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0 Comments | Aug 31, 2011

Leash Aggression

Question: Do you have any links to training tips on leash aggression? My 2 year old Aussie has developed leash aggression when he didn’t have it before. I’m sure I’ve done something wrong along the way to cause it but don’t want to repeat my mistake with Farley and really would like to train it out of Cosmo.

 Thank you in advance,  –Lisa G.

Answer: Leash reactivity is usually best handled with counter-conditioning. A dog on leash realizes that it’s options are limited, as far as escape goes, and so will often go on the offensive to keep other dogs at bay. This can happen for lots of reasons–a bad experience with other dogs while on leash, general uncertainty that builds, frustration, etc. Changing the reaction is certainly possible, but it takes patience and time and a lot of concerted effort.

I would suggest you get the book “Feisty Fido” by Patricia McConnell and Karen London. It is entirely dealing with reactivity on leash and is written in a clear, easy to follow way. Very, very good book with great advice.

As for your younger dog, prevention is the best medicine in this case. Take a look at the “On Leash Greetings” post. That should give you some good tips on how to keep your younger dog from having any of those bad experiences that can lead to leash aggression.