Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leash Not-So-Niceness

We're still struggling with Pappy and leash aggression (earlier post). I came across this article, which is a pitch-perfect description of our situation-- pulling and lunging towards the other dog... barking and growling... my excuses that Pappy is friendly. The worst part is that I have been losing my patience and feeling a lot less kindly towards our pup during these incidents.

Yesterday we got a Gentle Leader, having heard it can help with training. As long as we've had Pappy, we've used an Easy Walk harness from the same manufacturer, but it was never markedly effective at preventing his pulling or lunging-- generally he's good on the leash away from other dogs, so switching hadn't been a big priority.

He fussed and bridled a bit after we first tried the Gentle Leader, but from there it's been very encouraging. Already good on the leash, he doesn't pull at all with the new collar. We ran into Taz, barky miniature Schnauzer, on the trail. Pappy wasn't barking-- but mostly because he started struggling with the collar rather than fixating on the dog, so it was kind of a mixed victory. I wouldn't call him "trained" or "desensitized" yet, but it gave me hope that I can draw his focus away from the other dog and start that process.

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