Defensive Dog Handling

Animal welfare professionals who handle dogs safely and effectively reduce aggression and fear, ensuring that fewer bites occur. Learn how to use your own body language to defuse potential aggression in dogs. Attendees will learn how to effectively use common types of dog handling equipment found in a shelter setting.

Handling topics include:

  • How to hold and use a leash effectively when a dog is pulling or being shy or aggressive
  • Ways to use a leash safely and defensively, including using a noose leash correctly when a dog may be aggressive.

This free, 60-minute webinar is geared towards animal shelter staff/volunteers and veterinary staff. It is also useful for dog trainers, daycare owners and groomers.

If you are already a Certified Behavior Consultant-Canine (CBCC), you are eligible for 1 CEU credit from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) after you watch the recording in its entirety; to get your credit submitted to CCPDT, email your CCPDT number. We will submit CCPDT information once per month.

This webinar recording has been approved for 1 CEU by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants(IAABC). To receive credit after you watch the full live session, email us a request.

Top Tips From this Webinar

Proper Equipment Is Your Best Friend
A martingale collar gives you great control for SAFER™ assessments or walks, especially for escape artists or dogs with larger necks and smaller heads. You can special-order martingale collars with a clip, which are easier to put on excitable dogs, and have a quick release for safety. Buckle collars also work nicely for SAFER™ assessments, but need to be fitted correctly—some dogs have learned how to back out of them. View the webinar for a close look at which equipment to use and when.

...But Make Sure You PRACTICE First!
In the webinar, Loehr shows you how to make a leash into a temporary muzzle, and how to use a second leash to release a slip lead. It's very important to practice practice practice (try "leashing" your foot or a stuffed dog before working with live animals); this will ensure the animals' safety—and yours!

Make an Impromptu Back Tie
If a dog is becoming overexcited or if you simply need a break, you can back tie the dog to a solid object to get some distance. There are lots of ways to do this, including simply wrapping the leash around a tree or post. This would be a great technique to teach your volunteers!

Multiply Your Safety
Walking a dog who's potentially double trouble? Use two handlers, each holding one leash, to ensure more control.

Stop, Drop, and Roll
If a loose dog comes charging, remember these key actions to make you appear less threatening:

  • Stop all movement
  • Avert eye contact
  • Turn sideways
  • Cross or lower arms

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