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:
Purposes of a leash include: preventing animals from frightening or biting people or other animals, defecating and urinating in inappropriate places, endangering traffic, digging up lawns, causing other damage, getting lost, and getting away from owners. Leashes also provide a clear method of communication and ensure control during training of dogs.
I recommend that you begin teaching your dog how to sit and stay prior to beginning any leash training! Having a reliable sit and stay will enable you to ask for this command if your pup starts pulling on the leash. This will help you refocus his attention and help him get back to your side! It is also safer to have a dog that has a reliable sit and stay, so that you are not pulled out into traffic while walking together! Leash training, like all dog training, requires immense amounts of patience on both your parts! But, the payoff will be a well-trained dog that all of your friends envy, and builds a relationship of love and trust! So, grab your clicker and a pocket full of treats and get out there! Have some fun together while learning valuable skills! When your dog has mastered leash walking check out loose leash training!
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 pup barks: Some dogs have the habit of barking at other dogs while on a walk. Oftentimes, this behavior comes as a result of lack of exercise. Make sure your dog gets the proper amount of mental and physical stimulation for his age and breed. If this is still a problem, use the same process as you would if your dog is lunging, as described above — create distance and offer treats before he starts to bark, so every time he sees a dog he gets used to turning his attention to you.
Save 5% when you buy online and pickup in-store. Offer valid online only. Transaction total is prior to taxes & after discounts are applied. Offer valid on select merchandise when choosing In-Store Pickup. Savings will automatically reflect in the shopping cart with the purchase of qualifying merchandise. Maximum value $150. Offer not valid on gift cards, gift certificates, previous purchases, charitable donations and may exclude all or select items from the following brands: Adaptil®, Advantage®, Andis®, API®, Applaws, AquaClear®, Aqueon®, Arm & Hammer™, AvoDerm®™, Benebone®, Blue Buffalo®, CatMouse, Carefresh®, Cesar®, ChuckIt!®, Dog MD™, Eukanuba®, Feliway®, Fluval®, FRONTLINE®, FURminator®, Greenies®, Great Choice®, High Tech Pet®, Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, IRIS, Hill’s® Science Diet®, Hill’s® Prescription Diet®, Jackson Galaxy®, JW Pet®, K9 advantix®, KAYTEE®, KONG®, Kurgo®, Majestic Pet, Marineland®, Merrick®, MidWest Homes for Pets, Muse®, Natural Balance®, NATURE'S RECIPE®, Nature’s Variety®, NaturVet®, Nulo, Nutro™, Nutro™ Max®, Nutro™ Ultra™, Old Mother Hubbard, Omega™ One, Oxbow, Pedigree®, Pendleton, Pet Gear, Petmate®, PetSafe®, Pioneer Pet, Precision Pet Products®, PureBites®, Purina® Pro Plan®, Redbarn, Royal Canin®, Sentry®, Simple Solution, Solvit, Snoozer®, Sunbeam®, Super Pet®, Temptations™, Tetra®, Thundershirt®, Trixie, Vittle Vault, Wellness®, World's Best Cat Litter, XPOWER, Zuke's®. Offer may not be combined with other promotional offers or discounts. Terms and conditions of this offer are subject to change at the sole discretion of PetSmart. Offer valid on PetSmart.com through September 30, 2019 @ 6:30 am EST.