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Dog Training. Dog Behaviour. Dog pulling on the Lead.

Pulling on the Lead -
Firstly, it is ok for your dog to be walking in front of you when out lead walking. They simply should not be pulling on that lead (trying to get you to go in the direction they want to go), the lead should be fairly loose. Think about a musher and sled-dog team and the control that they have at the end of the sled.
Lead length is important. Your dog, just like many of us, will fight against pressure. Have your lead long enough for your dog to feel comfortable and be able to undertake some investigation (on another note, do not immediately bring your dog in to a short lead as soon as they meet another dog, or person, as this is a cue that the dog/person must be ‘negative.’ If you feel you have to, bring in the lead as early as possible). I personally use extendable leads for our two Border Terriers. You can also extend the length out as a reward for walking well. Make sure your extendable is rated just above your dogs weight for safety (particularly if you have a ‘pully dog’).
Then, with the walk start as you want it to continue.
Your dog should be relatively calm (any dog is going to have a raised level of energy and excitement at the start of a walk). Do not let your dog get over excited again, even if you have to wait. Out the door -
You can immediately come to a stop when your dog is is pulling. You would be telling them pulling is ok if you let them continue, even if you only do this sometimes.
Praise your dog and every so often offer a super tasty treat (such as dried liver) when they come back towards you, ideally making eye contact.
This is the greatest method I have found to stop a dog from pulling because your dog is figuring out the very real consequence all for themselves. They do not get anywhere when they lunge forward and you gain control at the end of the lead.
You can also become unpredictable on your walks. Your dog will have to listen to you, so that they know where they are to be going. They will never know when you are going to turn or where you are off to go next. You can step towards them, do a figure of eight etc. Heartily praise when your dog is reacting well and staying close.
Also, you can reward any eye contact or interaction on the lead. Your dog will be encouraged to watch you.
Anticipate distractions and reward your dog (as long as it’s great and immediate, this could be playtime with you or a toy…) when they successfully walk by, Selina McIntyre, Dog Behavioural Consultant and Dog Trainer, Dogs Best Friend.

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dog training

puppy training

dog trainer operating in the Hamilton, Waikato and Tauranga area's of New Zealand

dog behaviourist / dog behaviour specialist