Features June 2017 Issue

How to Help a Leash-Reactive Dog

A dog or puppy who has had a scary interaction with another dog while on a walk may continue to act spooked while on walks for months. Or, she behave in an aggressive manner, or develop a reluctance to approach other dogs.

How to Help a Leash-Reactive Dog

Have you and your dog ever been accosted – or even attacked – by another dog or dogs while out on a walk? If so, your dog probably needs some help to put the experience behind her.

Beyond the human hang-ups and logistical challenges associated with a dog who now displays reactive behavior in the presence of other dogs, we must consider the impact on the dog. Reactive outbursts are the product of distress, and distress is serious business. It takes a long time for the body to recover from the jolt of hormones that happens during a distressful event. This altered brain state can leave your dog susceptible to triggers he might not otherwise react to, which is why many dogs can seem “edgy” for some time following a particularly stressful event.

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