What is the key to successful doggie leash training? By “successful” we mean your dog walks calmly by your side and doesn’t pull you through the door and down the road every chance she gets! The key is patience, as with any dog training, but also consistency. Did you know that every time you try to ignore your dog when they pull and continue to walk down the street, your actually rewarding them for their bad behavior?
The Game of Leash Training
Give your restless pal an incentive. The game is, if she remains calm, she can walk with you. Stick to this overall rule and you’ll have no problem. For example: She jumps, licks and spins in circles the moment you show her the leash. Of course, going on a walk with you the best thing in the world to her! But, try getting her to sit and stay before you put the leash on. If you’ve worked on a solid sit and stay routine prior to this lesson, then your golden. Don’t put that leash on until she’s sitting!
Once you’ve got the leash on, what does she normally do? She DARTS for the door. This scenario may require the most patience from you. Calmly encourage her to sit still and don’t take another step until she does. Dog’s will figure out a way to get what they want out of you, especially if it’s something easily understood as: if I sit, we walk. If I don’t, no walk. This could take a while, but if you exercise this practice consistently, she’ll get the point. After all, all she wants to do is go on a walk with you!
When she’s calmed a bit, do not take her to the door directly where she would like to go, but take her around the premises to allow her to calm some more. This should only take a few minutes. If she gets rowdy again, stay still until she’s calm and repeat.
Let’s Go Already!
Now, you can take her outside and into the world where she wants to go! If she forgets to remain calm, remind her by stopping and waiting until she does. Letting her pull the leash at this point will only hurt you, and fail to reinforce the point of the exercise which is to enjoy the walk calmly at your side.
As simple as this may sound, it take’s some dogs much longer, especially young rambunctious pups, and older dogs who’ve been pulling the leash for years. Don’t get discouraged, always be patient and always keep consistency. Happy Training!
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