Leash Aggression In Dogs – What Really Helps?

As soon as your dog sees a fellow dog or a person on your walk that doesn’t suit him and he goes completely nuts? I know how difficult this is.

You almost don’t dare to go out on the street anymore, you scan the area non-stop to always see everything in front of the dog. This is not only very uncomfortable for you, but also for those around you.

You have already taken the first step. You have identified the problem. Now it is imperative to work on a solution before the behavior becomes established and possibly even worse.

In the following article, you will find the causes of leash aggression in your dog and solutions that really help.

In a nutshell: Leash aggression in the Hun

Leash aggression in a dog means nothing other than that he behaves aggressively on the leash at the sight of conspecifics or people. Most of the time he behaves like a maniac, throws himself on the leash barking and screaming and is difficult to hold.

Most dogs that show leash aggression behave completely inconspicuously when they meet other dogs and people.

To manage your dog’s leash aggression, you need a mix of the solutions. You have to work on yourself and teach your dog to read.

What are the reasons for leash aggression?

There aren’t many reasons that lead to leash aggression. Rather, the problem is that leash aggression has become ritualized.

This means nothing other than that the dog no longer becomes aggressive on the leash for the original reason, but it is now simply its normal, stored behavior pattern. The behavior has strengthened.

The following reasons can trigger leash aggression.

Your dog is frustrated

Frustration is the number one cause of leash aggression. Back when your dog was a little puppy, he was probably allowed to run as he pleased. That is absolutely understandable, you want the little one to get to know everything, to be well socialized, and to meet everyone in a friendly manner.

The little puppies are often allowed to go to strangers who pay attention to them and pet them. Puppies are also left on a leash to strange dogs so that they can get to know other dogs.

Now the little puppy has grown and contacts are limited. Large dogs no longer find all people cute and want to pet them. Unfamiliar dogs react differently to small puppies.

That’s the problem now. Your dog has not learned to walk past other people and dogs without having contact with them.

And so a frustration slowly develops, which eventually discharges itself in the form of leash aggression.

Your dog is anxious or insecure

Dogs that are kept on a leash are restricted in their communication by the leash. Before engaging in an encounter, these dogs prefer to walk straight ahead for their own safety.

It could also be that your dog has had a bad experience on a leash. Many dogs then automatically generalize this to all dogs or humans.

My tip: read your dog, he will tell you the reason for the leash aggression
You can always tell your dog the reason for his leash aggression by looking at his body language. Learn as much as you can about dog body language. It is a very interesting topic and can be of great use to you in many areas.

What really helps against leash aggression?

The most important thing, but also the most difficult thing, is that you stay relaxed yourself. I know this is not easy. You have certainly experienced many appraising looks, possibly even derogatory comments. Learn to hide this. Your dog senses your insecurity, but needs security and sovereignty from you right now.

Remember that every problem needs an individual solution! I have put together a first aid solution for you here if your dog has leash aggression.

Be easygoing and cool

Your dog takes over your stress level. So be easy. When you get ready for the walk, don’t think about the problems, think about something nice. Outside, you don’t scan the entire environment as usual, but concentrate on one point in the distance and take deep breaths.

This changes your posture and your energy. This is transferred 1:1 to your dog. Smile while doing it. Even if this sounds stupid now, but smiling relaxes countless muscles.

Leave problems behind

You know when your dog freaks out on the leash. In the early stages of training, try to avoid confrontation by walking out of their way. Sometimes a large arc is enough. If there is no other way, go back the same way.

Don’t give your dog another chance to fall into the learned behavior pattern.

Teach your dog an alternative behavior

Your dog loves his ball? Or his favorite treat? Then you already have good prerequisites.

If you find yourself in a situation where you know: he’s about to freak out, it’s very important to read your dog. Your dog is allowed to look at the person opposite.

Give your dog the command “Look.” If he does not know this, build this up before training. As soon as your dog looks at you, you give him the highest praise. You’re allowed to overdo it. Your dog needs to know what a super great job he has done!

Then you lead him out of the situation.

You repeat this as often as possible. Over time you will notice that your dog’s individual distance from the trigger will decrease.

Tip: Precisely confirm with the clicker

Do you know clicker training? With the clicker it is possible for you to confirm an action with pinpoint accuracy. The “look” can be built up very well with the help of the clicker.

During the entire training you have to make sure that the dog does not get into a situation where he becomes aggressive on the leash again. Otherwise, you have to take a step back.

Which is better with a linen rambo: collar or harness?

Behavior change training does not happen overnight. That’s why it makes sense to invest in the right equipment.

Wearing a harness is recommended for dogs with leash aggression.

Jumping on the leash with a collar can be harmful to your dog’s health in the long run.

If you walk your dog on a leash, I recommend my post about: Dog biting the leash?

Does a leash aggressive dog need a muzzle?

If you know that your dog likes to pounce on other dogs, wearing a muzzle is recommended. Make sure that you get advice on the muzzle in a specialist shop and build up wearing it positively.

Because your dog wears a muzzle, you too become more relaxed. You now know for sure that nothing serious can happen. This calmness is then transferred to your dog.


A dog with leash aggression is not only a very stressful situation for the dog, but also for you.

Every dog is individual. But if you develop an in-depth knowledge of your dog’s body language, give yourself enough time for intense training, and don’t lose heart, leash aggression is solvable.

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