Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to Teach Your Dog Polite Leash Walking

Teaching your dog to walk politely on the leash takes some time, energy and consistency, but the results last a lifetime. I'm going to talk about simple, easy techniques and gentle equipment to help your walks with your dog be more enjoyable for everyone, human and dog alike.

A Rewarding Approach to Leash Learning
Dogs learn by association. They do what works. And if pulling gets them where they want to go, they pull. We have to make the right choice (not pulling) the easiest (and more rewarding) choice to make. This starts with the human changing their behavior-not letting the dog pull them down the street.

We want forward movement with us to be the most rewarding thing, but with the leash loose. In reward based training, there are many variations on how to do this. Here's just one method used with clickers marking the dog's correct body position:

Balance Leash
Another method to help the dog understand that we want them moving with us instead if pulling us down the street is the Balance Leash technique. This is simply using the leash draped around the dog's chest to give a light signal to balance on all four feet. A balanced dog is not a pulling dog. Here's balance leash at work:

For more techniques on polite leash walking check out:

Dog Star Daily's article and resources for Pulling on Leash

No comments: