When Dogs Greet Each Other While on Leash
When dogs are allowed to greet each other when on a leash, a host of problems can ensue. In this article, the dog experts at iTrainK9 break down the various issues that leash greeting can cause and provide alternatives to maintain healthy social behaviour for your pets.
A Bad Habit
When dogs run into their fellow four-legged friends, they are susceptible to becoming over-excited and disruptive. As a result, social dogs can quickly forget their leash manners when they greet another dog.
For example, dogs often push, pull, and make excessive noise when they encounter another dog on a leash. These bad habits should be nipped in the bud as early as possible. Through consistent, zero-tolerance training, you can ensure that your dog maintains proper leash etiquette at all times.
In the world of dog training, we use the term “reactivity” to describe the various aggressive and disobedient behaviours that poorly-trained or untrained dogs exhibit. For example, dogs that pull hard on the leash and refuse to cooperate when their owners say “no” are reactive dogs. While this is a bad sign, the good news is that these misbehaviours can be easily corrected.
When dogs are permitted to be reactive on their leash, they will also become reactive off their leash. We often find that dogs who freely greet other dogs on their leash are unruly at home and in training sessions. Sometimes, if you give a dog an inch they will happily take a mile, and this is certainly true of leash greetings.
Being on a leash can impose a feeling of entrapment on a dog. In other words, dogs that are on a leash are restricted in movement and can only maneuver around a small amount of space. Since leashes restrict mobility, it is common for dogs to feel uncomfortable and claustrophic when restrained by them.
The discomfort that leashes sometimes inflict on dogs is one of the main reasons why dogs should never greet other dogs while on their leash. This is because dogs should not associate discomfort and irritation with socializing. Otherwise, dogs may develop anti-social behaviours or avoid other dogs when off their leash.
Healthy Alternatives to Leash Greetings
Instead of allowing your dog to greet oncoming dogs on their leash, we recommend following these tips for developing healthier social skills for your dog.
- Always keep your dog at your side. In other words, use your body as a divider between your dog and the other dog while not letting your dog run ahead.
2. Do not allow your dog to invade another dog’s personal space. This is a prime example of invasive and reactive behaviour in dogs. Instead, restrain your dog and ensure that they do not get up close to the face of the other dog. Sometimes, this kind of unwanted attention can lead to fights.
Instead, never stop walking and do not be afraid to tell your dog that it isn’t allowed to misbehave. If the other dog is disturbed, briefly apologize to the other dog owner and carry on your way. If the problem persists, consider seeking professional dog training services to help groom your dog for a healthier social life.
For more information contact:
jason@itrainK9.ca or see www.itraink9.ca