By Dr. Becker
A recent study conducted by scientists at a Czech university revealed some interesting findings about what
factors shape dog behavior on walks.
What the research set out to explore, according to lead researcher Petr Rezac, an associate professor in the
Department of Animal Morphology, Physiology and Genetics at Mendel University, was whether dogs behave differently
with one another depending on who is at the other end of the leash.
According to Inga Fricke of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), dog-to-dog aggression among leashed pets is
probably the result of frustration. Dogs have innate greeting behaviors they can't express when on a
Given the option, dogs will run around each other when they first meet. Per Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel
"They can't do this run-around behavior when on a leash and they likely feel more threatened. They are also
more inclined to resource guard, with the owner being the resource. It's as though they are communicating, 'He is
my owner. I don't want you to have him because he feeds and cares for me.'"
Many pet owners find their dog is actually better behaved off leash than leashed.
The same is often true for dogs that are crated or behind a fence. Confined, they demonstrate aggressive
behaviors like barking or growling that they don't exhibit when able to move around freely.
Being confined or leashed and therefore unable to fight or take flight if necessary very likely
feels threatening to some dogs, resulting in aggression. Many animals, including humans, become fearful and
hostile when they feel they aren't able to make decisions for themselves.
It may not be obvious, but your dog is picking up on your mood and energy whenever you're together. Dogs
also tend to mirror the behaviors of their owners.
So if while walking your pet you feel distrustful or wary of other owners and their dogs, your canine companion
will pick up on that energy and become hyper alert and 'on guard' as well.
Some men are more likely than women to remain aloof and avoid eye contact with other dog walkers.
Women are more apt to smile, nod or say hello, and generate friendly, non-threatening energy
toward oncoming humans and their dogs. Their dogs, in turn, don't learn to view approaching dogs as a potential
threat. Women who do perceive other dog walkers and their pets as potentially dangerous generally have a
fear-avoidance response. This energy has the potential to create the same fear-avoidance response in an otherwise
calm, well-adjusted dog.
No matter your gender, if your walks with your favorite furry friend aren't pleasant, it's a good idea to check
your own emotions – conscious and unconscious – and take note of what kind of energy you're transmitting to your
Don't walk your dog when you're feeling anxious or angry. Make a conscious effort to view
fellow dog walkers as friends vs. foes, and make it a practice to smile or exchange a few friendly words with
passersby whenever you're out with your pet.
If you encounter a dog behaving in a threatening or unpredictable manner ... be relaxed
and take calm, firm control of your dog so he knows he can depend on you to control the situation.
Ignore the other dog while making your way past him, and consciously return to a calm, relaxed state of
Remember, it's all in your energy!
Please help us help the animals .. Donations
When you purchases a Whistle Tracker from our link
you receive $15 off the purchase price
of $80. Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue also gets a nice donation each time. I bought one for my dog and I LOVE
it. I always know where he is no matter where I am. Wish I had one for my husband! Check it out!