Dog leash training can help you enjoy your walks with your dog. Some dogs will naturally take to walking nicely on the leash, however many dogs develop a tendency to pull on it. Sometimes pulling on the leash is so much that walks are no longer fun.
If you are reading this advice is probably because your furry best friend tends to get REALLY excited when out for walks. Some dogs go nuts when they see a cat or a squirrel. Other dogs go bunkers when they see another dog. And yet others simply pull on the leash all the time.
This article is mostly geared towards dogs that are completely out of control. If your dog only pulls on the leash a little bit, I recommend you teach your pet to behave on walks with the step-by-step exercises outlined here.
If you have tried many things already and don't know what else to do about dog leash training, then keep on reading and practice every step.
If you are out practicing walking nice on the leash and suddenly your canine friend goes berserk, you need to GET OUT of that situation. As much as you can, dog leash training should be done while the dog is calm, far away from a trigger.
I never recommend pulling on the leash or punishing your pet in any form (this could actually lead to aggression problems in the future).
Instead try to distract your pet and get him to voluntarily (or semi-voluntarily) follow you.
Use your emergency reward as a lure! Do not give it to your dog until he is willingly following you and the distraction is out of sight. Only then reward your pet for following you out of that situation.
Use your voice (happy and high pitched) and your body language (run the other way, pat your legs in a friendly way) to get your canine friend to follow you.
Did you figure out why your hound goes crazy? Can it be solved?
Here are a few examples:
Example 1: If your dog wants to interact with other dogs, you can try taking him to a dog park. Let him romp around and get that out of his system. If he enjoys playing with other dogs, then add dog parks as a regular outing.
Once your dog is used to playing with other dogs, it's time to practice walking on a leash. Put your dog back on the leash (at the dog park) and walk around the park. Reward your pet for walking close to you (with treats) and try to lure him away when he wants to interact with other dogs. Practice Walking Nice on a Leash.
Practicing at the dog park, after letting him play, will make the walking nicely exercises easier. It will give your pet plenty of opportunities to succeed, which is a must for learning! As he gets better, you can try them on regular walks as well.
Example 2: If your pet wants to chase things (cats, squirrels, etc) I recommend you teach him the command "leave-it" and to "ask for permission". Only when these commands are reliable you can use them outside! In the mean time you must be alert when walking your canine friend.
If you see any "chasing opportunity" walk the other way and do not let your pet see it! You must pay attention to the environment on walks. As a last resort use the damage control technique explained above.
Example 3: If your pet shows aggression, excessive barking and
growling towards other dogs then find a dog trainer that can help you
one on one. You will learn invaluable information (The Association of
Pet Dog Trainers [APDT] website provides a search for professional and positive dog trainers).
In the mean time, take your hound out of any scary situation as soon as possible and as gentle and happy as possible. Use the damage control technique outlined above and never loose your control. Show your dog you are a confident leader that can get him out of there safely.
Knowledge, patience and practice. And you will have a well mannered pet!
Share your tips and anecdotes below!