Q. Ashley, Every time I take my dog on a walk and she sees another dog she goes completely nuts. It’s the same thing when she is in our fenced yard and someone walks by she acts like she is going to kill the person. How do I stop this?
A. Let’s start with the leash walking. The quick answer is that your dog needs to respect your command of “heel” more than follow the desire to show fear-aggression to the other dog. It may not be fear that makes your dog do this, but that seems to be the case in most pet dogs. Your dog through repetition has been conditioned to exhibit this behavior.
I would go to an area where you know there will be other dogs present-at a distance- and work on your obedience. Keep it simple. Use food and toys to engage with your dog. If your dog looks at another dog and stays calm “mark” that and pay with food, not praise, FOOD!
Q. Should I Alpha Roll My Dog Into Submission?
A. No! Alpha rolling your dog is old school and as we learn more about dogs we know that is not a proper teaching tool. It is a good way to get bit by your own dog and it has nothing to do with dominance. By the time you roll the dog to correct the behavior it has already mentally moved on to other things so it cannot link the correction to the “roll”. When you roll a dog you are taking it out of it’s normal reality and you are literally making the dog fear for it’s life. So whatever “lesson” you wanted to teach it will be lost in the total panic you are causing. That’s not to say that corrections are bad however, but you have to know the proper humane way to administer a correction so the dog is not confused or stressed.
Michael Ellis has this great explanation on alpha rolls.
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