How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20223
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

Hi Jane, I have just taken on a lurcher who had previously

This answer was rated:

Hi Jane, I have just taken on a lurcher who had previously been used as "bait" in dog fighting. She had her throat ripped out. I have 3 other lurchers and they all get along fine. Unfortunately, with certain dogs, usually labrador types, usually black or chocolate, she gets aggressive, barking and nipping at them. When I try to catch her and put her on the lead she cleverly avoids me. Any tips?
Hi JaCustomer,

My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

Do you have a good recall with her normally?
Have you done any obedience training with her yet?
Do you only put her on a lead in this type of situation?
How long have you had her?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, she is good on recall, especially if I have treats or the ball.

No I have not done any obedience training.

Yes only put her on the lead in this situation.

I've had her a month.


Thank you for the additional information. It is helpful. The first thing you want to do is start calling her to you with the recall command on a regular basis even if you do not want to put her on the lead. Call er at least 3-4 times when you take her for a walk off leash. When she comes, clip the leash on, and reward her with a tasty treat. For training use a tasty treat like raw chicXXXXX XXXXXver slivers or paper thin vienna sausages sliced paper thin. Dog usually want to do most anything for these treats. Once you reward her, unclip the leash and give her a release command. I use GO but any word will do as she will associate it with running again. It is likely you already have a word but haven't used it consistently or thought about it.

Often owners have a dog that will come to them consistently but will run away as soon as they reach them because the dog has not been taught to sit and wait or never been given a release command. As a result, they end up using their own judgement on when to leave. Using a release command consistently helps a dog learn to come and sit and wait. The above exercise will teach the dog that just because she comes doesn't mean you will put her on the leash and leave her on it. Most people only put their dog on the leash or call them to signal the end of play time or to stop them from doing something the dog wants to do, so the dog starts to selectively listen rather than obeying every time. So the above exercise will help with that portion of the issue.

For the aggression, you are going to want to do a few different things starting with daily obedience training. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

Along with this training you also want to teach her not to be aggressive toward other dogs. It will be helpful if you can find someone with a dog that she reacts to who will help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. If you feel your dog already listens to commands well, you can start this step now. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat (remember it should be the extra special treat). The second you see her fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if she ignores the other dog, she gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until she is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well.

Once she is not reacting when on the leash, you can try the same exercise off lead. Along with this training and taking this girl on, comes the responsibility of protecting her. It sounds like right now she still feels she has to protect herself. You need to help her realize that it is your job. The obedience training, and NILF programs helps dogs see you as the boss, but it is the boss's job to protect the pack. So it is up to you to be sure dogs that she reacts to do not approach her even if you think they are friendly. This will help her see that you will protect her.

Now there are a few things that I recommend an owner carry just in case they are needed. One is a hooked umbrella and the other is a dog repellent or pepper spray. If a dog should rush your dog, the repellent can be used to stop an aggressive dog. The umbrella can be opened and used as a barrier between two dogs. Teh hooked end of an umbrella can also be used to pull one dog off of another, so these are items you should carry on any walks.

Many trainers are now using a method called bat for aggression issues. You might find it helpful.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jane, Thank you for all this advice which I will put into practice. I realise it will take time and patience. Just wanted to ask you, should I practice with just the one dog? Or should it be a collective exercise?


All dogs benefit from obedience but start with him and then train each separately, then start putting the two well behaved dogs together and retrain, then add the next until all are together. This is because they will frequently backslide once together with another dog, so you need to train separately and then group training until the whole group listens at the same time.
Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you