Leash Training

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Train your dog to walk on a leash

For a new puppy or an aged dog, pulling on a leash can be one of the worst and most difficult habits to break. Dogs naturally get extremely excited to be outside, going for a walk, taking a hike, or whatever the activity may be. With time and persistence, your dogs leash pulling days will be over, and your arm will return to its socket, where it should be.

First and foremost, some puppies have a hard time adjusting to collars and leashes. Many will scratch them and refuse to move, while others ignore it and go on as if it were not there. For new puppies and adults alike, it is important to have a one-length leash rather than a retractable one for training. Training your dog not to pull on a leash is much more likely to be accomplished if he does not have free reign to pull as he pleases.

When you are preparing for your walk, ensure that your dog is sitting and calm before putting on his leash. If he starts out excited, he will remain that way and it will be difficult to calm him down. Even if you must stand for five minutes waiting for your dog to stop jumping up and down, he will soon realize that you are not going anywhere until he sits. Once he calms down, reward him for his good behavior, and continue on your way. It is important to do this each and every time you take your dog out, whether it is for a walk or simply to go to the bathroom.

Once outside, hold your dogs leash taunt so that he must walk beside you. Your dog should not be taking you for a walk and therefore should not be leading. If he again gets excited, simply stand still until your dog comes back to you. Again reward him for his behavior and soon he will realize he will not get anywhere without striding next to you.

It is important to keep in mind that dogs have a great sense of adventure and that should not always be hindered with the constraints of a leash. Teaching a dog to come when called can be a great trick so that he can have freedom to roam a forest while you are hiking, or can play fetch in the field. Whatever the fun task may be, making sure that your dog understands that you are the leader in the situation is the key to long lasting success.

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