You’ve probably already been confronted with this situation on a walk. You are walking with your dog on a leash when suddenly another person lets his dog come and see yours. The two dogs on the leash sniff each other and the walk continues, sometimes the dogs try to play but they are quickly annoyed by the leash, but this can sometimes degenerate into aggression.
So why is it not advisable to let your dog make contact with another dog when they are on a leash?
dogs on leash
Reasons why dogs should not meet on a leash
Reason n°1 : This contact prevents communication
Indeed, you surely know it but dogs communicate in several ways, visually, olfactory, etc. There are several steps to successful communication. For this to work, your dog must be free to communicate and to move. However, on a leash, it can be very disabling for your dog, not allowing him to communicate fully and to be free to move away or run, etc.
Progressively this situation can lead to a desocialization of your dog!
Reason n°2 : The meeting can be tense
Another problematic point is the possible tension of the leash which can impact your dog’s tension, creating a negative emotion that can make your dog aggressive in the worst case scenario.
Leash tension can really strain the situation, plus it is possible that your dog has a history of learning with leash tension creating frustration.
Reason #3: The training set up is not desirable for the leashed dog
Finally, the learning that your dog realizes is that he can go and make contact with another dog on a leash, but this may not be put under signal, thus creating an inconsistency in your walks, because at times he will be able to go and see another dog and at other times this will not be possible. This is not logical and it can handicap you for the implementation of the master focus in learning to walk on a leash.
You will understand that these reasons are obviously contextual, but the objective here is to bring these reasons to light to help you make the best decision for your dog.
dog on a leash
Let’s move on to possible solutions to help you in this situation:
Solution #1: Loosen your leash
As far as possible, try to have a leash that is as loose as possible, for this it is useful to invest in a leash of at least 2 meters because if your leash is too short you will not be able to perform this action. I recommend multi-position leashes so that you can play with the length of your leash and not be hindered in your daily walk.
Solution n°2 : Positivize the tension of the leash
Another option is to associate leash tension with a positive emotion. To do this, you need to understand the mechanisms of learning. (see training “all about learning”).
Indeed, it is quite possible to create a positive emotion in your dog every time you tighten the leash. To do this, provide your dog with treats that he will appreciate and stretch the leash slightly, then while the leash is slightly stretched, give your dog a treat and repeat this sequence. Be careful to adapt to your dog’s sensitivity. And I really invite you to take our “all about learning” training to master the notions of learning and be as autonomous and efficient as possible.
Note: you can also use a toy if that is what your dog prefers.
Solution #3: Keep moving and relaxed
Finally, if you find yourself in this situation, my advice is to stay calm and relaxed. Stay on the move if possible, speak calmly and gently invite your dog to follow you around while you get away from the situation. Remember to reinforce your dog when he has come to you with treats or toys that he really enjoys and continue your walk quietly. If this isn’t enough and your dog reacts badly to other dogs on leash, contact a dog trainer.
dog on a leash
Here are the elements that I could give you, hoping that it will have helped you and that you will find in this article some solutions to help you. Do not hesitate to comment this article by giving us the solutions that you found in these situations to share your experience.