Walking Excited Dogs

Walking Excited Dogs

Rather than walking excited dogs and letting them greet another dog, repeat After Me:  "My Dog Doesn’t Need to Greet Yours On Leash".  Live by this. 

If your dog gets excited or even leash reactive when you are out walking – he may likely pull on his leash.  He may even start lunging.   There is no need or reason for you to attempt greeting another dog under these circumstances.  No matter how “friendly” your neighbor suggests her dog may be.

Advocate for your dog.  He needs to see you handle the situation and set the tone for what will happen.  He doesn't need to greet another dog if either one of them is excited or even if the handlers seem nervous or excited.

Start at Home:  if your dog is excited before you even leave the house or gets out of the car, get control there first.   Practice your Impulse Control techniques at the door, the car, the crate, the leash, etc.

Before you go for a walk, be sure to get some basic skills, communication and understanding of your dog’s body language in place.  Clarity and Confidence makes a huge difference.

Be aware of the distance (threshold of tolerance) your dog can keep it together before he escalates.  Work below that threshold, ideally with a controlled dog and friend cooperating with you.

Reward good decisions from your dog.  Reward them big!   And as you gain success and confidence, incrementally lower the threshold.

Don’t rush this experience.  Again – it is far better to not even take the walk than it is to have successful experiences.    If you need the exercise – do this work first, and then walk without the dog!

Dana Brigman