Consider why puppies pull when they are walking; there are many things that tempt your dog when you’re out for a walk, like children playing in the yard across the street, you neighbor grilling some hot dogs and that squirrel in the tree at the park. Your pup will try to get where he wants to go, even if that means pulling you along with him! If he pulls on the leash and you allow him to, you’ve reinforced that pulling gets him what he wants. Once you’ve allowed him to do this, he’ll do it again and again:
Teach a cue. Introduce your puppy to a sound cue that means, “food is coming.” Some people like to click and treat, some people use a word like “yes,” and some people cluck their tongue. Whichever you use, the method is the same: In a quiet, distraction-free area, with the puppy on a leash and collar, make the sound. The second your puppy turns toward you and/or looks at you, reward him with a treat. After a few repetitions, you’ll notice your puppy not only looking at you, but also coming over to you for the treat.
Now, you may begin allowing your pooch to wear them around the house, increasing the wear time. Keep your pup inside with you, during the beginning of training to help him be successful (training outside can be distracting), and click and reward every time he chooses to be near you while he wears the collar and leash, and remember, consistency is key here. Also click and reward if he looks up at you, this is the foundation to getting his focus-You want his attention to be on you!
By simply teaching your dog good leash walking manners you will keep your puppy and yourself safe while you are out walking! Most people try to leash train their dogs on their own, and usually end up making the problem worse leaving both pup and owner frustrated and confused. Sometimes, the problem is that dog owners are relying on aversive training tools like Choke Chains and Prong Collars. Although these barbaric tools may work in short term, owners find out they have absolutely NO control without those collars!
The clicker is a very effective training tool, that when conditioned with a reward like food, a treat or a toy signals to your puppy that he has done something right. The clicking sound becomes synonymous with the reward/treat once training has begun. However, your puppy has to be taught that the clicker means something and clicking alone is not reinforcing anything.
There are also bicycle dog leashes, especially designed for people who enjoy taking their pet in a ride with the bike. The leash is an aluminum tube with a plastic coated cable which runs down through the tube. It extends out of the tube end a couple of feet to allow for ease of movement for the dog. One end connects to the bike and the other to the dog's collar. This keeps them safely away the bike.
Leash walking outside may be more frustrating because there are numerous distractions for you to compete with for your puppy’s attention. Understand, from his point of view, how much more difficult this task has now become, and whatever you do, don’t lose your patience; don’t drag him or allow him to drag you! Walk slowly and click and treat if he stays at your side. If he begins to pull, stop or change your direction, then click and treat when he reaches your side again!
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.
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.
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Your dog loves to walk, but do you love walking your dog? If you are finding yourself being dragged around by your curious canine, tied up in leash knots, it’s probably time to start dog leash training. It may come as a surprise to first time pup parents, but dogs don’t naturally have dog leash skills. Leash skills must be taught, and the skill doesn’t always come easily. Dogs are naturally faster than us, and get excited when exploring the outdoors. Leash training helps your pup know not to pull ahead or lag behind you, even when there’s something engaging them outside. Get help training your furry friend with dog collars, dog slip leads or other dog training leads and dog harnesses from Chewy. Walking a big dog who isn’t leash trained can lead to accidents and injury. With the help of a dog training leash, you can get your pooch to prance alongside you, instead of around and through you. Chewy carries top dog training leash brands like PetSafe leashes, Four Paws leashes, Flexi leashes and ThunderLeash. The Flexi training leash is a great training tool, because it’s easy to control. You can provide excess slack or reign in your pup quickly and with ease. The Four Paws training lead may look simple in comparison to other leashes, but it’s a great tool for leash training. The solid bronze clip swivels and adds extra durability, perfect for reigning in a dare devil dog. Chewy also offers top dog training collar brands like Starmark, PetSafe and Sport DOG dog collars. For the best dog training collars for your dog, consider how they respond to training, what factors motivate them, and what you feel most comfortable with. On Chewy, you’ll find dog bark collars, dog tie outs, dog id tags, aid in leash training and more. Find all the dog training equipment you need at Chewy's online pet store where you find the best dog supplies.