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Stop your dog pulling—and start enjoying your walks
I'm on my third dog now and I know how pulling on the lead can be such an annoying problem. Yet it doesn't have to be that way, and I hope to show, in this article, how you can cure your dog of this problem so you can actually relax and enjoy walking with your dog again. It will show you how to train your dog from pulling—or how to cheat and buy the right product for an instant cure!
Your dog wants to get somewhere fast, he's impatient.
Off to the park? Come on, Dad, Mum, let's go. It's exciting at the park.
Let's get to it. Follow me! And so you trail in Fido's wake, feet hardly
touching the ground. How do you teach Fido that's not the way to do things?
Shout at him? No, that won't really work, I guess you've proven that.
It only adds to his general excitement, right? So what can you do to cure
it? Stop. Simple. Just stop! Stopping your progress every time the dog
pulls eventually sends a message to the dog that pulling leads
to the exact opposite of progress towards the park. Keep quiet and patient
with this exercise, since shouting merely adds to the confusion and anger
just gets your dog worked up and even more anxious to get to the park
and away from this dreadful training exercise! Just stop, wait until the
dog stops pulling on the lead, then slowing take off again—until
the next pull.
If the above fails to work, you need to step it up a level. Instead of stopping, turn around and head off in the opposite direction. The dog will find this puzzling, but eventually he will get to realise that pulling has a very unfortunate effect and he will eventually learn how not pulling is a far more effective method of getting his own way: progress in the right direction. As before, this exercise should end with a nice playtime off the lead—one in which you are also involved.
A further level up from 'Stop Progress' and 'Reverse
Progress' is Treat Training. With this method, you are going to instantly
reward good behaviour. Get some tasty but small doggy training treats
and feed a few to Fido saying "treat" just before you hand over,
so he gets to the point that hearing "treat" will prick up his
ears and get him ready for the tasty treat. For even greater success,
make your own by thinly slicing really tasty sausages: not cheap ones,
dogs are very discerning! Or small pieces of cheese are good. You need
a treat bag so that you can gain instant access to these treats. Treats
must be given the instant Fido is doing things right, so no fumbling is
allowed. A good idea is to get one in your hand ready for the next reward.
Click training is brilliant, providing you do it right.
Buy a click trainer at your pet shop and read the instructions carefully.
You must appreciate the fact that whenever you click you must
also treat—within a second. This method is like the above
'Treat Training', but the click replaces the verbal "treat"
message. Only ever use a single click at a time, for multiple clicks,
or unrewarded clicks, will desensitise the dog to the sound and the whole
effectiveness will be lost. (So don't let anyone else play with your clicker,
If the above training methods fail with your dog—maybe
because you just don't have sufficient patience, or the dog is just too
obstinate, then there is every chance that a non-pull harness will provide
the solution for you. Google 'non-pull harness' for a selection;
Amazon usually comes up as a good source.
The Sporn Non-Pull Harness
I have used the Sporn non-pull harness myself
and found it really good. The majority of user reviews on Amazon
tend to agree it is good, often miraculous, as I found, although there
is the odd review that also talks of rubbing—although, I would suggest,
this might be due to incorrect fitting. Mine worked instantly!
The Gentle Leader Easy-Walk Harness
Another harness I have heard good reports about is the Gentle Leader. Check out these details and the two videos for further information on this product. It looks equally good and probably more suitable for dogie-swimmers!
You can buy both these harnesses via Amazon
(eg in the USA and the UK).
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