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Common Sense Dog Training

I was just thinking about how many times, we, as dog owners, unwittingly send the wrong message to our dogs. For example – we all want dogs that walk nicely on a leash and yet how many of us regularly have our arm pulled out of the socket from our dog dragging us down the street? Why is that?

Owners will complain that their dog pulls them all the time and they don’t understand what to do about it. But think about the scenario: dog sees something he wants – dog pulls owner to the object – owner follows along behind with arm outstretched – dog gets to the object he wants – SCORE – REWARD - JACKPOT !!!!! The dog was just rewarded for pulling. Really, if you just think about it – common sense would tell you not to let him do it, right?

“Dogs do what works”. I’ve heard that saying for years. PULLING WORKS!! The dog gets what he wants by pulling.

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Now - what do you think would happen if EVERY SINGLE TIME your dog started to pull you, you put his leash on the ground and stood on it – became an immovable object. How long do you think he would continue to pull? If pulling NEVER paid off – would he continue to do it? Probably not. If it NEVER got him what he wanted, he would give it up.

Additionally - what if we started this not allowing him to pull, the very first time you put a leash on him at 7 or 8 weeks? WOW!!! That could be huge.

Then you could add in a little clicker action, so that every time he turned back to you to say “what the heck is the deal?” and thereby put some slack in the leash, you could click to say, “YES that’s it!!! “
WOW – you could have a dog that would walk nicely on a regular basis by the time he was 10 weeks old! How cool would that be?

If your dog is already several years old and is used to pulling, don’t despair. It’s not too late. The key is consistency. If you decide to train him to walk nicely, you just have to make sure that you stop it EVERY SINGLE TIME he tries to pull. Are you up to the challenge? “-)

Just a little food for thought folks.

Happy training!

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3 Responses to “Common Sense Dog Training”

  1. Gail says:

    This post is so timely! Last night Double D and I walked the dogs (Sparky & Chance). Chance walks beautifully on the leash, but Sparky wants to stop and sniff and pee on every blade of grass. I always just keep moving forward. Sometimes he stops what he’s doing and obeys, but other times he sits down as if saying “You can’t make me!”. which causes me to pull and tug on his leash. Double D fussed at me saying that I’m not letting Sparky enjoy his walk. I think he should go where I want to go. What do you think?

  2. Administrator says:

    I think you’re BOTH right! (That’s my marriage counselor hat - Ha!) But seriously, walking on a loose leash should be “on-cue”, meaning that when you say the word for what you want, (be it “heel” or something else) your dog understands. You should also have a “release” word - (done - break - free - whatever) which means “all done” you are free to do as you like. I think going for a walk should involve BOTH walking nicely on leash (for a short period of time, maybe 2 - 4 minutes), and a free period (maybe 30 seconds) to sniff. Then you call him back and ask for him to walk nicely with you again. So YOU are calling the shots and requiring nice behavior before he gets his reward. We don’t want our dogs making their own decisions about when they are to be with us, and when they can run off. WE will let THEM know that. :-)
    Happy Training!

  3. Gail says:

    Ah, good answer! I will try to implement those suggestions on the next walk. Thanks, Mickey!

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