How to Prevent Dog Leashes From Becoming a Pain in the Neck

Dear Poncho,

I have taken my dog to the dog park numerous times and he is great with other dogs. However, if he passes other dogs while walking on a leash, he tries to bound after them and acts as if he is going to attack. Why is he so bad on a leash?


Chief’s mom

Dear mom of Chief,

Yep, leashes can be a real pain in the neck. However, since you and Chief aren’t able to walk together hand-in-paw, it’s a helpful solution for keeping us inquisitive canines safe. They’re also a law in many places, so I recommend you consider the following training tips to help your buddy Chief enjoy himself, and less like the need to “attack”.

Here are the four tenets of my Mutt Model:

  • Know Your Animal!

Dogs weren’t born knowing how to walk on leash, so we need some lessons before heading out into the big wide world.  We also have limited impulse control which can make it tough  – and quite frustrating – when we aren’t able to get to something or someone whenever we want to,  or when we want to sniff and update our status at the nearest tree.

Think about it. Over time, with each and every on-leash adventure, when we’re not    allowed to do what we want when we want in a manner that we want, we become more and more frustrated! (Kind of like when you humans are stuck in traffic and can’t get to where you want to get to!) This frustration builds and builds, and gets to the point where the mere sight of another dog triggers this “attack” reaction. Chief now associates other dogs with frustration. So there’s your “why?”.

Pets Make Great Gifts! Your Pawliday Season Shopping Guide

Dear Inquisitive Dog Guardians,

The holiday season is a popular time of year for adopting pets — and cats and dogs are firmly at the top of the list. It’s also a time for giving. Combine the two and you end up with many folks finding companion animals on their hearth decked out in big fancy bows!

As a certified professional dog trainer, I’ve heard both happy and not-so-happy stories from folks who’ve been on the receiving end of a cute ball of fur. So to help ensure more stories that end on a happier note, while avoiding tales of woe, my trusty sidekick, Poncho, and I thought it would be a great time to send out gentle reminders to help you decide the best options for this life-changing decision.

Surprises can be delightful, especially if you’ve been able to play investigator, gathering enough data to conclude that your friend will for sure want a pet. If you’re in doubt, another possible way to go about it is to recruit one family member who agrees that a new pet is both what your friend wants and is logistically feasible.

Should You Give the Gift of a Furry or Feathered Friend? Take Our Quiz! Continue Reading “Pets Make Great Gifts! Your Pawliday Season Shopping Guide”