Raising Your Paws - Your Pet Parent Resource

What Is Leash Reactivity? (Blog #70)

Published: 06/30/2020
dogs biting and pulling on leashes

Dogs can act differently towards other animals and/or people when they are attached to a leash or restrained in some way.  Does your dog, who normally and peacefully greets other dogs running free at the dog park, start barking and jumping and lunging aggressively at other dogs when they are attached to a leash? This may be leash reactivity. It shows up in different ways as well. I never knew that at times, when Rosy grabs the leash in her mouth and starts pulling, that can also be a form of reactivity. Rosy ususally does this when she wants to get free and play with a dog and I’m not letting her do so. At that time, she is expressing frustration.

In this week’s episode of the podcast, that you can listen to below, dog trainer, Emily Stoddard, owner of Canine Dog Sports Training, explains what leash reactivity is, the different ways it might exhibit itself and what to do to help your dog.

Now, lets do some feline behavior fun facts.

The Cat Roll Over.

The question is, if my cat does not want me to pet it’s tummy when it flops on its back in front of me,  (if you do, your hand will get bit and scratched) why then does the cat roll over in the first place?

It is a friendly signal, called a social roll, and your cat is letting you know it feels safe with you and trusts you.  Since kittens do the roll with their siblings to say they want to play, when your kitty shows you its stomach it’s their way of telling you they want to interact. Of course, as humans our first impluse it to  reach out and touch that cute furry belly. Dont – you’ll trigger your cats defense mechanism which is why your wrist will be grabbed, batted and bit. Instead, start a play session or if your cat likes to be picked up, do that.  Just no, belly rubs.

The Cat Nose Rub.

When we greet another person we know and love, often we will kiss them hello. Do cats kiss? Not, the same way. When cats greet other ones they are fond of, they rub noses. And your cat may want to show their affection to you, in this way. Has a cat ever tried to touch noses with you?

My cat Willie would jump up on the couch to get next to people he liked that had just sat down. Then, he’d walk on their lap, stand up on his hind legs to get closer to their face and bump his nose to the persons face. When my cat Willie did this with me, besides expressing affection, he was also transfering his scent on me this way. Felines recognize their family, friends and territory by the way it all smells and its comforting and familiar when it all smells the same.

Regarding that, after a gentle nose rub, two cats may do the same thing that dogs do, and take turns sniffing each other’s rear ends.  Just like for dogs, this is the way they obtain information about each other.  Fortunately, after getting our nose rub kiss, cats do not expect to do the mutual real end sniff with us.