Loose Leash Walking  

Posted by — Kim in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here's a great article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it helpful! –Kim
7 Ways to Improve Walking Your Dog on Leash
by Eric Goebelbecker
April 27, 2010

It can be like this!
Problems walking on leash is one of the more frequent reasons people seek help from a dog trainer. A nice pleasant walk with your dog is something we would all like a chance to enjoy, but it's not always easy to accomplish.
First a little note on where your dog should be on a walk. Have you heard that you should never let your dog walk in front of you because it will make him think he is the pack leader? I'm convinced that someone spread that as a rumor to see how gullible people are.
Dogs don't worry about things like this. The point is for you to walk together. Nothing more, nothing less!

Loose Leash Walking...
Here are 7 ways to improve walking on leash immediately....
Stop pulling dead in it's tracks
Sounds pretty medieval, doesn't it? Well, it's not what you think. Dogs pull because it works. If a dog pulls on leash and despite your pulling back, complaining and whatever else you might try, he still makes forward progress pulling is working. So make pulling fail once and for all: if you feel tension in the leash stop or change direction. This makes for some short (in terms of distance) and frustrating walks, but it works.
In the video (above), I demonstrate stopping when Caffeine pulls to get a treat I tossed. (Total set-up, but it illustrates the point.)
Lighten up
Stop holding the leash tight. Dogs have opposition reflex. You pull on them, they pull back. Like any other reflex, it's automatic. Keep your hands low and make sure you are not triggering this by pulling on the leash unnecessarily.
Oftentimes, problems with pulling on leash begin before the walk begins. If you cannot get your dog's attention, something else has it, and chances are your dog is going to pull toward whatever that might be. Never start a walk without eye contact. Moreover, make sure your name recognition is effective in the face of distractions.
If you are going to stop pulling completely, you may need some extra help, at least until you get some of the training done. My dog Gage's leash is attached to a SENSE-ible harness. This type of harness, one with a leash attachment in the front rather than the back, avoids triggering your dog's opposition reflex.
Speed Up!
Walking slowly is booooring! Want to keep your dog's attention? Pick up the pace!
Take a tired dog
A tired dog tends to pull less and get not get distracted as easily. Try a game of fetch, tug or tag before training. It will avoid a great deal of frustration.
Make it a game
In the video, I show a game of "Find it" with Gage. This game encourages attention (looking at me gets the next treat) and makes walking with me rewarding. This is also a great game to play when you need to walk through a distracting area.
More info: Here is a handout with some tips for loose leash walking.

Source: http://www.dogspelledforward.com/improve-walking-your-dog-on-leash
©2009 DogTime Inc.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Friday, July 23, 2010 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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