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I plan on solving Linus’ dog leash aggression problem in the next 30 days. Yep, in case you didn’t know Linus has a bit of a dog-to-dog leash aggression behavior problem. He was always a reserved little puppy, but more recently he’s been developing an aggression problem especially when on leash in our neighborhood.
At a recent trip to Yappy Hour at the Ritz Carlton Linus actually did really well. He was a bit cautious, but the only dogs he barked at were his two pals Mocha and Cici. It’s in neighborhoods and familiar places that he’s most aggressive.
At the beginning of 2013 I decided to start each month off by putting together a blog post presenting one of my dog training problems. My plan is to:
- Identify the dog training/behavior/grooming problem and put together a blog post on the 1st of the month.
- Put together a strategy that I can work on with my dog every day for the next 30 days.
- After 30 days I will form a habit and continue to consistently work on that problem.
- Report my results on the last day of the month.
For more information check out: How To Solve Your Dog Training Problems In 30 Days
Linus’ Dog Leash Aggression Problem
So what exactly am I talking about when I say dog leash aggression. When your dog is on leash and he see’s another dog he may display many different behaviors including fear, frustration, anxiety, excitement and of course aggression.
While your instinct might be to ignore your dog leash aggression problems it’s a better idea to simply work on the issue by exposing your dog to other dogs while on leash.
As we mentioned Linus has a bit of a leash aggression problem. In general when Linus is on leash he does a great job with 3 exceptions
- When he see’s familiar people he pulls on his leash so he can go say hello.
- When he see’s small animals (squirrels, rabbits, etc.) he likes to chase them.
- When he see’s other dogs he becomes aggressive, pulls, and barks at them. This is most prevalent with him in our neighborhood and places he is familiar with like my sisters and parents houses.
When we go out on a walk and he doesn’t see any of these three things he’s a perfect gentleman and does a great heel. However, if he see’s any of these three things on his walk he could literally pull you off your feet.
THE NEXT 30 DAYS:
So what am I going to try with my buddy Linus? My goal is to make Linus understand that it is no big deal when another dog walks by and there is no reason for him to be fearful, excited, or aggressive. There are a few things I’d like to work on during his walks around the neighborhood. When a dog is walking by I want to get Linus to focus his attention on me rather than the other dog.
Over the next 30 days I plan on doing several things:
- Every day for the next 30 days we are going to take Linus and Stetson on a 30 minute (or longer) walk through the neighborhood.
- Bring some high value treats (stinky salmon treats) in our treat pouch when out on our walks.
- Randomly on the walk I will call Linus’ name and when he looks up at me reward him with a treat and a “good boy!”
- When out on a walk make sure that other neighborhood dogs are not too close by (on the other side of our residential street). Before Linus see’s the other dog say his name and have him focus his attention on me rather than the other dog. Give him his treat and tell him “good boy”. Keep doing this until we have successfully passed the other dog. Give him a jackpot (lots of treats) if he keeps his focus on me the entire time we walk past the other dog.
- There are a few areas in our neighborhood where dogs are behind fences and like to bark. This should be a good practice area. I’m going to work these spots, but keep my distance until Linus becomes comfortable.
As Linus becomes more comfortable walking by dogs on the other side of the street I’ll inch closer and closer until eventually he becomes comfortable walking past other dogs on the same sidewalk. Well, that’s the goal anyways.
I’m sure there will be modifications to this training over time, but for now this is my 30 day goal.
GOAL: Walk Linus and Stetson 30 minutes a day for 30 days starting on New Years day and work on their dog leash aggression problems.
So what do you think? Does your dog have leash aggression? How do you handle your dog when you’re out on walks? Any tips or hints would be much appreciated.
By the way, if your dog has leash aggression problems then we’d love to have you join us on this months 30 day challenge of fixing our dog’s leash aggression problems. Tell us about your progress and goals in the comment section below.