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Linda Simon
Linda Simon,
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 3212
Experience:  Locum veterinarian at Panacea pets ltd
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I can let my dog off on the beach and he will run and play

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i can let my dog off on the beach and he will run and play with any dog, but on the lead he is a nightmare and has even started barking an growling at passer by
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Dog Trainer can help you. What is your dog's name and age?
Customer: rusty, he is a rescue dog from rumania they thought he was about four but i think he is younger he didn't start cocking his leg untill about four months after we got him
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: rusty
JA: Is there anything else the Dog Trainer should be aware of about Rusty?
Customer: he didn't like men to much when we got him. he still barks at my husband when he (my husband) moves, but will go over for a strock when he is still
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response
Sorry to hear you are having this issue with Rusty.
When a dog is social and playful off lead but not on lead there can be a few reasons.
- He may be 'protecting' you (or whoever is walking him) from the other dogs
- You may be a bit nervous, wondering if he is going to react. Perhaps you pull him closer or call his name when another dog approaches. He may pick up on your anxiety and act out due to stress
- if he has any underlying health issue or source of pain at all e.g. ear infection, sore tooth, aching elbow he may react defensively. This is because on a lead he has nowhere to go and can be worried about being approached.
Leash aggression is actually really common and this article discusses it in some more detail : https://positively.com/dog-behavior/aggression/leash-aggression/
To reduce stress and aggression in general be sure he is getting plenty of exercise, play time and mental stimulation e.g. food puzzles, interactive toys, scenting games etc.
If highly strung, consider a course of calming supplements such as Zylkene and an Adaptil collar or plug in.
I would also highly recommend some training classes to help build your bond and, if he is an active boy, perhaps some agility or rally.
On the leads, try to make the approach of a dog a positive thing. When he sees a dog in the distance and remains calm he gets a high value treats such as chicken or hot dog. As long as he remains calm, we gradually bring him closer, rewarding him. Take a step back if he reacts, that means we have taken things too quickly. It can take many sessions and several weeks before we get to the point that another dog is a foot or two away and he is not reacting. Do persevere. We should get to the point where he is excited a dog is ear him as it means he gets yummy treats.
If not already done, do consider a full check upat the vet to ensure we are not missing anything.
If these things do not help, the next step would be a veterinary behaviourist who comes to watch him and offers tailored advice.
Linda Simon and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you