Leashes are necessary to prevent dogs from chasing after moving objects, people, and other animals. If you’re a proud pet parent, it’s an excellent accessory to keep in your arsenal when you’re concerned about your pet’s safety or are walking in an unfamiliar area. However, dogs may occasionally be reluctant to wear leashes and react aggressively if they feel uncomfortable or repressed. Here are some basic pet care tips that you can try to handle that type of behavior.
Why Dogs React Badly When Leashed
Even dogs that are normally calm and relaxed may behave differently when you put a leash on them. Common behaviors include excessive barking, snarling, lunging, and snapping when they encounter another dog. These responses are indicative of anxiety and overexcitement, and they may develop for several different reasons.
Proper socialization is a basic part of pet care, for example, but if they don’t learn when they’re puppies, they simply may not know how to greet a fellow canine. Sometimes, though, it’s because the owner doesn’t realize that the dog may not be sizing up the other animal in a negative way at all.
Dogs generally avoid face-to-face confrontations, instead preferring to sniff from the side and get to know the animal in their own unique way. Putting them in a more interactive position by pulling back on the leash can cause dogs to feel trapped and scared. That leads to aggressive responses, which can then become a trend if not resolved early.
How to Reduce Aggressive Behavior
Loving pet care techniques can help you resolve this issue. The first step is to determine precisely why your dog is responding strongly. If it’s due to fear of another dog because of socialization skills or a perceived threat, immediately introduce their favorite food or toy into the environment.
Once they catch sight of that, they’ll redirect their focus to something they love. When the other dog approaches, they’ll be more likely to connect the sight of an unknown animal to something positive.
If your dog reacts strongly, however, turn in the other direction and walk way. You want to create a situation that trains the dog to recognize there’s no danger. Positive reinforcement may take time, but it can be very effective. When successful, your dog should put their focus on you when there’s another dog around instead of lunging towards them. Finally, avoid punishing your pet, or they might associate being on a leash with a lack of safety and security.
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