YNP #047: How to Handle a Reactive Dog on a Leash
Published March 4, 2020
9 min
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    ​When you have a reactive dog on a leash it takes all of the fun out of walks and makes them stressful and a chore.Unfortunately, having a reactive dog is all too common. It comes from the dog’s fight or flight response. When they are on a leash and tethered to you, some can default to the fight instinct. They’re not being bad, they are only showing this “aggression” because they feel they have to.Then it turns into a habit and your walks turn into a nightmare.Before you resort to walking your dog at 2 am or down that back ally where you know there won’t be any people or dogs, I have some tips for you on how to handle your dog when they bark or lunge at other people, dogs, or even fast-moving objects on a walk.If this has been going on for a while, if you’re working on it and you don’t see improvement or if it gets worse, it’s time to call a trainer. Most have experience with reactive dogs and it’s a behavior that can be improved but it can also takes timing and a technique that takes practice.  Having a professional guide you will be your best option.Your overall goal is to get your dog’s attention, keep their attention while whatever they usually bark at goes by.  We want to teach them “when I see another dog I pay attention to my human and good things happen!”In this episode, I provide my top tips that you can use if this is just starting or is minor. As an added bonus these same tips can also apply to an overexcited dog that is distracted by something in their environment.My tips include:* Practice getting your dogs attention in low-level environments* Stand or walk between your dog and the stimulus* Use distance to your advantagePress play to listen to the entire episode and enjoy!
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