One way to train dog to walk on leash is to watch it dutifully run alongside you. Unfortunately, many dogs tend to pull on the leash and drag the owner along, thus exhausting him, creating inconvenience and potentially dangerous situations (if the pet is large and strong enough). However, don’t be discouraged if your adult dog has picked up this bad habit, as it’s never too late to retrain him and train dog to walk on leash obediently without pulling on it. All you need is time, patience, and an understanding of the stimuli that motivate your dog to learn and follow commands.
Part 1. How to train dog to walk on leash
1. Choose the right type of leash.
For a dog that needs to be trained to walk on a leash, it is sometimes useful to use a special training leash. This is a short classic leash that will make the dog stay close to you by itself. With its help, you can quickly and effectively correct the undesirable behavior of the dog and divert its attention from foreign objects.
2. Refrain from using a training system based on punishment.
Leashes, choke collars, and strict collars are of no use when it comes to retraining adult dogs. Although it is tempting to use a sharp collar or leash, be aware that these items affect the dog by creating pain sensations and creating an associative connection between these sensations and attempts to pull on the leash. Such devices not only cause pain to the animal, but can even injure it. And they work on the basis of fear, and not on consolidating the positive behavior of the dog.
- In addition, these remedies are usually an indication of an “incompetent trainer” who does not know how the dog’s behavior can be corrected in any other way. Do not allow such a label to be applied to you. Train your dog in humane ways based on knowledge of dog psychology.
3. Conquer your dog’s arousal caused by attaching a leash.
It is likely that your dog gets excited as soon as the leash is placed in front of him. This is due to the associative connection between the leash and the walk. You also want the dog to be completely calm at the time of going outside – then you will have a better chance of succeeding in the issue of retraining.
- To do this, periodically fasten the leash to the dog’s collar at home, but do not go for a walk. Your goal is to break the dog’s impression that having a leash guarantees him a walk.
- For example, when at home, put the dog on a leash, but continue with your normal activities. After 5-10 minutes, unfasten the leash and go back to your usual household chores. Repeat these steps about every half an hour so that the dog loses special interest in the leash.
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Part 2. Learning to walk next to the owner
1. Understand why dogs tend to pull on the leash.
Dogs often pull on the leash out of a desire to get where they want to go faster. Usually this is a specific, attractive place for the dog, full of various smells, for example, a park. At the same time, dogs tend to repeat a behavior when they receive a certain reward for it. In the case of pulling on the leash, the reward is in the action itself, as the dog gets the opportunity to get where he wants to go faster.
2. Suppress your dog’s excitement at going outside.
Put on the leash and wait until the dog calms down, and then try to take him out for a walk. It is likely that she will become aroused again, as she realizes that you are really going for a walk. To overcome her excitement, stock up on extra time. Go out the door, lock it, pause, go back into the house.
Repeat this until the dog gets bored and loses interest in pulling you on a leash, as there is a good chance that he will come back home and not go for a walk.
3. How to train dog to walk on leash to pull calmly.
For this, you will also need a lot of time and be prepared for the fact that you will not reach the place where you intended to go for a walk. Put your dog on a leash and leave the house calmly. As soon as she pulls you, stop abruptly and stand still. Hold the leash firmly, but do not pull it towards you to bring the dog closer to you.
- If your dog needs a lot of physical activity, try playing ball with him first (at home or in the yard of a private house) to burn off excess energy and provide him with the necessary exercise.
- If you ever let your dog drag you along on a leash during the retraining period, you will negate all the successes that have already been achieved.
4. Reinforce proper behavior.
When your pet turns around to look at you while moving, praise him heartily (for example, with the phrase “Good dog!”), And then return to moving forward again. Every time this happens 3-4 times in a row, give your dog a treat.
5. If you are not successful, try alternative methods of teaching.
When the dog pulls on the leash, stop and start walking in the opposite direction. If the dog rushes forward again and pulls you, stop again and change direction once again. This will let the dog know that if he is pulling on the leash, he is not moving forward, so there is no point in doing so.
- The same method can be used to deal with the dog’s attempts to make you go faster. Simply stopping when she pulls on the leash, which leads to the cessation of any movement. Very soon, the pet will understand that you and only you control the situation on walks. You determine their time, place and pace. Once the dog learns this, he will no longer pull on the leash.
6. Spend as much time training as needed.
It takes time to change a dog’s already habitual behavior. Train your pet every day, but don’t expect to be able to retrain him in just a week. It can take a lot longer for the dog to figure out what you’re trying to get from him and change his behavior in the direction you want.
- Hopefully, after about a month of such activities, the dog will no longer “walk you on a leash”!
- Like any other training, don’t give your dog long sessions. Here you need more calendar time and regular repetitions than long sessions. For example, don’t take your dog on long walks by training it with the above methods. Otherwise, she will quickly get tired or she will get bored with such long lessons.
This is how to train dog to walk on leash calmly without pulling and harming it. Your dog is trained now and you can enjoy yourself with it. If you have another question related to it, you can ask us.
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