Although not common, a fear of leash can occur in some dogs. In fact, for them, this thing is far from representing the idea of a walk or a pleasant moment. Seen as negative for many reasons, it does trigger real fear in some dogs, even if you’ve taken the time to choose the right leash. How do we explain this fear of the steering wheel? What can be done to fix it? Our answers are in this file.
My dog is afraid of the leash: how do we explain it?
Fear of the leash remains a rare phenomenon in dogs, because seeing it usually means it’s time to go out for a walk. So it is associated with a fun and joyful event that the dog is about to experience with pleasure.
However, some dogs show a fear of this supplement. This reaction is generally explained by the fact that these dogs have been negatively associated with them.
Thus the fear of being driven can be explained by various reasons and it is important to identify the person concerned in order to provide an appropriate response. Here are the most common explanations.
- lack of habit : The dog is not used to a leash, especially because it basically walks without getting stuck. It is common for an animal to fear what it does not know, it is a protective reaction after all.
- limited use : The leash is rarely used and can be reserved for some unpleasant events such as a visit to the vet. As a result, the animal associates the leash with the practitioner and the dog feels nervous as soon as they see it.
- shock : The dog retains trauma from an incident when he was on a leash.
- Maltreatment : The dog may have been chained abused by a previous owner, for example, or punished by chaining in this way.
In any case, it is necessary to understand the origin of this fear, because it will be the only way to provide an appropriate response that will help the animal accept the leash.
What do you do when your dog is afraid of the leash?
It is possible to accompany the animal to make it lose its fear of the leash, even if this process is far from easy. It is important to clearly identify the cause of this disorder in order to develop an appropriate response to his fear.
Here are some tips for doing that.
Tip #1: Develop your relationship and complicity
To feel reassured by the sight of a leash, your dog needs to have complete confidence in you, his master. And thus he will understand better that what you give him cannot hurt him, hurt him or anything else negative.
So you should take care to strengthen your relationship, to impose yourself as a reference and protector for your little companion who ensures his comfort and safety. To do this, make time for it, let it practice well, be consistent in your teachings, etc.
Remember, too, that even if this fear seems silly to you, it has meaning for your dog. It can result from trauma, poor habituation, or improper use of the object. Either way, you should never yell at your dog or get annoyed when he refuses to wear it. You will only reinforce his behavior, because your attitude may seem inconsistent to him as much as he assumes that you are the one who takes care of him and reassures him. Be patient, understanding, and kind. If your animal is afraid, never insist and try again later, on other occasions or change your style.
Finally, it should also be emphasized that you should not try to overly reassure the dog by petting or other things when he sees a leash. For him, if you reassure him, there is a reason for this, so your gesture means that the leash is a threat. The less you value him by behaving naturally on a leash, the better you will help your pet accept him.
Tip #2: Attach the leash to positive events
It is important for your pet to associate the leash with something positive to better accept it. If he fears her a lot, at first, take her hand and hold her close to you when you play with him, when you pet him or when you take him out. As the days go by, clamp him around his neck and continue with activities he enjoys, such as playing. Feel free to give him a reward once he accepts the fact that you associate him with him.
You can also try letting the leash hang around your dog when he eats. This can help de-dramatize her presence. However, if you notice that your dog is uncomfortable or if this disturbs his meal, stay away from him and wait for other opportunities so as not to force him to eat under pressure.
Tip #3: Unplug the leash for walking
It is also important that your dog does not necessarily associate the fact that you are taking the leash off with the fact that you will be tying it around his neck. If he’s scared, he’ll be hesitant and anxious as soon as he sees you with his leash in hand, or even just getting close to the thing.
So it is better not to put it on it systematically. Take a leash, but only tie it on certain outings. Other times, take out the leash and hold it in your hand while walking without tying it to break the ritual that is likely to scare him. And so, once he sees you with the leash in his hand, he’ll calm down because that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll tie him around his neck.
Tip #4: Pair the leash with candy
If your little friend remains somewhat hesitant, try tying a leash to him when you give him treats. Thus he will associate the thing with a pleasant reward, which will help him to accept it better. On the other hand, if he backs off, don’t insist.
Tip #5: Prefer the belt
If attaching a leash to your dog’s neck bothers or frightens him, equip him with a harness instead and attach the leash to it. The animal will see the object of its fear less, which will facilitate its gain confidence and acceptance. In fact, dogs that have been particularly abused tend to tolerate buckling up better.
Tip #6: Short-Term Attachment
Once you can attach the leash to your dog’s neck and let himself go, avoid long walks. It’s best not to rush things and quickly separate them after just a few minutes. Take the opportunity to play a mini-game or offer him treats while he’s attached to him so that he associates the thing with a positive event, and then loosen it. Over time, you can extend the bonding time, but don’t skip steps to avoid sudden undoing.
Wait until your dog stops reacting to having the leash around his neck to take longer walks.