I’m a linear thinker so I to go step by step in diagnosing and solving behavior problems.
Let’s apply that to leash reactivity.
Let’s think- What causes the reactivity?
It’s typically anxiety combined with a lack of leadership.
When a dog is feeling anxious what do they do?
They look around at everything else to make sure they stay safe from possible ‘threats’.
So what is the anxious dog lacking?
Focus on the handler.
If we know that lack of focus is the problem, how can we get that focus back?
There’s a lot of ways. The most efficient is using a combo of application of pressure and release of pressure.
If we understand that pressure/release is the most efficient for communication, how do we apply that to building focus?
When the dog is lacking focus we apply light pressure. Pressure acts as something that confuses. Something that confuses leads to a dog that wants to solve the confusion.
In attempting to solve that confusion the dog looks to the handler.
As the dog looks at the handler the pressure goes away. This is repeated over and over.
With repetition the dog learns that the most comfortable and happy he can feel is by paying attention.
When the dog understands that we start applying it to moments when the dog wants to be reactive or aggressive.
But it all starts here.
In this moment away from distraction where we teach the dog an incredibly important life lesson about how to focus.