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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19836
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Sometimes while walking on a leash, my dog just doesn't like

Customer Question

Sometimes while walking on a leash, my dog just doesn't like another dog on a leash and practically attacks that dog. With some other dogs on a leash he's fine. Off leash at the dog park he gets along with all the dogs. Why does he do this and how can I get him to stop?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Is your dog neutered?

Are you wary now when dogs are approaching when you have him on the leash?

What obedience training has he had?

Are the other dogs he reacts to male or female?

What position does the oncoming dog have his tail at? up, down or level with his body?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is a neutered rescue dog. I've had him for 2 yrs. He has settled in nicely except for this. I think he was abused by a male. At first he was afraid of men. I am wary when we approach dogs he has not gotten along with before. He's only has basic training @ Petco. The other dogs have been mostly male, but the most recent encounter was female. I'm not sure about the tail positions.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

Hi again,

It may be that you are unconsciously contributing to the problem especially since it only happens on leash and not when he is off leash. Some owners tend to anticipate a problem so they hold the leash tighter or might even pull the dog back a bit and the dog picks up on your worry. They don't realize that you are worried about what they might do and figure you are worried about the other dog. So it is very important for you to try not to tense up when you are approaching other dogs.

You should also try and keep his attention on you when walking. One way is to keep some hot dog slivers in your hand and as long as your dog is paying attention to you and "your hand", you give him a little treat every once in a while. This can help him keep his attention on you rather than the other dog. Some experts will advise to move your dog to the side when you see another dog and command them to sit or do another command to keep him occupied while the dog is moving past you. This works but ultimately, you do not want to have to have your dog stop every time you need to pass another dog.

There is another method that is used as well called BAT. You can read about that here:

http://functionalrewards.com/BAT-basics.pdf
http://www.petexpertise.com/behavior-adjustment-training-dog.html

You might also switch to a front leash clasp harness. When a dog lunges their own weight forces them toward you again.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

If you do not see the rating information, please let me know.