Let me tell you how frustrated I get every time I hear the words “he’s friendly” being shouted at me while a dog pulls his human towards me and my dog. Truth be told, this type of thing isn’t my style. I’m not one to complain, but folks who are still allowing their dogs to socialise on-leash with other dogs who might not be inherently friendly are creating a much large problem for dogdom. Am I embellishing? Maybe a little. I’m also very close to this and have worked hundreds of dogs who have come to the realisation that they have to act like Cujo in order to get some space on a walk.
On-leash is no time to meet other dogs. We need to learn to continue to walk and allow socialising and greets to happen when humans don’t or can’t get in the way. You would be surprised how many “dog aggression” cases I have that get thrown out the window as soon as leashes get removed.
Dogs learn quickly that the only way to avoid the social pressure being put on them by their humans is to create a huge aggressive fuss to make sure on-leash greetings don’t occur.
Then it becomes a habit and you’ve got a whole new problem on your hands.
On-leash isn’t the time to socialise. Socialisation should be done off leash without human interference as much as possible. Organise a playdate with local neighbours, buy long leashes and hang out in parks so your dog can have the full length of the line or, as much as I hate this, go to dog parks. As much as I detest dog parks, I would rather you hang out there than have your dog meeting other dogs on leash.
Why I don’t walk my dogs on sidewalks (blog that I mentioned)