that. In fact, I KNOW she is not likely to be safe with the other dog. She has gotten to the point where when I allow her to approach the other dog, she strains as hard as she can at the end of the leash, at first sniffing the other dog's snout in a very tense way. Then, more often than not, she will attack them either by biting at their face or trying to jump on their back! Of course, I am hideously embarrassed at that point, and so mad at her that I don't know what to do with myself. I apologize and apologize and try to explain that off leash she is a different dog, but I know if I were the other dog's owner, I would be so mad. She's never hurt another dog, but obviously this cannot continue. It is so awful that now I know that I just cannot let her approach another dog on a leash. I just try to avoid as much as I can.
I took her to the dog park a few weeks ago, just to see how she would do off leash (but expecting the worst, I have to admit). She was perfectly fine! I was amazed. 3 minutes after leaving the dog park and getting on the nearby trail (now on-leash of course), we pass 2 yorkies and she loses her mind again!
She is also not too bad at the at the vet where there are lots of other dogs, although she gets very hyper there. But she's never shown aggression there, even on leash. It's just on walks where both dogs are on leash that she freaks out. I'm sad to say that going on walks with her where I know there will be lots of other dogs has just gotten so stressful that I don't do it. It is limiting her life and mine, as there is a great greenway trail where I would love to go with her regularly. The teacher in our last obedience class agreed that she is nowhere near ready to go on the greenway trail, given her extreme dog reactance.
I've tried the distraction with treats thing as the other dog is approaching, but she is just so fixated on them that even if I hold an extremely high value treat directly to her nose, she just shakes it off to stare at the other dog, and then as it comes closer, she goes ballistic. Or, if I walk her the opposite direction, she will still not break eye contact with the other dog, and she walks backwards behind me, jumping, snarling, etc. By the end of these walks, my blood pressure is in stroke range.
The distraction method worked for cars, completely breaking her horrible car-lunging habit last year, but dogs (and cats) are a different story. She will literally start stalking posture and movements when she sees another dog, even from very far away.
I've done a lot of reading on the problem and I contacted a trainer about it because I will do anything to solve this, but she said she wasn't taking any more clients. She was the only completely positive-based trainer I had been able to find in our area. I may call her back and see if she can recommend anyone else.
I agree with the website you posted that I need to go slower and give her lots of successes in less-challenging situations, and then work my way up. That is consistent with the other things I have read. Coming up with those situations on a regular basis is very hard to work out. I watch those trainers on Dogtown and their full-time job is getting dogs over issues like this, and I often think I would need to spend full-time on Daisy to be successful as well. I am committed to helping her, though, so I am going to try the parking lot at PetSmart idea, while we are sitting in the car. Baby steps, baby steps.... Patience, patience....
11th May 2009, 02:21 PM
By the end of these walks, my blood pressure is in stroke range.
Daisy's Mom ... I feel like I've found my soul mate. :lol: That said ... if you think it's bad with 1 dog ... try 2!!
I have tried the treats but I need to try higher value treats. And barring that I'm thinking of hiring Lucky's trainer for a couple personal sessions where we just walk to see if she can help get this under control.
11th May 2009, 04:11 PM
Let me know how it goes and what the trainer suggests, and I'll do the same (if I ever find one)!
16th June 2009, 07:55 AM
Tank you! this will help me whit my dog! =)
18th June 2009, 02:26 AM
Coming up with those situations on a regular basis is very hard to work out. I watch those trainers on Dogtown and their full-time job is getting dogs over issues like this, and I often think I would need to spend full-time on Daisy to be successful as well. I am committed to helping her, though, so I am going to try the parking lot at PetSmart idea, while we are sitting in the car. Baby steps, baby steps.... Patience, patience....
I've been in the same boat with Geordie. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't come up with enough controlled situations in the past. :confused:
I tried the PetSmart parking lot idea, and people were walking too close to the car, no matter where I parked!
19th June 2009, 12:11 AM
since dogs (and dog owners) in my neighborhood don't like to socialize on leash.
My Cav boy does not have leash aggression but does get very excited when he sees another dog and barks like crazy. There is no aggression (lunging etc), just barking. It's a particularly high pitched bark that sounds like he is in pain but he's really just overexcited. We tend to walk them around the same time everyday (somedays different times) so we usually meet the same people with dogs. There is one lady in particular who comes to within 8 - 10 feet of us and crosses the road. It really frustrates me, becuse if my dog gets up to a dog he is fine - it's only the approach that is the prob. She has since told people (there is at least one person for definate I can think of!) about us and others have started to cross the road. So my lot are not getting the "stop and sniff" they used to get and my Cav is left very frustrated and overexcited. :bang:
It really gets under my skin because dogs need these passing "hellos" , our dogs are getting very little and it is now out of our control. We are currently trying the keep moving method (when he starts to bark, we say a firm "no" and keep walking), there was failure with distraction (no matter what the distraction was) and with squatting down to block his view, get his attention on us and waiting for him to stop. He is still young so he is not too set in his ways (yet!) and I feel like we have become "the crazy dog people", thus people (along with their dogs) avoid us and it's the dogs that are missing out.
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