The On-Lead Rule


Any owner of a reactive dog will know the feeling well, of seeing a loose dog running towards you and hearing the owner shout ‘he’s friendly!’  That feeling of panic and dread because your dog isn’t and you’re trying desperately to keep them away from this approaching ‘friend’.

It can be very stressful and frustrating for reactive dog owners but if you’ve only ever owned easy-going, friendly dogs then you may not have had reason to stop and think about the consequences of allowing your dog to run freely up to others.

My dog was himself run up to by a so-called ‘friendly dog’ which resulted in him spending a night at the vets.

As a general rule if you see a dog on lead, you should put your own dog on lead too.  There are many reasons a dog may be walking on lead.  Yes, they might be perfectly friendly and just have poor recall.  But it could be that they are anxious, not friendly or even that they are elderly or recovering from an operation so can’t have a dog coming up and trying to play.

There are risks to both the reactive dog and the friendly dog in these scenarios.  If your dog is off lead, running up to a reactive dog, it could be your dog that comes away with an injury.  Putting them on lead is for their safety too.

Recall is also really important.  You need to be able to reliably recall your dog to you in order to get them on lead and you need to be able to be sure that you can prevent them from running over at sight of another dog.

So often I hear people say their dog has good recall – until they see another dog!  It is really important that your dog recalls to you regardless of what else may be around.

We can help with recall training – click HERE for details of our training.

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