Leash Training Your Dog-Take The Time To Get It Done and Do It Right
Attempting to train your dog to walk on a leash may feel likeyou're a contestant in a tug-of-war contest. But, it doesn'thave to. If you take a few precautions, use the properequipment, and are consistent in your training routine, thenyour puppy or dog will be an enjoyment to walk all around.
As far as equipment is concerned, there's a lot available. Onepopular item of yesteryear was the use of a choke collar. Thischained collar, sometimes lined with tiny barbs, was and is acruel way to train your animal. It has been proven not to bean effective training tool. However, a leash attached to acollar is not cruel. The best leashes are usually made ofleather. These are durable and will last an eternity of wearand tear. You can use a regular buckle or snap collar, a bodyharness or even a chain collar. A chain collar is not a chokercollar and shouldn't be used like one. A chain collar shouldonly be used to make a noise (with a snap of the leash) thatwill get your puppy's attention. He will know that the noisemeans that he should either heel or sit.
At first, allow the puppy to wear his leash and collar (orharness) around the house. This way he knows that he doesnot have to be scared of it and will also get used to how itfeels. And, he will know that it is supposed to be loose; inother words, that it is not for pulling. Before you take yourpuppy out, let him do this two or three times a day for a fewdays. Be sure that your puppy has another chew toyavailable, as you don't want the leash to be associated as atoy. Make a no play toys rule when it comes to the leash.Your puppy should also know the sit command. You canteach it easily with doggy treats. When you put the leash onyour puppy or dog, be sure that he sits and waits untilyou've snapped it on. He may be excited, but he shouldn'tmove.
It's best, when walking on the leash with you for the firsttime that you don't practice outdoors. This is primarilybecause there are a lot of distractions. It's best if you canpractice for a few days in a garage or large room.
Once you've got an area, make sure that when you walkwith your dog the leash stays loose at all times. Walk withthe puppy or dog and say "heel" in a low, but strong voice.
When walking, the dog's shoulder blades should be parallelto your leg. Most owners want their dog to heel on the leftside of their body. If he decides to go ahead of you, abruptlychange or reverse directions so that he will then be behindyou, or on the other end of the leash. With this method, theleash remains loose, and the dog knows that you are hisguide, and not vice-versa.
Do not drag your puppy or dog back towards you. Correcthim so that he doesn't pull you. Also, do not yank yourpuppy around while training him. You want it to be a funand worthwhile experience, a reward and not a punishment.With each new direction, repeat, "heel". When you stop, besure your dog sits so that it will become habitual when he'soutside or in public.
This method is proven an effective means of training yourdog. Give yourself plenty of time. It is one of the hardestthings to teach your new puppy or dog. Just know that youhave to have unlimited patience at first. It may take severalweeks. The reward of having a leash-trained dog is wellworth it. Perhaps you can even work to the point where aleash isn't necessary in certain places; that the dog will heelby your side at all times, automatically.
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