In stressful situations, dogs that have not learned to adequately cope with something as simple as walking on a leash, instinctively revert to a fight or flight mode and exhibit leash aggression.
Think of your leash as a telephone line to your dog. When you are walking your dog properly, you should both be relaxed. Your hands should be at waist level. Your dog should be at your left side…not in front of you…not behind you. Ideally, the leash should be relaxed enough so there is a U in the leash, between you and your dog.
Since they are tethered to a leash, the option of flight is eliminated. To them, the only means of survival left, is to stand their ground, which leads to leash aggression.
To compound the predicament, you are partially responsible. Most likely you have expected your dog’s inappropriate reaction and have pulled up on the leash. Without realizing it, you have just confirmed, “Houston, we have a problem!”
We strongly recommend, enrolling in a positive reinforcement, punishment-free obedience class, before you have serious behavior problems. Not only will your puppy or dog learn how to socialize and behave properly; you will gain instructions on how to maintain control in a positive manner.
However, there are many do-it-yourselfers out there, who believe they don’t need or want assistance training their pet.
Although the average age for a dog in an adult dog training class seems to be between 6 and 9 months, is there an upper age limit? Is there ever a time when a dog is simply “too old” for training?
Older dogs have a longer attention span. Training that didn’t work as a puppy might be much easier now that he’s older.
According to professional dog trainers, the answer is, “no.”
“It is wonderful to see people of all ages getting out and interacting with their pets,” said Dr. Katie Lauren, a licensed clinical neuropsychologist in Fort Collins, Colo. Continue reading “Teach old dog new tricks”