5. Always Use the Same Leash
People who use retractable or flexi leashes are setting their dogs up for failure.
The dog should know exactly how much space he has to wander before he pulls you.
So, I don’t care if you have 4 or 6 foot leashes and like to exchange them with the seasons, but please be consistent with the length of the leash.
I prefer 6 foot leashes for beginner dogs.
The dog will learn that he has 5 and a half feet of space before he begins to pull.
Yes, dogs are smart enough to figure this out!
4. Don’t Let Him/Her Pull
Bad habits form quickly!
Don’t get in the habit of letting your dog pull you.
I don’t care how badly my dog wants his walk, or wants to sniff the fire hydrant, or even needs to pee (I know that one sounds kind of mean), he doesn’t need to pull me to accomplish any of these things! If you allow him to pull you sometimes, but not others, it is confusing for the dog. Make it a habit of yours to not allow this behavior to start.
I assure you, it is a lot easier to never let this begin, then to try and change it later.
3. Change Your Direction/Statue
If your dog isn’t paying attention to you, or seems distracted by what is in front of him, change your direction. I lock my arm and hand, to keep it from pulling and jarring, and I simply go the other way.Yes, the dog corrects himself (another reason I lock my arm and hand, so it doesn’t get pulled).I tell my clients that I almost want my dog to think I am confused lol. If he never knows which way I might turn, he learns to keep an eye on me!
And, YES he can keep an eye on you while sniffing and enjoying himself!
Become a statue if change of direction isn't working. Begin taking steps and each time you feel a pull stop and freeze. This lets your dog know that was not acceptable. This will take some time and you may stop after each two steps but its worth it. Get his attention by looking at you and say Let's Go.
2. Keep the Leash in your Right Hand
You are more likely to pull and strangle your dog if your dog is on the left side and your leash is in your left hand. It is nearly impossible to strangle your dog with your leash in your right hand and the dog on your left side.The dog has a large amount of room to make a mistake, but you can correct that by changing your direction. Don’t get into the habit of pulling on your dog, because he will get in the habit of pulling back against you!
1. Reward Good Behavior
If your dog looks at you, or pays attention to you at all, REWARD HIM! We want our dogs to pay attention to us, yet we rarely praise or treat them for this attention.
Let him know when he does something you like.
Give him a treat
Or, pull out his toy and play a game with him. Encourage your dog to pay attention to you and check in with you. If he is paying attention to you, he isn’t paying attention to everything else around him. Let me say that again.
IF HE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU, HE ISN’T PAYING ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING ELSE AROUND HIM!!!
That is a great thing.I don’t mind my dog "being a dog” and sniffing and enjoying herself, but she is never allowed to pull me. AND, I recognize and reward generously when she chooses to be near me and give me her attention!
I hope these few tricks can help you and your pup to have harmony in walking. This is a very rewarding time for both handler and dog. The bonding during a great calm walk is priceless. If in need of some one on one assistance with training please give me a call.