One important reason why your dog shouldn’t pull on the lead

It can cause or aggravate aggression/reactivity

I know from experience that aggressive interactions between dogs on lead can be because dogs are pulling hard into a harness.

It changes the body language of your dog, it makes them look more aggressive to the other dog; their movements aren’t free and relaxed, and their chest is puffed out, staring towards the dog wide-eyed and panting.

So if they are pulling hard into a harness or collar, it can be perceived as aggressive/confrontational from another dogs viewpoint in front of your dog. Especially if you have a large chunk of a dog with a broad chest.

Many dogs greeting on lead and have issues they wouldn’t have off the lead because they just aren’t relaxed.

Dog reactive dogs are more likely to be reactive because pulling increases arousal when you want your dog to be in a zen-like calm state when they spot another dog.

Polite dogs approach calmly in a crescent shape, they may avoid eye contact or do a polite head turn to communicate they aren’t a threat – this is a naturally polite way to greet another dog. Dogs pulling on lead towards another dog or rushing in dragging you behind them is not  polite to the other dog; approaching head on, eyeball to eyeball straining to get to them.

Feed on the way past to avoid an on lead greeting.

During a greeting if the lead suddenly gets tight, it can trigger an aggressive reaction in your dog so relax that lead if your dog is having a nice meet and greet with another dog.

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