Why does my dog gets nasty with others when she is on a lead? She’s ok when she’s off the lead... how can I rectify this?

Q: My lurcher gets nasty with other dogs if she is on the lead and they come close. She is fine when running loose, though she isn’t particularly friendly with non-lurchers. Why is this?

JACKIE DRAKEFORD replies: When she is on a lead, she is restricted to a small area and forced into being close to the other dog, whether she wants to be or not. Therefore, she is anxious, and tries to drive the other dog out of her space.

It’s up to you to help her feel safe, which simply means stepping between her and the approaching dog by using your body as a barrier so that it can’t reach her. Do this before any antagonism kicks off.

Once she can rely on you to keep her safe, she will relax and be more mellow around other dogs. Lurchers tend to prefer the company of other running dogs, as they can read them more easily.