Helping a Goldendoodle with Some Leash Aggression Problems on Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 9, 2018

For this Los Angeles dog training session we worked with Mochi, a 2-year-old female Goldendoodle who is reactive on walks; sometimes acting aggressively to other dogs when walked on the leash.

Mochi flopped down on the couch next to her guardians when we sat down to discuss her dog behavior problems in detail. This was my first indicator that a lack of structure may be confusing the dog into thinking her rank and role in the home is different than she thinks it is.

We discussed many of the common factors that can be related to dog reactivity, dog aggression and what we call leash aggression. While Mochi didn’t have all of the most common contributing factors in place, many of them were.

I spent the first half of the session showing the guardians how to reward desired behaviors in a way that will motivate the dog to repeat them. This change to the leader follower dynamic is fundamental when rehabilitating a dog with dog aggression.

To help the guardians have better walks with Mochi, I spent several minutes sharing a number of loose leash walking tips. Setting the dog up for success in the home before the walk can help stop a dog from acting aggressive to other dogs on the walk. Check out the video below for a ton of free positive dog walking tips.

For about half of the clients with a dog aggressive dog who hire me as a Dog Behavior expert, changing the leader follower dynamic puts a stop to the dog aggression. This is why I explain how important rules, structure and good timing are with dogs. If a dog sees you as a peer, listening to you becomes optional and the dog often takes up a guarding or passive behavior that leads to many problems.

Another suggestion I made was to teach Mochi to focus and practice it at home for progressively longer periods of time and under increasing levels of distractions. Once Mochi has developed a strong focus command, her guardians can try using it the instant they see a dog approaching. Its crucial they give that focus command before Mochi feels threatened in order for it to work.

If Mochi continues to be reactive to dogs on walks a month or so after our session, we may meed to set up a follow up session to do some behavior adjustment training. For BAT training, we create a staged and controlled situation with another dog to help the dog learn different, non aggressive ways of disagreeing with other dogs.

To help the guardians remember all the positive dog training tips we covered in this at home dog training session we shot a roadmap to success video. You can check it out and get a ton of free LA dog training tips by watching the video yourself.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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