Do you ever get the feeling that your dog is walking you whenever you go out for a stroll, instead of the other way around? Admit it. Rather than inhibiting this behavior, you tolerate it because you like how excited and hyper your dog gets.
New pet owners usually assume that walking their dogs on a leash is intuitive and natural. Unfortunately, once they take their dogs out for a walk, reality sets in. On the bright side, training your dog to behave properly while walking on a leash is one of the least challenging skills to develop.
Why Is Your Dog Misbehaving While On a Leash
For dogs who are yet to experience walking on a leash, it should not come as a surprise if they don’t know how to behave accordingly. On the other hand, some dogs simply have poor leash manners.
There are numerous reasons why a dog would try to take charge of your trip to the park. For instance, an enthusiastic dog might drag you across the park because she wants to explore it more. A shy and socially awkward dog is most likely eager to finish up the stroll once and for all and head back home. Or, perhaps, your dog is a curious George who excitedly checks out every bush, chases butterflies, or sniffs out dogs and people.
But, you know what? No matter what the reasons are, you should never let your dog pull you and take control. Because here is the thing: When your dog notices that you speed up your pace or continue walking whenever she pulls, she will never stop.
What To Do To When Your Dog Exhibits Poor Leash Manners
We will divide the techniques into two. On the first part, we will talk about how to train your puppy to prevent leash-related problems from developing. The second part will tackle solutions to halt your four-legged best friend from displaying lousy leash manners.
How To Train Your Puppy To Walk On A Leash
Say hello to collar or harness with a leash. Put a collar or harness on your dog, then add the leash. Allow her to get used to the feeling by letting her wear the gear at home for some time. At this point, distract her by playing with her or giving her treats, food, or delicious supplements. This will take her mind off of the foreign “thing” wrapped around her neck or body.
Train your puppy’s mind. Click your tongue, snap your fingers, or do whatever you want. Just be sure that your dog can associate the cue with treats or food. While your dog is wearing a collar and leash, signal the cue. If your dog looks at you right away, give her a treat. After a while, you will notice that your dog will start approaching you to ask for her treat.
Have your pooch walk toward you. While she slowly walks toward you with a leash and collar in tow, retreat back with a few steps, then wait until she comes to you. Keep doing that until your puppy learns the trick. Make sure that you do it only when your dog has the energy and focus to do so. Puppies get distracted exactly, so keep the training period brief. Continue practicing inside the house for a few more weeks.
Take it to the streets. Once you are sold with your puppy’s performance, it is time to take it outside. Since the outdoors have a lot of distractions, do not expect that your dog will behave the same way as she did inside the house. Lengthen your patience but keep the first few sessions brief. If you noticed that her attention flocked somewhere else, make the sound, take a few steps backward, and give her a treat if she follows.
How To Train Dogs Who Have Poor Leash Manners
Change the direction. With the leash close to your side, proceed to start the daily stroll. If your little critter pulls in another direction, move the opposite way. For instance, if she proceeds to pull you forward, turn around, and walk the other direction. If she goes right, you go left. Do not pull her, but try to sway her in a different direction. In time your dog will realize that you will leave her if she does not follow you, so she will stop forcing her way.
Stay where you are. Stay ahead of your dog on-leash. When you feel the leash tightening, she is probably going on a different route. If this is the case, stop and stay still. Call her name, then go back a few steps and wait until she approaches you. When she does, give her a treat and proceed with your stroll.
Avoid common mistakes of pet owners when walking their dogs. Never allow your dog to take the lead. If you continue walking or quickening your pace, you are handing your dog with a reward. Pulling your dog back when she lunges forward is also not a good idea. Instead of being held back, your dog would insist on moving further ahead. Forgo the retractable leash for the meantime. The leash permits the dog to stray away from you as far as she can. Wait until she has developed outstanding leash manners before using the retractable leash again.
Teaching the value of good leash manners to a new dog is not that hard, albeit time-consuming. Just have patience. For older dogs who haven’t learned how to behave well when on a leash, all is not lost. The key is to stay in control no matter what.
About the Author:
Charles is a certified pet-lover who writes for RestoraPet.com. He, together with his wife, enjoys doing volunteer work in various animal shelters at his city.