Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teach You Dog To Not Pull

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Why Do Dogs Pull? | The "Quick Fix" for Pulling | Exercises | Exercise 1 | Exercise 2 | Exercise 3 | The Slack Leash
 
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The "quick fix" for pulling is to change equipment. Halters for dogs have become very popular in the last five years or so and are a great tool to stop leash pulling almost instantly. However, by themselves they aren't an effective training tool and will generally not change a dog's behaviour on a flat collar. They only teach the dog not to pull while wearing the halter. To allow some learning to take place while wearing the halter, it's important to give feedback to the dog. Give some sort of negative verbal feedback (such as "ah-ah") when the leash is taut and immediately praise and/or treat the dog when it walks with the leash loose. Dogs wearing a halter can still pull on the leash, just not as hard as when wearing a regular collar. This learning that pulling is bad may not transfer to wearing a collar, as pulling on the halter feels different to the dog than pulling on a flat collar, but if you're consistent with the praise and treats when the dog doesn't pull, there's a chance it may catch on.

Many people, when trying to train their dog to walk nicely on a leash, give up much too soon. This training takes time, especially if pulling is a long-ingrained habit. Most importantly, it takes consistency on your part. Inconsistency only gives the dog the message that sometimes it's okay to pull, sometimes it's not, and will make the overall training process much slower, not to mention confuse the dog. So once you start the training, if you want to take the dog out on a leash but don't have time to be consistent and train, use a halter or loop the leash once under its belly (with or without a half-hitch), but don't let pulling be successful for the dog!

As with any training, it's much easier to teach the right way first and not let bad habits even begin, so if you're adding a new puppy to your household, this training will likely go much faster than with an older dog who's already learned that pulling is generally fruitful. One of the nice things about the method that follows is that, unlike jerks on a leash, it can be used on a very young (7 week old) pup without doing it any harm. If only the 'jerk' method is used, a puppy gets away with all kinds of pulling when it's young, as nobody wants to jerk the neck of a puppy, and it's really not pulling that hard anyway (we rationalize). Not starting as a young pup makes the training process that much longer since you are working against an already ingrained habit.


Why Do Dogs Pull? | Page 2 of 7 | Exercises
  

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Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Loose Leash

By Laura Wright

Reprinted by Permission

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