Tips for Walking a Reactive Dog on a Leash

your dog have trouble taking a simple walk on a leash? You’re not alone, in
fact, a large percentage of dog owners experience the same issue. Luckily there
are a number of things you can do to reverse this behavior.

Just like humans, dogs have their
own unique personalities. Whether your pet gets excited, aggressive, or scared
while on leash, these behaviors can be corrected. A majority of dog owners
believe that in order to train their dog they must use force and try to
dominate the animal. Usually this negative method of training leads to elevated
stress levels in your pet. The most effective and humane way to train your
4-legged friend is called “choice training”.

 As you may have guessed, “choice
training” is all about giving your dog choices and using positive
reinforcement. For this type of training you want to use positive behaviors
that your dog already exhibits. Say you have a dog who lashes out aggressively
at other animals/people while on leash. What you want to do is replace that
behavior with a positive one. If you are on a walk and see another dog
approaching you could have your dog sit and then reward them with treats and
praise. Eventually your pup will be conditioned to use this behavior when
approached by other animals/people without lashing out.

Another common issue is simply
getting your dog to walk calmly without pulling. A simple correction for this
is to reward the dog with treats each time they look back at you while on a
walk. The reasoning behind this is that it is very hard for your animal to pull
while looking back at you. Presenting them with a treat really helps to bring
their focus back to you instead of trying to pull forward.

Positive reinforcement is truly the
key to taking control of a reactive dog. The best part is that the dog doesn’t
see it as you dominating them. Instead, they see you as an equal and someone
they can trust. These types of changes don’t happen over night so be sure to be
patient with your animal. With “choice training” your dog will be
MUCH happier but more importantly, you will be too!

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