Why Your Dog Pulls And How To Get Him To Stop

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Why Your Dog Pulls And How To Get Him To Stop

by Eric Letendre


Behind every dog that pulls on the leash is an owner that allows him or herself to be pulled. If you own a dog that pulls, think how often you have allowed him to lean on the leash and drag you in one direction or another while you pull back just as hard or hold on with a death grip.

Dogs and owners both need to learn that the leash is ALWAYS loose.

The leash is your connection to one another and allows you to go out in public together. Whether you are out for a walk or just standing still, neither you nor your dog should be pulling on the leash. Your dog?s leash is a training aid and a piece of safety equipment. To be an effective training aid, it should never be tight and should be used as little as possible.

LOOSE LEASH WALKING TIPS

Set yourself up for success! Make sure your dog has a vigorous exercise session (retrieving games are great for this) before you begin your training session. Remember, young dogs require a tremendous amount of exercise.

  1. Prepare your dog to go for a walk. Put on his leash. If you want him to walk on your left side, hold the leash in your right hand. The leaves your left hand free to reinforce your dog with some tasty treats when he is giving you the behavior you want.
  2. If your dog becomes wild and starts pulling, stop at this point and become a statue. Wait as long as it takes for him to settle. (Patience is very important at this stage in the game.) When he turns to see why you are doing nothing, reinforce him with a treat for looking at you and do some moving attention exercises.
  3. When you have your dog?s attention again, begin your walk. If he starts rushing off without you, ask for moving attention by backing up briskly. When your dog is following you attentively, reinforce him with a treat and start moving forward again.
  4. Reinforce attention with treats and praise and all attempts he makes to keep the leash loose.
  5. If he charges out to the end of the leash, stop and turn into a statue and repeat step 2 above.
  6. When your dog is attentive again, repeat step 3. Continue this procedure for the remainder of your walk. You make no forward progress when the leash is tight. When the leash is loose, you reward your dog by continuing to walk and giving him treats, pats, and praise.
  7. Patience, patience, patience! Until you and your dog can successfully keep the leash loose while making forward progress, think of your walks as training sessions. Do not expect to make it around the neighborhood on your first attempt.

Dogs do what works!! As soon as they learn that the two of you are not going anywhere until they lighten up, they will stop pulling.

Good luck and happy training!

Eric Letendre, the author of The Amazing Dog Training Man, invites you to visit for leading edge dog training tips, instructional video clips and articles that will help you train and understand your dog. You can also get weekly dog training updates with a free Smart Dog Newsletter subscription, available at Smart Dog Newsletter



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