Many dogs have an aggressive side, and you often see this when they are on leashes. Dogs that are normally well-behaved can lunge and snarl at other dogs and people as you walk down the street. While he needs exercise, you do not want to put others at risk. What can you do about leash aggression?
Dogs are like children in many ways. Often you can avoid bad behavior if you redirect their attention. If you see something that usually causes your dog to become aggressive, immediately distract him. Tell him to sit or lie down to keep him busy until the dog or person passes.
If you are about to pass another dog, don’t tense up or pull the least taut. Your pet will be able to tell and he will think that you are scared, so aggression is much more likely. Animals pick up on our signals – just remain calm and relaxed.
Some dogs may require a gentle leader harness or muzzle. These should only be used temporarily until your dog learns not to lunge. If you have a dog who is a danger, they can keep others safe. This is the first priority.
If you have tried to curb leash aggression and your dog still misbehaves during walks, it is time to find a good trainer. You need professional help to stop this at once: not only is it disruptive to your own walks, it is dangerous to everyone and every animal you pass on the sidewalk.
Teaching your dog to stay can be an immensely useful command, and it will definitely impress other dog owners. As always, use treats and praise to help you teach. You can use dog training collars to enhance your results.
First, tell your dog to sit or lie. When he does, put your hand, palm towards the dog, and say, “Stay.” Use a firm voice.
When your dog stays, praise him immediately. Likely your dog will only be able to stay for a second or two at first. This is great; it’s a terrific beginning, and he will be able to do it for longer periods as he practices.
Give the release command – say “Ok,” or “Come” – so your dog knows he doesn’t have to lie down any longer. Give him a treat and lots of praise. Giving rewards is a key component of the process when it comes to things like puppy potty training.
As you work on the stay command, demand that your dog stay for longer periods of time. Don’t give him his treat until he performs to your satisfcation. Have him do a little more each time.
You don’t want to practice for an hour though. Keep your training sessions short and sweet. Make them fun for your dog, provide lots of praise and rewards, and you’ll get results. Five to ten minutes is a great amount of time for each training session, and you can do it several times a day.
Any longer and your dog will feel like he’s in a marathon – he’ll get tired, cranky, and won’t want to listen. At first, you may have to repeat, “Stay,” often to remind your dog, especially if they’re excited about their treat.
Soon, your dog will be able to stay even if you leave the room. Even if you phase out the treats, remember to praise your dog for this accomplishment.
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