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Other Dog Behavior Issues

 

Walking On A Leash

Pulling on the leash is one of the most common misbehaviors seen on all kinds of dogs. Puppies and adult dogs alike can often be seen taking their owners for walks, instead of the other way around. Pulling on the leash can be much more than an annoying habit. Leash pulling can lead to escape in the case of a break in the collar or leash, and an out of control, off leash dog can be both destructive and dangerous to itself and to others .Leash training is very important if you take your dog for walks.

 

Leash pulling can result from a variety of different things. In some cases, the dog may simply be so excited to go for a walk that he or she is unable to control themselves This can develop if the dog doesn't get to go for walks often. In other cases, the dog sees itself as the leader of the pack, and he or she simply takes the "leadership position" at the front of the pack. Sometimes it is taught by something as simple as the leash you are using. I "Do Not " recommend the retractable leashes.

If excitement is the motivation for leash pulling, simply giving the dog a few minutes to calm down can often be a big help. Simply stand with the dog on the leash for a couple minutes and let the initial excitement of the upcoming walk pass. After the initial excitement has worn off, many dogs are willing to walk calmly on their leash. Asking your dog to sit while you put their leash on will help control them. Waiting at the door is also a way of letting them calm down.

If the problem is control, however, some retraining may be in order. All dog training starts with the owner establishing him or herself as the leader and without this basic respect and understanding, no effective training can occur. For dogs exhibiting these type of control issues, a step back to basic obedience commands are in order. I hope all of you have had some kind of basic training with your dogs. This will help when teaching your dog to walk on a leash.

These dogs can often be helped through a formal obedience school structure. The professional dog trainer will of course be sure to train the handler as well as the dog, and any professional dog trainer will insist on working with the dog and the dog owner to ensure proper techniques are taught.

The basis of teaching the dog to walk calmly on the lead is teaching it to calmly accept the collar and lead. A dog that is bouncing up and down while the collar is being put on will not walk properly. Begin by asking your dog to sit, while the collar is put on. If the dog begins to get up, give the command for them to sit immediately. Only begin the walk after the dog has sat calmly to have the collar put on, and continued to sit calmly as the leash is attached. If you practice this method every time you take your dog for a walk, they learn this behavior is expected.

Once the leash is attached, it is important to make the dog walk calmly toward the door. If the dog jumps or surges ahead, gently correct him with the sit command, and a wait. Make the dog wait, then move on again. Repeat this process until the dog is waiting calmly. When you begin your walk put it with a verbal cue like " Lets go." Giving your dog a cue to follow will help. If your dog starts to go ahead of you, you should stop and wait for your dog to either sit, come back towards you, or stops also.

As you begin your walk, it is vital to keep the attention of the dog focused on you at all times. Remember, the dog should look to you for guidance, not take the lead himself. When walking, it is important to stop often. Every time you stop, your dog should stop. Getting into the habit of asking your dog to sit every time you stop is a good way to keep your dogs attention focused on you. They may not offer the sit when you stop, so just ask them. If you do this every time you stop, they learn to stop automatically.

Make sure your dog is looking at you, then move on again. If the dog begins to surge ahead, immediately stop and ask the dog to sit. Repeat this process until the dog is reliability staying at your side. Each time the dog does what you ask him to, be sure to reward him with pawsitive reinforcement, treats and praise.

Remember that if your dog pulls on the leash and you continue to walk him anyway, you are inadvertently rewarding that unwanted behavior. Dogs learn whether you are teaching them or not, and learning the wrong things now will make learning the right things later that much harder.

It is important to be consistent in your expectations of leash training a dog. Every time the dog begins to pull ahead, immediately stop and make the dog sit. Continue to have the dog sit quietly until his focus is on you. Then start out again, making sure to immediately stop moving if the dog surges ahead.If your dog still pulls forward you may need to turn around and go the other way. Don't wait for your dog to stop then turn around, you need to turn suddenly, that will help teach your dog they need to keep focused on you. You may need to repeat this step a few times before your dog catches on.