My Dog Doesn’t Walk Well on a Lead!! Part 2.

4. Penalty Yards
Penalty yards is a game of understanding. At the moment your dog is probably convinced that the fastest way to get to the off lead park or to the bush track or lamppost is to pull you there no matter how much resistance you apply. You need to turn this picture . Penalty yards teaches your dog that if there is pressure on your collar we move away from where you would like to go –If there is no pressure we move toward the place you would like to go.
Start with your dog’s bowl and some really tasty treats and/or a person your dog loves, standing at one end of the garden. Show your dog the treats/person and get him really excited – this is your ‘target’. Now move back with your dog on lead to a starting line some distance away. Start moving toward your target – if the lead tightens say ‘too bad’ and immediately turn around and move back quickly to behind your start line. If the lead is loose – even if only when moving back toward the start line – talk to your dog and praise him. He needs to know that this is the behaviour you would like from him. This is a great exercise for teaching your dog that you ARE relevant – not just a go-between from house to park. Repeat until you can walk all the way to your target without the lead tightening at all – then release your dog to the treats and praise.
5. Training aids
Training will always take a little longer to be effective than a management tool such as a head halter or walking harness. These tools were designed to get you and your dog walking safely sooner and should always be considered as a viable option.
How Long Until My Dog Improves?
Training is most effective if implemented from puppyhood establishing good habits from the start. A dog that has a long history of pulling will generally take much longer to re-train. If your short on time or patience, try one of the excellent training aids on the market such as a head halter or walking harness. The latest is a front clip harness that attaches at the front, at the centre of the dog’s chest which greatly inhibits the dog’s ability to pull. These harnesses are proving very popular because the dog accepts them almost immediately. Walking aids are designed to get you and your dog walking safely sooner and should always be considered as a viable option. Still having problems? Contact a trainer in your area for personal advice by contacting the Association of Pet Dog Trainers at www.apdt.com.au.

Article courtesy of Karin Larsen Bridge, partner of Get S.M.A.R.T. Dog Training, Sydney.
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