Filtering by Tag: leash pulling
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?
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.