Why does he do that??
Our clients and students often ask us why their dogs behave the way they do.
When it comes to aggression, fear is usually the culprit.
What? He hardly looks scared, you say.
We know. He looks kind of scary doing all that barking and growling and lunging toward the other dog. But many dogs learn that when you bark and growl and lunge things move away from you. It’s really a pretty smart technique, when you think about it. Not a very socially acceptable one, though!
Okay, you say, but why is he so scared in the first place?
A lot of factors. Genetics, Lack of appropriate early socialization or even too much exposure overwhelming the puppy, Some learned etc.,
In the case of leash reactive dogs, in most cases it could be that the dog is upset, uncomfortable or frustrated being constrained by a leash as his ability to move away is restricted.
It could be lack of experience. Dogs who don’t grow up around other dogs during puppyhood often suffer from what we call lack of appropriate socialization. Think of it this way: If you kept a child away from other children until she was 7 years old there’s a good chance she’d have a hard time being socially polite. The barking, growling, snapping, lunging or just symptoms. To solve leash reactivity, we need to change your dog’s emotions.
So what can I do?
Our growly dog training includes two approaches: We teach your dog there’s nothing to be afraid of, and we show him new, more effective ways to behave when he sees or interacts with another dog. We also work on your body language to ensure that there is no conflicting communication between you and your dog.
This one-two combination is designed to get your dog feeling more comfortable around other dogs, and you feeling less stressed as a result.