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Dog Lead Training Tips

2016/5/4 10:22:01

Has it become World War 3 between you and your dog on the way to the park? Is there a power struggle between you both over who should be leading who? It also becomes stressful and embarrassing as you feel you're the owner who can't control their dog. So how can you change an already adult dog's behaviour?

Firstly make sure you have a little pep talk with yourself. This is not going to happen overnight, you're in this for the long run. Expecting your dog to suddenly change their behaviour when they've been allowed to get away with a tug of war with you via the dog lead is slightly delusional. If there are other people in your household then you must explain the new walking rules, as a dog needs consistency. Don't expect him to learn anything new if someone else lets him go back to his naughty ways when they walk him.

Start by taking his favourite dog treats along with you and work in a small controlled area. If you have a back garden then great! If not find a quiet area of your local park and use this space as his training area each time. Your dog will soon catch on that coming to this space in the park is learning time and not play time. Talking of play time, if you find your dog has far too much energy before you start teaching then throw his favourite dog toy or ball and get rid of the excess energy. Let him run it off and play so he doesn't feel he's missing out before class time. Get those doggy treats out when he's done something right but don't shout at him when he's done something wrong. Just keep a firm but low tone to your voice so that he can hear the difference and he'll begin to associate your happy voice with the things he gets right.

When walking, if your dog pulls you a certain way and you then follow you are simply saying OK to them and rewarding the dog's behaviour. He needs to learn that pulling on his dog lead will get him nowhere and that when he pulls, you stop walking. Don't pull him back or yank the lead, just simply stop moving and your dog will begin to realise that he's not getting very far. The lead will of course become taught. Stay still and your dog will come closer to you to slacken the lead. This will soon register in his mind. When you feel that your dog is getting the hang of this and is changing his pattern make sure to praise him and shower him with affection. Remember though, PATIENCE , PATIENCE , PATIENCE. Keep this up every day and you will see a change. If you have more than one dog and you need to train both, do it separately. Obviously we all have busy lives and walking dogs individually is time consuming, but trying to teach both at the same time will become confusing for them. If one is being rewarded whilst the other isn't it may also cause doggy disputes.

The type of dog lead you use will either be a help or a hindrance. The retractable ones are great for giving your dog freedom but for now you need control. So you will need to switch to one that is four to six foot long.

Never hit or shout at your dog! They're doing their best to learn, they're not being difficult on purpose they just don't know any different. Dogs by nature love to please, so again, be patient! This is your responsibility to teach them. If someone was trying to teach you a new skill but speaking in a foreign language it would take you longer to learn.

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