Dog Lunging on a Leash: Why and How To Manage Them

If you're a dog owner, you have likely experienced the frustration of your pup lunging on their leash during walks. In either instance, those moments can leave us feeling helpless and unsure of what to do next. 

Read more to understand why it happens and what you can do to manage and improve this behavior while on walks and create more enjoyable experiences together. 

What is Dog Lunging?

Dog lunging is a behavior that can be frustrating for both the owner and the dog. If your dog lunges at people or other dogs while on a leash, it can cause harm to both you and your dog. 

Lunging is when your dog pulls against the leash and attempts to jump toward something. When they lunge, they may bark, growl or make other noises. This behavior is often seen when owners walk their dogs in public areas like parks or sidewalks. They might be classified as 'leash reactive' by dog pros. If you have ever been approached by a dog lunging at you while on a walk, you know how terrifying it can be.

Why Dogs Lunge?

Dogs may lunge for a variety of reasons. It could be due to fear or aggression, or excitement. Have a look at each of these common reasons.


When dog owners often think their dog is aggressive, they don't realize that aggression has nothing to do with being mean or wanting to hurt someone. It means your dog feels threatened by something, so he feels like he has no choice but to attack to protect himself from harm. Aside from that, there are still a few reasons why dogs sometimes get aggressive. 


If your dog is lunging because he's scared, you'll usually see him looking at something with wide eyes and flared nostrils. He may even bark, whine, and pull on his leash to escape whatever scares him.


Dogs excited about something often pull on their leashes as they dash toward their destination — a person, another animal, or a squirrel up a tree! That excitement can also cause them to lunge at other dogs who run up to them during walks.

Managing Dog Lunging

When managing dog lunging, the most important thing is to stay calm and consistent. Please don't yell at your dog or pull on their leash too hard when they start lunging, as this can make things worse by firing up their aggression. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques like rewarding them with treats when they listen to you.

Using the correct gear for walking, like the Buddy System Lunge Buster Shock Absorber, will help with lunging. It absorbs the shock from sudden stops and pulling, making your walks more manageable.

Final Thoughts

Lunging is common among dogs but can be managed with patience, consistency, and the right accessory. With time, your dog will learn to control their lunging behavior.

Remember to consult with an experienced trainer or behaviorist if the behavior continues.