Is Your Dog Reactive on Leash and Lazy Off Leash

Is Your Dog Reactive on Leash and Lazy Off Leash? Things to Learn

If you have brought your four-limbed pet home already, you need to learn a few things based on reactivity. Truth be told, reactivity is often misunderstood when it comes to dog habits and behavior. The thing is that dog reactivity is a common behavior. And if you have conducted your own share of research, you already know that dogs become more reactive when on a leash and just the opposite when they are without a leash. Do you know why?

It is interesting to note that in a majority of cases, they become lazy and less reactive without the leash, which leads to more confusion for first-time pet owners. Now, if you want to unlearn and relearn the reasons associated with reactivity in dogs with a leash, you are on the right page.

Introducing You to the Concept of Reactivity in Dogs When with a Leash

Leash reactivity roots from dogs experiencing restrictions when you use a leash. Contrarily to this, they would not be able to use body language as they would while interacting with other dogs. Also, they would not be able to run over to some other pet only to play. This frustration creates reactivity.

Consider the concept of reactivity as the double-edged sword, which is reinforced by distance or even strengthened when distances from other dogs or individuals aren’t increased. This reactivity comes in the form of biting, too, when it isn’t any longer reinforced. This is a phenomenon that is better popular than extinction. When your pet bites, this bite is taken as the result of removing a dog or person.

Motivation in Your Pet: Off-Leash vs. On-Leash

The main purpose of reactivity is to maximize the distance between an unfamiliar dog/person and your dog. In such a circumstance, it is understandable why dogs remain reactive when on a leash. On the contrary, when dogs are off-leash, they have the tendency to control the distance between dogs/people and themselves. They remain less motivated to become more reactive. In short, if the space is larger, they get more control to do other things instead of becoming reactive.

If the dog is on the leash, they get the opportunity to move away & create space. As a result, dogs start barking, and space is created. This vicious cycle is a continuous process.

Desensitizing A Leash-Reactive Dog: Steps to Proceed

Working on your pet’s leash reactivity is a crucial consideration. Note that dogs don’t grow out of reactivity. This particular behavior gets worse until and unless you address it. So, the first thing you must do is work with the leash-reactive pet. Keep them from crossing their threshold. But don’t keep walking exactly the same. Expect them to change their behavior.

Make your pet feel calmer when on the leash. Put them into scenarios where they can successfully come out. For some pets, it is a matter of walking during the time when people in the locality are at work. For the leash-reactive dog, it means walking on special routes that are remote and quiet. In this manner, you can expose them to what causes leash reactivity and train them accordingly.