The Loose Leash Walking course is OPEN for registration! Click here to learn more
If your dog is pulling, barking or lunging on the leash, where exactly do you begin?
On the leash… without walking! Yup, that’s the first “baby step”.
Just go outside on the leash and stay right by the door or by the garage. Let your dog look around, take in the sights, smells and sounds and give yourself an easy retreat back to home base.
Why? Because the best thing you can do with a dog that pulls, barks or lunges on leash is to prevent that behavior. Every time your dog behaves poorly on a leash, that behavior is REINFORCED. Reinforced means the behavior is becoming an automatic response or is already an automatic response (habit) and just becomes more ingrained.
It’s awfully hard to teach new behavior when you are reinforcing the behavior you don’t want. Right!?
Stop reading and think about that for a minute…”Reinforced”. You really do not want to reinforce problems on a leash that can be a serious safety issue.
Ok… you say… but your dog needs exercise!!! I get it…
My dog, Rae, just had elbow surgery and has a big cast on her leg. She is ONLY allowed to walk to eliminate. That’s it! For at least 8 weeks!
Rae is a high drive, energetic, young Australian Shepherd who defines life as movement, but there is no alternative just like is sometimes the case with a behavior issue. So try to think of your issue as a physical issue to make it easier on yourself. There are times that your dog just can’t do what they want so we have to find them alternatives.
This is your best alternative to get started: Take your dog out for 20-30 min but stay right next to your door and let your dog look around, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. Your dog will get some enrichment and you can relax knowing you have a quick escape – and actually, relaxing is “half the battle”.
Then get going on teaching your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash.
Do you need help teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash?
Join my Loose Leash Walking class which is scheduled to open again in January or February 2021. You can get on the Waiting List and be the first to hear when registration opens!
Thanks for watching and reading and now I’d love to hear from you.
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