Does your dog take you for a walk, or do you take your dog for a walk? On the Colum McGrath Breakfast Show this morning, Dee The Dog Trainer gave her Top 5 tips on lead pulling!
Pulling on the lead is always a stressful and uncomfortable experience, both for the dog and the owner! Here are some tips to help you succeed!
Dee The Dog Trainer’s Top 5 Tips on Lead Pulling
1. Don’t ever reward pulling! Any time the dog puts pressure on the lead, and you take even one step in the direction he wants to go…pulling has been rewarded, and what is rewarded is repeated.
2. The consequence of lead pressure must be negative. Either the walk stops, or penalty steps are applied. This means you go back 4 steps with your dog on the tight lead that he created. The dog must then remain at your side for at least 5 seconds before the walk commences. You need him to fully understand loose lead means walk will continue.
3. Head collars and harnesses that attach under the dog’s neck are a great tool to help control large dogs or persistent pullers.
4. A ‘WITH ME’ command can be added to your walk, which will teach your dog to pay 100 % attention on you for short periods, for example when you are passing other dogs. This can be taught using high value food treats.
5. Use a regular short lead. ‘Flexible leads’ teach all sorts of bad manners and should only be used, if necessary, once the dog has learned to not put pressure on any lead.
Remember, in general, an on-lead walk is fairly boring for a dog so incorporate as much off lead exercise and play in your walk. Consequently, your dog will be a lot happier and content and less likely to pull when you do expect him to walk nicely! Tit for Tat!