Filtering by Category: Leash Walking
Leash Pulling has traditionally been "corrected" with sharp jerks of a leash connected to a choke chain. A leash correction can be very dangerous to your dog. There is a high risk of permanent tracheal collapse and spinal and nerve damage in the neck. They are painful to the dog. So why are we still using them? Why would humans want to hurt the dogs they love?
I offer as an alternative, patience. Breathe and count to ten or until the moment of leash pulling frustration passes. In moments of our arousal and tension, we need clear thinking to be in a problem solving mode. Here are some questions that you might as yourself:
What does the dog want when they pull or lunge and why do they do it?
What do you want the dog to do instead?
Are you letting the dog choose the speed and direction on a walk and then getting angry with them for their choices?
If dogs do what serves them, how do we reinforce the leash walking behaviors we want from the dog?
What in the environment is not helping solve the pulling problem?
What can the human do to change the dog’s state or keep them interested in us during a walk?
"Make sure the dog has had some exercise prior to a walk ....walks tend to take a lot of impulse control for dogs and are not as much about exercise as we think. "
“Another thing that works is to connect a very lightweight choke chain between the collar and the leash. When the dog puts the chain in their mouth, it doesn’t feel good and they usually drop it on their own.”
"Practice Leave It and Givein the front yard with the dog's leash on when you are not going anywhere. This training exercise is about the leash issue, not about walking. When you do go for a walk, give her something to carry and if she drops it and grabs and starts going for the leash, say, LEAVE IT. "
"The consequence of the dog trying to get you to play tug with the leash is much too rewarding. She grabs it and you try to pull it out of her mouth. If you stop tugging, she'll have no reason to repeat this behavior. She's probably really smart and really bored by leash walking. Put a long line (at least 10 feet)on your dog and their leash. Start to walk. When the dog grabs the leash in her mouth, drop it immediately and keep walking. Remember, you are also holding a long line. The dog isn't going anywhere. Repeat this exercise at least a couple of times a day for a few days. If she's a young dog, she will probably grow out of this behavior. "
"I find that waiting, marking and rewarding for releasing the lead and not being in a hurry works every time."
"I have had dogs do this in response to a tight leash. They grabbed the leash to release the pressure on the collar."
"My own dog did this like crazy when she was a puppy so I gave her her own leash to carry. Worked like a charm- and she grew out of it when she was about 9 months old. "
"Is she anxious? Does she not want to be on the end of the lead? Is she trying to dictate the direction of the walk? Is she over-aroused? If in class, is it all too much for her?"
Leash Pulling is the number one complaint from most dog owners. What are we doing wrong? Why is leash walking the hardest thing to train?
Most dog owners think the it's the dog's responsibility to read their mind, to know when the rules apply and when they don't. In other words, to make judgment calls. Imagine how surprised Bailey is when the owner snarls at him and jerks on his leash when he pulls her over to meet a new dog . He's been pulling her from bush to bush for the past 4 minutes. Why have the rules changed?
The rules of leash walking can't keep changing from one moment to the next. There's never a time when the rules don't apply.
Walk dog with your relationship, not with your leash. There is no need to use physical punishment of any kind to teach your dog to be your walking partner.
Be engaging. Be fun. Be a good walking partner.
Know what your dog enjoys on a walk and then give only allow the dog to do these things when you've given them permission. This way your dog doesn't have to guess whether it's okay to pull you over to the neighbor to say "hi".
Before you take your dog to his favorite spot to sniff and explore, ask for one polite skill so you can use that sniffing activity as a reward. Say his name in a fun tone and when he looks at you, reward with a minute or so of smells or pee-mail.
Do these things often enough so that the dog sees you as a part of the walking experience instead of an impediment.