Imagine you're out on a nice, long walk with your Fido, and suddenly, he starts growling, barking, and lunging. What would you do in such a situation? This is precisely what many dog owners are concerned about, and they often ask, "How to stop leash aggression in dogs?"
If you think of leash aggression as the removal of a dog's escape route, you would understand that it's quite normal, not just in dogs but also in humans. If the dogs perceive another dog or human as a dangerous entity, what would he do if he cannot run away due to the leash? He would react violently and that would be an embarrassing situation for the owner. However, some easy-going dogs don't cause much trouble to their owners and love being on the leash.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Sources Of Leash Aggression?
In stressful conditions, dogs can react abruptly to fight you and himself and this scenario can be a bummer but there are always reasons behind it. The main sources of leash aggression are:
- When dogs feel potential danger from anyone around him
- When they are sexually aroused
- The dogs are protective or fearful
- They want to be social and play with other dogs
- When they sense their owner's aggression or reaction, they become aggressive too
What Are The Signs Of Leash Aggression in Dogs?
Being on a leash every time your dog steps out with you is unnatural for dogs and hence they might respond abruptly. Every dog shows mixed signs of leash aggression depending on how they're brought up and training. Some might react so fiercely that they turn everything upside down while some remain calm and obey your commands. However, the common signs of leash aggression in dogs are:
- Wagging their tails, barking and growling at other dogs from a distance
- Lunging the leash, acting erratically and pulling the leash away from you
- Start disobeying your commands and show progressive signs of aggression
How To Stop Leash Aggression In Dogs?
Dogs are social animals and they like making friends just like humans. When they are on a leash, they are restricted to interact with other dogs and it leads to frustration. A frustrated dog might harm you, others and himself if you don't constrain the behaviour.
Here are some tips to stop leash aggression in dogs
Stop Tethering Dogs Regularly
You don't need to tie dogs up for every day to discipline them. The dogs that are tethered every hour will react to the leash hence they become aggressive and act neurotically. If they cannot escape the leash, they will try to fight you to protect themselves.
Expose Them To Noises in Their Puppyhood
Dogs become aggressive when they come in contact with loud and annoying noises like rollerblades, bicycles, lawnmowers etc. Therefore, expose them to such noises as early as possible and teach them to not fear these noises.
Get Them Spayed
Often times, dogs upon encountering the opposite gender are leash aggressive and this is the sexual aggression that leads to the extreme behaviour of your dogs.
In this scenario, you can get them neutered or sprayed to reduce the sexual drive.
If dogs become aggressive around other dogs, they lack social skills or might be scared of them or to gain dominance over them.
To cater to this problem, you need to teach them socialization techniques such as desensitization.
Teach Them Commands
Luckily, dogs are not multi-tasking entities i.e. they cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. If they seem too distracted and aggressive, teach them commands like "sit", "walk", "ENOUGH" to make them focus on you and divert their attention.
Treat Them Well
If you are not going to treat them well, they will react accordingly no matter what you teach them.
When you notice him being leash aggressive, relax yourself first then your dog. If you will yell, shout and pull back on their leash, they will sense your reaction and might react with more intensity and aggression.
Dogs are social animals but before that, they are pack animals that demand dominance over other dogs and this is one of the biggest reasons of leash aggression in dogs. As a dog owner, you have some great responsibilities on your shoulders and so the answer to your question "How to stop leash aggression in dogs" lies in this article.
We have jotted down some tried and tested tricks and tips to stop leash aggression in dogs. Apart from that, you can also teach timing and avoidance to your dogs (how to avoid other dogs at a particular distance or how to control the excitement) with some useful commands such as "Sit", "Stay", "Stop!.