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Dog aggressive on lead

James
jameswilson

Just out of curiousity, is there a reason dogs are more inclined to growl and bark at each other when they're on the lead? I've noticed that most dogs are like this. When they're off lead in a park they're absolutely fine with each other but then when the same dogs cross paths in the street and they're on the lead they get upset at each other. Why?

2 Answers
Wiggle1991

Dogs can find the lead restricting which in turn can make them feel frustrated on lead. If you practice on-lead greetings but keeping them short then this may reduce barking. There may be a different reason for barking, maybe the dog has had a negative encounter on-lead with another dog so may be more cautious towards other dogs. If the dog is barking and the other dog moves away the dogs barking has lead to that result from the other dog and owner, therefore has been rewarded.

Joe
J_StudentVN_ZoologyBSc

Hi, these behaviours don't necessarily mean your dog is feeling aggression. Leads to the dog can be an invisible obstacle and these behaviours are an expression of your dog experiencing very intense emotions, and they’re trying to cope with those overwhelming feelings by doing things that make them feel better. More often than not, they learn that barking and lunging works for them! It gets them what they want. But what do they want?

You mentioned that your dog has played with others then barked on a lead on the street. Have you considered approaching the owner at the park and asking for 5 minutes of interaction on the lead? You dog may simply want to play and by associating positivity on a lead may reduce the need for barking?

Are there other triggers? Such as distance to another dog on a lead? If you notice a repeated association then trial crossing the road/ changing path to completely remove your dog from the situation before it arises.

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