February 8, 2010

What do I do when my Dog Refuses to Walk on a Leash?

Filed under: dog walking,dog walks,leash,walking on a leash — Dr. Amber Reed @ 11:55 am

canine arthritis dog leash training Dogs are curious, enthusiastic creatures and they want to be able to roam free. Often the biggest dogs, or the most intelligent dogs, can be very difficult to walk on a leash. They may pull or sniff around aimlessly making walk time much more frustrating. My own dog, a border collie, is not accustomed to being on a leash so in the early days it was extremely difficult to get her to cooperate. If this sounds like a familiar story, rest easy because there are some simple solutions to the problem.

First of all, you need to always be patient with your dog. Every dog will learn at a different pace but as the owner it’s your duty to show your dog the ropes calmly. Also, it is much easier to leash train young dogs than older dogs so if at all possible, start early. Young dogs are being molded by their experiences whereas old dogs are set in their ways. Leash training an independent older dog will usually require more patience and perseverance.

Now, here are some practical tips to help you with leash training. In the beginning, if you have difficulty even getting the leash on your dog, try putting it on during meal time. When eating, dogs are distracted so they won`t be as bothered by the leash but they`ll also start to associate the leash with food which is a positive thing. When you`re actually walking your dog, stop walking or even stop and walk the opposite direction whenever your dog pulls. Eventually, your dog will learn that pulling is not effective. Also, give your dog plenty of praise when he is walking appropriately. Dogs quickly learn to modify their behavior when they anticipate praise. Be consistent with your expectations and praise and your dog will be leash trained in no time!

About Dr. Amber Reed

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