Fixing lunging and pulling on leash starts with the relationship between the dog and the handler. It has a lot to do with state of mind, sense of security, comfort in leadership from the parental figure, and consistent expectations from clear communication.
Dogs react on leash for several reasons and in this video, one of Mills’ primary problems is over-arousal and not having a good sense of what to do with all of that energy. Some of this can be tackled simply in fine-tuning an enrichment and activity schedule that will better challenge Mills’ brain and body. The rest of the work comes in with relationship building followed by systematic desensitization to the things that set him off.
Desensitization is a gradual process that involves slowly working them closer to their threshold, (the point to which the external stimulus is too great to focus on anything else – often fight, flight, or freeze has kicked in) WITHOUT going over it. The more you work closer to it while the dog can gradually assimilate to his/her environment, the further and further away that threshold gets and the less likely the dog is to react.
Having neighbors that are willing to help with training like Greg’s are super helpful in helping to desensitize a dog to their hyper-reaction while on leash.