Help for Leash Reactive Dogs
On-leash reactivity is a common problem and one that many dog owners struggle with. Many dogs experience barrier frustration when they cannot greet other dogs or they want to chase a critter, skateboard or bicycle when they are on leash. This can cause them to “act out” by barking, lunging, growling and pulling. Teaching an alternate behavior- “do this instead of that” can help turn things around and take your dog from a leash monster to a well-behaved dog about town!
The Leave It Protocol
This protocol is built using Leave It as the primary behavior. By building a solid Leave It, owners of dogs who are reactive to things in the environment can teach their dogs to do something other than react. This can make walks and outings more pleasant for both people and dogs.
You’ll work on building Leave It from the beginning, simply for food held in a fisted hand. By starting at the beginning of the training plan, you’ll have lots of opportunity to reinforce the behavior and teach your dog that turning away from something and leaving it alone is the winner- and the fastest route to reinforcement.
Harley had a strong history of barking, lunging and pulling on-leash. Sarah was hired to teach Harley some new skills and turn walks from a chore into an enjoyable activity for all.
Over the course of just a few sessions, Sarah taught Harley to come away from distractions, in his case, other dogs on leash, when he hears the cue ‘Leave It’. She then rewards him for choosing to pay attention to her, rather than barking and pulling towards dogs walking by.
What’s included in the course:
- Detailed training plans to walk you through the steps of Leave It. When it comes to working with dogs, using plans that build on each step is a critical part of your success. Not only does this help avoid making guesses about what the dog is capable of along the way, it helps build a solid foundation for taking your training on the road. We’ll teach you exactly how to break down the steps of each behavior so you can both be successful!
- Videos of the plans being taught. We use video as one of our primary teaching tools because it is so helpful and it allows you to see a dog’s progress and walks you through the steps. We also provide the opportunity to post some video in the course for support, troubleshooting and cheerleading because we know that training doesn’t always happen in a straight line!
- Downloadable documents, a progress tracker and graphics for you to review, save and print to go along with the course. Discussion forums to chat with your instructor and fellow students about your progress, setbacks and challenges are set up throughout the course to help build a sense of community and provide feedback as you go.
Important Note about the Course:
Many dogs are reactive when on-leash. It is a very common problem. They bark, lunge, growl, grab their leash or otherwise act like a maniac when out for a walk. The interesting thing is that many dogs of these dogs are perfectly fine with other dogs when off-leash. They play well or meander around off-leash dog parks sniffing and interacting with other dogs.
Does this sound like your dog? If yes then this course may be for you. Other dogs pull like a train towards anything that moves. Skateboarders, cyclists or birds and squirrels. This course can help with that too.
However, if your dog is fearful or aggressive around dogs off and on leash, we recommend that you contact a qualified positive reinforcement trainer to help.
Meet your Instructor: Sarah Pennington
Sarah Pennington is the owner of Yaletown Dog Training in Vancouver, BC., where she’s honed her training skills on hundreds of dogs. ‘Leave It’ has come in particularly handy in this urban environment, where dogs regularly experience triggers. She also works as a coach for The Academy for Dog Trainers, helping budding dog trainers refine their skills.
Sarah lives with her partner, Levor, and their 2 dogs, Macy and Bear in Vancouver.
Leave It: Help for Leash Reactive Dogs is now LIVE and is priced at $39USD.
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So much easier when Sadie and I are on walks now.