As you know, most dogs require training to learn how to appropriately walk on a lead without lunging or pulling. Fortunately, such training is not as difficult as you may think. Below are some techniques that will assist you to break your dog’s habit of pulling or lunging.
In most cases, a six foot lead works best when your goal is to train your dog to heel. If you introduce this object gradually and ensure that your dog views it in a nonthreatening way, it is highly likely that he or she will come to accept the lead and even associate it with something positive, such as walks.
To cut down on lunging and pulling, when first introducing your dog to the lead, slip it over his or her head while the animal is resting comfortably or sitting on the floor. Allow your dog to walk around with the lead dangling behind. Don’t worry if your furry friend steps on it occasionally, provided he or she does not become entangled. Just allow the animal to drag it around and then remove it after several minutes. Be sure to pick up the lead and follow your dog as he or she meanders through home or yard, but use only light pressure. This will ensure that your best friend will come to accept your presence at the end of the lead.
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Once the acceptance phase is complete, your dog or puppy will view the lead positively. When this is accomplished, it is time to begin training your pooch to walk. A few tasty tidbits stored in your pocket will encourage compliance. Begin by grasping the lead in one hand, allowing for some slack. Then with your opposite hand, dangle a treat in front of your pet and say “off we go,” or something similar to get him or her to begin walking.
Maintaining control is important, as the training steps outlined above are designed to encourage your dog to walk on the lead, but do not necessarily guarantee that he or she will automatically remain at your side: virtually all puppies and dogs naturally go on a mission to explore their surroundings and head toward items they wish to sniff or chase. This obviously leads to the aforementioned pulling and tugging. Modern methods recommend that you do not yank the lead or scold your dog. Psychological techniques are thought to be a much better approach. For example, if your dog pulls forward, stop and stand still. The theory behind this is that as long as you are moving with your dog, the latter will continue to pull and strain against the lead. If you remain still, your pooch will
eventually look back and wonder why. When your dog stops, immediately offer your praises, provide a treat, and then once again say “off we go,” or whatever training phrase you have chosen. If you follow these simple techniques on a consistent basis, it will not be long before your dog stops lunging and pulling. Do not deviate from the patterns listed above, and eventually your pooch will be permanently trained to behave appropriately when on a lead.