About the author: Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA, is a force-free professional dog trainer enjoying her mountain-filled life in Colorado. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She takes her highly trained dogs with them everywhere dogs are welcome because of their exceptionally good manners. Join Annie on her dog-training Facebook page.
If your pup lunges: If your dog is going after something while on a walk — another dog, a car, a skateboarder, for example, be proactive. Try to redirect his attention with a treat before he has a chance to lunge, and increase the space between your dog and the target. Stay alert and be prepared before the target of his frustration gets too close. This type of behavior may be more common in herding breeds, but any dog can be startled by something he’s not used to or finds exciting.
Speaking of reward, positive reinforcement refers to operant conditioning, and I won’t bore you with the details right now, but suffice it to say B.F. Skinner, one of the leading researchers on reinforcement, found that positive reinforcement (to reward good behavior) is far more superior to punishment in altering undesirable behavior because positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification, and punishment changes behavior only temporarily; and presents many detrimental side effects. If the problem behavior changes temporarily, it will reappear later, and it comes with even more problem behavior! Good Behavior = Reward and Bad Behavior = Punishment, does that sound familiar? Positive reinforcement training is what exotic animal trainers have used for years to teach dolphins, whales and large cats among other animals. You cannot force a dolphin to do what it does not want to do!
I mean, have you ever seen anyone successfully loose leash walk their dog using a retractable leash? I observed a man yesterday at our local pet food center trying to control his medium sized dog while another customer was walking their very petite pups. Guess what he was using? A retractable leash, that malfunctioned, the dog was able to get far enough away from the owner that he lost control and the dog went right after those little puppies. Luckily, the dog just wanted to say hello, and those two little pooches knew exactly how to take care of themselves! This scenario could have turned out pretty bad.
If your dog is the type who has broken through many a leash, a climbing rope may be the best choice. Made from durable kernmantle mountain climbing rope, the Phydeaux leash is one even the strongest dog cannot tear apart. It comes in 12 colors and in both four feet and six feet options, and is tested to hold up to 1000 lbs. It also comes with a one-year warranty if your dog gains superpowers and somehow manages to break it. Reviewers love how lightweight the Phydeaux leash is considering its durability and strength. If you’ve tried other options and your dog keeps breaking through, the Phydeaux is guaranteed to secure even the strongest canine.
This inexpensive leash is billed as "indestructible," and this pick was a favorite of our consumer (and K9!) testers. Users raved about the reflective material and thickness of the leash, confident that it could hold up to even large dogs' pulling. Testers also loved the look and security of the clip, although it may be a little large for small dogs.
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