This article is for all you canines out there and people whose walks would be so much more enjoyable if the leash wasn’t as tight as a bowstring. Let’s fix that, okay? I’ll teach you how to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash. For starters, you’ll see I say walk on a loose leash, or walk on a leash politely, not follow. Leaning is formalized competitive training, with the dog near the handler’s left leg and intently turned toward his. Not suitable for an hour walk in the afternoon – for first timers, if you are the dog, by no means allowing it to sniff defeats the intention of the walk. For a pleasant walk from your side, all you really need is for the leash to remain slack and for your pup to treat you enough to turn with you and stop once you do. For me, walking with my little dog is like holding hands. The problem is, walking on a loose leash can be the most difficult behavior for you to train and for most canines to master.
Items that help make the loose leash difficult to walk on.
To begin with, it is abnormal. When was the last time she noticed some off-leash dogs walking parallel to each other, in a straight line, for more than two feet? Our species doesn’t actually move in exactly the same way. Human beings walk; Healthy, lively dogs that are not exhausted are more willing to trot. The agendas of humans and dogs also diverge. We need to go from one place to another and probably receive some training; they just want to run after the squirrels and sniff out the fire hydrants.
Random and variable reinforcement.
Another factor has a specialized name: randomly adjustable boost. It means this. By the time a behavior works sometimes, and you can’t predict exactly when, you’ll try it over and over and over and over again. And it won’t stop trying for a long time even after it stops working. For you and your pet dog, this means that when you allow yourself to be pulled to another dog or to an interesting spot to urinate, you’ve built a little more staying power into your pulling efforts.
The canines reflexively oppose the restriction.
Like many animals, pups reflexively oppose the restraint. Common sense implies that if you live in the wild, this is a great way to increase your chances of successfully reproducing. So once the leash tightens and the collar presses against the dog’s neck, his organic inclination is to pull harder. That may well be one cause of the unfortunate sight of a pup pulling with all his might against a choke collar, coughing all the while.
The right way to teach even more efficiently.
It is possible that at this moment you are thinking that all is lost. Not really! Here’s how to become a better teacher for your dog. When you start teaching leash walking politely, do it. Pulling no longer takes your dog where he ever wants to go. Rather, use what you would like to reward him for doing what he needs to. Be aware of how unnatural it is to politely walk on a leash, stay calm and be friendly. If your pup takes a parallel step with you, say yes to tag his good deed and offer him a treat. One more step, one more yes! and treat My dog earned his breakfast for the first few months of his life by being off-leash for increasingly longer periods of time on walks. Permission to go sniff objects your dog is interested in is also a wonderful reward, so use it often. And change up your jogging speed and also your pet from time to time as a compliment for continuing to keep that leash loose.
Tips on how to enforce sanctions.
Here is a fantastic exercise. Create a goal for your pup, it could be a cookie on the floor or a person who likes it. With your pup on a leash, take a step towards your goal. The moment he/she steps forward and tightens the leash, say ‘Oops!’ and proceed back to the initial stage. Repeat, repeat, repeat, imposing penalty yards each time your dog pulls hard on the leash. I pointed out that you would need persistence, right? Help your dog succeed by giving him treats while he keeps the leash loose on the way to the goal.
Some trainers recommend stopping dead whenever the leash gets too small, and just staying here until the dog returns to his spot. I have not found this to be powerful. Although the pet dog is no longer moving forward, his pulling has still brought him closer to whatever he was pulling. Several dogs stand at the end of the restricted leash, puffing and looking very content. The penalty yards technique works considerably better, as it imposes a cost by moving the pet away from its target.
Equipment and Exercise.
The right equipment can certainly help reduce pulling, so your dog gives you more tendencies to reward. And a small or frail person walking a large and effective little dog may require some physical influence. My first choice in such cases is one of the innovative front clip harnesses. Two brands are Sense-ation, available on the web, and EasyWalk. I will hardly ever recommend a head collar that includes the Halti or the Gentle Leader. Several canines find head collars very distressing; if you need one, talk to a trainer about how you can get your pet used to using it. In any other case, the best option is a simple buckle collar. A pet dog with a thick neck and rather thin head can easily wear a Greyhound collar, also called a martingale.
Have your dog do aerobic exercise before each lesson.
An exhausted pet will find it less difficult to walk at your speed and control you. So if you can get your pooch to do aerobic exercise right before each lesson, do it. That bitter laugh you hear comes from all of us city dwellers who can’t!
Pay attention to your pet’s dogs while walking them.
It saddens me how many citizens take little or no interest in their pups when they are walked. Walks are a highlight of many dogs’ lives. Walk with your dog. You’ll both appreciate having more to clip on to than just the leash.