Reactive Rover

Dream Dog Awakening
By Nancy Tysinger, August 2012

I wish there were more articles and stories like this one. I have a Boxer mix who, at about two years old (she’s just turned three) became leash reactive, or leash aggressive. We got her as a rescue at eight weeks and took her everywhere, doing everything we thought we should to socialize and train her. But the leash reactiveness happened anyway. Twice a week, she goes to doggie day care, where they say she is a complete angel; they love her to death and she’s never had a problem playing with the other dogs. We go to off-leash places (the dog park, the beach) where she plays like there are no issues whatsoever. But if she’s on a leash, she turns into Cujo, just like Saville’s dog. We don’t go for walks very often, which I miss. When we do, I’m armed with treats and patience. We don’t go to dog-friendly events where dogs have to be leashed, which I also miss. We attended a “Reactive Rover” class put on by our local humane society, and it gave us some great “homework,” which I practice as often as possible. It’s still hard to be walking my dog and encounter someone who does not understand the situation and acts as if I should not be out with my dog.

Thank you again for this article. As I said, I wish there were more, if for no other reason than to reassure myself that I am not alone, and that I am doing everything I possibly can for my sweet pea on the end of the leash.