We all might have that relative, friend, or neighbor who walks her dog with expert leash skills; they are not tangled up with friendly dogs of others either. I do not know if you are good enough or being pulled down the block, I’m just envying the person who can walk side by his pet without breaking a sweat.
Although it is good to have pet parent talents and leash walking skills, there is another relationship perspective. If your dog walks nicely on a leash, this means he is paying you more attention, making it is easier for you to guide along your walk.
When it comes to leach-pullers, we expect more breaking away. Moreover, multiple dangers can show once the dog is out of your grip, especially if he continues to run. If you are not strong enough to hold them, you may end up face-first on the sidewalk.
If you teach your puppy to walk nicely on a leash, you can take him for long walks, and to more places. As much as comfortable you are, both of you will enjoy.
It is just plain weird to be tethered to someone by a leash. However, proper leash manners could minimize the risk of yankee pulling over, and make you walk more than it is about tug-of-war.
Tips for Better Behavior
There are 6 ways to improve your puppy’s behavior on a leash, and they work with both big and small dogs:
Adjust your attitude
Do not think of the issue you resist against, instead of thinking of how to teach your pup to stop pulling, think of how you want him to walk nicely beside you.
Give him a rewarding experience
Rewarding is a very successful technique to teach your dog paying you more attention when you are out for a walk. When he is in the desired position, close or next to you, give him a special treat like a small piece of roast beef or chicken, thus, he will know that walking next to you is a rewarding and pleasant experience which will result in less time pulling and more time of nice walking beside you.
Start with the rewarding game
This is a nice game for teaching your dog that it is better to be beside you than to behave yankee. Hold on the leash and move some steps backwardaway from your pup, this is inviting move for him to follow you. Encourage him as he approaches you and once he is in position, reward him with a treat. This game will teach your dog to focus on nicely moving with you. Repeat this pattern with your dog again in different directions and reward him every time he approaches until your puppy actively pursues you whenever you move away.
Every time you start your stride, reward your dog whenever he looks up to you while walking beside you; say “yes!” to him and give him a treat.
Rewarding often will help your pup to quickly figure out what kind of behavior you look for, therefore, the learning process becomes easier for him. To make this trick work properly, use very special treats at first, this will keep your reinforcement rate high. Reward every 4 to 5 steps at first and for any good behavior. You can thin out your reinforcement rate over time, rewarding your pup less frequently through the walk course.
You can get additional assistance
If your puppy is a practiced puller, it is recommended to use a quality front clip harness for extra control during walks. Nevertheless, if your doggie keeps pulling hard on that front clip harness, it will be better to work with a certified trainer who will use more positive reinforcement-based methods.
Finally, you should keep in mind that walking your dog on a leash is a skill that needs practice and time for both of you and your puppy, therefore, it will be good to celebrate improvements and success together.
SHARE this with all dogs’ parents you know to help them being clever dog walkers!