Proper dog training can assist your dog in regaining their focus while out for a walk. Consider teaching cues to divert their attention away from the smell and back to you. But how can this be accomplished?
Whenever your dog walks on the leash without pulling, reward them with tasty treats every few paces and continue walking. If your dog begins to pull, stop for a moment to teach them that this behavior means no walks, and then continue until they return to your side.
An excitable dog pulls because they want to go, go, go. A curious dog lunges at a fascinating dog, person, shrub, butterfly, or whatever catches their eye. In their eagerness to return to the safety of their territory, a nervous dog may drag you home.
Dogs pull for numerous reasons, but they all boil down to one thing: dogs pull because we allow them to. When your dog takes the lead, and the walk continues, or even speeds up, they will continue to pull.
This exercise from a master trainer teaches puppies proper leash behavior. Choose a quiet, distraction-free location to practice leash training, usually indoors or in a fenced area.
If you need to teach your older dog how to walk on a leash, try the following:
Make sure you avoid the following potential mistakes:
By continuing to walk, you are rewarding your dog for lunging ahead. When you accelerate, you give them a bonus reward: they get to go even faster.
Most dogs will pull even harder in response to the pressure.
These leashes teach the dog that pulling causes them to travel further, not a good lesson for a puller. Remove the retractable leash until your dog learns proper leash behavior.
Daily walks are critical for your dog’s health and well-being; walking will help keep them fit and in a healthy weight range and meet their behavioral needs, including the need to socialize with other dogs. We also know that dog walking has similar benefits for owners and is a fun way to strengthen our special bond with our canine companions. To ensure that walking your dog is a positive experience, start on the right foot by successfully training them to walk on a leash.
First and foremost, you will require the necessary equipment. It is critical to walk your dog on a leash for safety reasons. Choose a leash that is in good condition, robust, comfortable, and the right size for your dog’s build – it should not be too thick or thin for your dog’s build, and the best length is about 2 meters to give your dog some freedom to explore.
The following step is training. Nobody wants to be the owner whose dog pulls ahead, chews on the leash, or spends the entire walk gulping garbage. It’s best to start training your dog as soon as possible to avoid these issues, but there is always time. Reward-based dog training is the most effective and humane way to teach your dog. This entails rewarding your dog, with treats, praise, or a toy for positive behaviors while ignoring unwanted behaviors.
Because training sessions are enjoyable, reward-based training improves the quality of our relationship with our dogs. Any training that uses aversive techniques, such as verbal or physical punishment, should be avoided because it fails to teach dogs how to behave and can also cause anxiety and defensive aggression.
Training should be enjoyable for both of you! Begin by teaching your dog or puppy to walk on a leash using the RSPCA-recommended loose-leash walking technique. To accomplish this, whenever your dog walks on the leash without pulling, reward them with tasty treats every few paces and continue walking. If your dog begins to pull, stop for a moment to teach them that this behavior means no walks, and then continue until they return to your side! This method can also prevent your dog from chewing on the leash. Holding your dog’s leash should feel loose, indicating that they are walking correctly rather than pulling you ahead. If your dog continues to pull despite this training, try using a front-attach harness instead of a collar and leash to train your dog to walk on a leash.
A front-attach harness is a gentle training aid, but it must be appropriately fitted with a double-ended leash that attaches at the front and back of the harness, allowing you to leash your dog from the back and turn them if they pull. Avoid equipment that causes pain, discomfort, or distress, such as choke chains, prong collars, head collars, and extendable leashes, which can encourage pulling and cause neck injuries.
Additionally, you may teach your dog to leave things alone through reward-based training, which is helpful to stop them from picking up trash or potentially harmful objects like toxic plants when out for a walk. To achieve this, teach your dog a verbal command like “leave it” or “drop it.” It entails holding a treat in your closed palm, denying your dog’s attempts to nudge your hand to acquire the treat, and then letting them take it when they move slightly away from it. Different trainers may employ various strategies to teach this. Add the verbal cue once your dog regularly performs this; you can use it as necessary while walking. Just be sure to have some delectable treats on hand for rewards.
Teach your dog to recall or a command to come when called, as this is an essential training component. This keeps them safe and enables you to take advantage of off-leash strolling when it is legal and safe. Use the following procedures, beginning initially in a secure place like your backyard:
Training your dog to accompany you on walks will provide you with a lifetime of pleasure and help keep your cherished companion safe when you are out and about. Consult your veterinarian if you have any worries about your dog’s behavior, so they can direct you to a qualified dog trainer or animal behaviorist and rule out any underlying medical issues.