Is walking your dog a challenge?
For many people, walking their dog is something they look forward to. It’s a time for them to enjoy some fresh air, forget about their troubles, and to bond with their furry friend. It’s also a great way for them to meet other people. Dogs are like babies – they are adorable conversation starters.
For other dog parents, however, walking their dog is more of a challenge, perhaps even a nightmare. This is because their dog transforms from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde upon seeing another dog. A peaceful walk turns into a battle.
Do you find yourself always apologizing to other people for your dog’s reaction? Are you worried your dog might bite another dog? Does your dog pull so hard on the leash to get to the other dog that your shoulder aches or you’re not even sure you can hold onto him?
It makes perfect sense to your dog
While your dog’s behavior may not make sense to you, it makes perfect sense to your dog. From your dog’s perspective, a leash is a barrier. It restricts his movement. For a fearful dog, this is a scary situation because you’ve removed his option to flee. And if he feels you are not the leader in this situation, then he’s frustrated you’ve removed his way to “protect” you. This is why leashes, and other barriers, such as fences or windows, can often play a role in aggressive behaviors.
While we of course want to ensure safety, it is important to be aware of factors that can affect behavior!