You are walking on a sunny afternoon at the park, humming along with the music played at your iPod, when suddenly you get tugged by the leash that you’ve been pulling, and you can no longer hear the sound of your iPod because of the barks and growls of your dog at another dog. On-leash Dog aggressions are one of the problems we encounter especially at these situations: having walks at the park. It not only threatens us and the other dog, but it threatens other people as well. To deal with, let’s look at some tips, and see if these might work for our little buddy.
ü At the first sign of aggressiveness, call your dog, yell out an obedience command, to divert his attention. This way, he performs another behavior and loses focus on the other dog, making him passive and not threatening.
ü In eradicating the leash aggression, while in the process, do your best to avoid possible confrontations. Hold on to that muzzle.
ü Dogs are sensitive animals, he surely can pick up your energies, emotions, breathing and feelings, so if you grab his leash tightly as he attacks another dog, he becomes anxious and stressed.
ü Try practicing the Focused Attention Exercise:
- Free the environment from any distractions
- Prepare treats
- With your dog’s leash, call him by name, and say “look”
- As he displays eye contact, give him a treat. Keep the sequence the same always
- Now, strengthen it. Add some variables, get on with the sequence then move to one side. If he follows you and looks at you in the eye, give him a treat
- Repeat the exercise 5-6 times then start again to another side
- Take it to different locations and gradually add distractions — take it real slow
ü Try playing “Find it”. The same with the Focus Attention Exercise. Redirect his attention. Practice throwing a treat to the ground and say “find it!”. This breaks the eye contact and makes your dog non-threatening
ü Always reward your dog when he politely and calmly greets unfamiliar dogs. Show him that you’re happy with what he’s doing
Start training your dog and try them on the next time you go for a walk at the park.