When you go out with your dog, you want to keep them on a leash. This is a big thing that can help a lot. First, it helps keeps them under control. Letting your dog free while outdoors can be very bad, especially if they are excitable. Second, it allows you to keep them safe.
Dogs can be very inquisitive and can get into a lot of trouble. With a leash, you can pull them back if you have to. These are just two of the best reasons you can have for leashing a dog.
However, putting a leash on a dog is easier said than done. Dogs sometimes make it difficult to put it on. On other times, even with the leash on, they can end up pulling their owners along for a ride. This is why leash training a dog, especially if it is an older dog, is pretty important. Older dogs are a bit of a problem since they have managed to learn bad habits.
There’s no need to despair though. Here are nine tips on leash training a dog properly. This should allow you to make the process a lot easier for your and ensure that it is as painless as possible.
Tip # 1: Pick the Right Leash
When leash training a dog, you should start out doing it properly. This is by picking out the right leash for your dog. A leash is already something uncomfortable for your pet. It restricts their movement and it can hurt them if it’s too tight. Pick the leash that first your pet’s neck properly and do not put it on so tight.
Additionally, when leash training a dog, you should choose a training lead. This is a shorter leash than normal and will immediately teach the dog that it is doing something wrong when it tries to run off. This will keep your dog better-behaved and it will discourage them from going after distractions.
Tip # 2: Avoid Punishment-based Training
It is understandable that leash training a dog can be a frustrating experience. This is especially so when the dog has become set in their ways. Shock collars, prong collars, and similar devices can potentially harm your dog and if you love your dog that is a big no-no. They are supposed to work by associating pulling at the leash with pain. That’s a bad move.
Negative reinforcement just makes for a bad-tempered and frightened dog. Don’t let yourself be fooled into going down this route. You want your dog to behave because they want to do it and not because you frightened them.
Tip # 3: Learn to Control the Excitement of the Leash
Sometimes, when leash training a dog, you’ll encounter the excited reaction when the leash comes out. This mostly stems from the fact that the leash is associated with going out for a walk. This is especially so when it comes to older dogs. However, excitement can be bad because the more excited they are, the harder they can be to train.
Lower the excitement levels by desensitizing the dog to the leash. Just clip it on them and leave it on without going for a walk. Do this for five to ten minutes at a time. Once you’ve done this several times, the dog will learn to be calmer on the prospect of the leash.
Tip # 4: Learn Why Dogs Pull
The biggest factor when leash training a dog is to learn why the dogs pull on the leash. Pulling on the leash is the dog’s way of forcing you to go in a particular direction. This is usually because they smell something they want and they want to get there fast.
If you give in to their pulling, the dog will keep on doing this behavior since it feels like it is rewarded when it pulls. Stop encouraging this by being firm about moving at a sedate pace.
Tip # 5: Keep the Dog Calm
Leash training a dog also requires you to keep the dog calm when you go outside. This can be difficult since dogs really like rambling around. Desensitize it again by starting a walk, then just walking back inside. This lowers the expectations of the dog so that it will be a lot calmer in the long run.
Tip # 6: Stop the Pulling Via Training
Leash training a dog is aimed at primarily stopping a dog from pulling at the leash. The best way to do this is by not rewarding this behavior. When it starts to pull, just firmly stop moving but not pulling them back. The dog will eventually get the message. Additionally, you can tire them out by playing with the dog before your walk.
Tip # 7: Reward Good Behavior
When leash training a dog, you should also reward your dog. Whenever it turns to you before it starts pulling, this means it is looking to you for guidance. Praise the dog or give them a treat. This reinforces this particular good behavior.
Tip # 8: Think of Alternative Training Methods
There are other methods to leash training a dog besides just standing still. For example, you can opt to actually go in the other direction that the dog is pulling to. When it shifts directions, you change, too. The aim is to be always in the opposite direction of its pull.
This highlights the fact that pulling on the leash will not get any results. Dogs are fairly intelligent and they will pick up on this quickly.
Tip # 9: Take Your Time
Leash training a dog is not going to be an overnight event. You want to keep on doing this training for several weeks to a month. Your dog, no matter how dense, will be able to understand the idea behind the training quickly but you still need to be patient.
Just maintain the routine and eventually, you will be the one leading the walk and not your dog.
Do you wish your dog would walk on a leash calmly and quietly without pulling? CLICK HERE to watch this FREE Step-by-Step Video from Doggy Dan’s Program!