Did you know?
What is Leash Aggression?
posted September 12, 2019
What is Leash Aggression?

With the number of dogs coming into Scampers on any given morning, there are bound to be instances of Leash Aggression. This is a very common syndrome and we think it's important for all dog owners to be aware of it, of its root causes, and of possible training solutions for families who experience it, and the way we at Scampers work around it.

Like a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the leash-aggressive dog is calm, cool, and downright polite when walking among people or around dogs off-leash. But hook on a leash, and he lunges, barks, and snaps at the sight of another dog. Has this scenario reduced you to mapping out walks where you know you won’t run into other dogs?

Although leash-aggressive dogs rarely follow through with a bite, the experience is frightening and embarrassing enough to make their owners decide to limit or eliminate walks altogether. But that doesn’t have to be the case if you understand the causes and solutions for this type of behavior.

A combination of frustration and tension, leash aggression is a common problem. Many dogs that show these traits crave interaction with other dogs, but most have less-than-stellar canine social skills for creating a successful meet and greet. Much like a child who runs onto a playground and puts another child in a headlock as a way of saying, “Hey, let’s be friends!” a dog lacking social skills may lunge and bark at a passing dog instead of using subtle signs to signal their desire to form a relationship. When their owners witness this behavior they (understandably) pull their dogs away and avoid exposing them to social interactions with other canines. ...
Leash Aggression has several oft-used aliases: Leash Frustration, Leash Reactivity, and sometimes Barrier Frustration. The various terms can be confusing and misleading, but there is little if any difference between them. What's important is to recognize that the issue at the core is almost always the leash.

At Scampers, we recommend that owners become aware of this common phenomenon, and assist by keeping a bit of distance between all pooches as we are entering or leaving the building. While all of the dogs coming to our facility are coming to play, that play should only begin once each dog is no longer attached to Mom or Dad, just to err on the side of caution for everyone. And, when faced with an owner who is showing concern about proximity while they have their dog on leash, please provide as much space as you can to maintain safety for all concerned.

Thus, please don’t “double-up” in the lobby area, if someone is there with their dog, please wait until they have cleared that area before entering. Again, this is simply about the safety of all concerned.

So, now you know!
13040 Bel-Red Rd, Bellevue, WA 98004
    425-688-9100  |  F 425-688-0600
12532 NE 124th Street, Kirkland, WA 98034
425-821-9100  |  F 425-821-4685