Neither McKinley nor Sam suffer from leash aggression. She’s walked loose lead for years. He’s learning to walk loose lead almost all the time and when he sees something – oooh, look, a birdie! A statue! A human! he’s easy to refocus.
We were at PetCo this morning getting “indestructible” (maniacal laughter – Sam will see about that!) toys and there were quite a few dogs there. One was a medium size mixed breed a little bigger than Sam who was slamming his leash and desperately trying to get over to my guys as if he wanted to play – at least that’s what his Mom thought. I warned her that her dog was going to erupt because of his body language. “Oh, no, he’s very friendly,” she said. Uh-huh.
Sam was cautiously optimistic, WLD moved back behind Sam because she’s no fool, and the other dog went haywire. Sam, being Mr. Cool, moved his head to one side to avoid the snarling, snapping and lunging critter, stepped slightly to one side, and then looked at the other dog like: What? What’s wrong with you? Get up on the wrong side of the dog bed, did we? Sheesh!
So few people really understand dog body language. A wagging tail does not mean the same thing all the time – there are different types of wags and some, when combined with other body language, talk about potential attack. I wish there was a class to send dog body language illiterate owners to.
The other dog Mom jerked on her dog’s leash/harness while ignoring his raving, then complimented Sam and WLD for being so very well behaved and totally non-reactive to her (still growling) dog. They were like: Whatever… I said: “They have a good trainer here who can help him with that leash aggression problem.”
Sam got to decide on a toy while the other dog was dragged out in disgrace. Because that dog Mom doesn’t understand immediate positive or negative reinforcement. Chewing the dog out for five minutes after the event is over isn’t going to do a thing.
We got three toys that are “indestructible.” We’ll see how many days they last. One is supposed to be made out of fire hose material.