Friday, 27 August 2010

How to Teach your Dog to Pull on the Lead

Let your new puppy drag his new lead around behind him

To get your pup used to his new lead, clip it on and let him drag it around behind him. He'll soon learn that having a lead on doesn't restrict him in any way, and he can go where he likes. If it gets stuck on something, a good pull will set him free, or he can rely on his owner to release him.

Let people make a big fuss of your puppy while he's on a lead

Every time you take your new puppy out on the lead, (some) people will go gooey and mushy and want to make a fuss. Make sure they squeal and/or make silly noises and say hi to your puppy while they are standing just out of your puppy's reach. When your excited puppy launches himself at these exciting people, move forwards so he can reach them.

Buy a flexible/extending lead

Your dog will learn that to get to that interesting smell, other dog or person, all he has to do is lean into the lead, get that pressure on the collar and move forward, and he'll get where he wants to go with little or no difficulty.

Let your dog stop you to sniff everything and anything he fancies

This is a good one if you want your dog to pull in a sideways direction. When you're walking on a lead, let your dog drift to the side of the path to sniff something just out of reach, follow him aimlessly as he wanders from side to side. Let him cock his leg on every vertical surface he fancies.

Never let him sniff or investigate anything, ever, and never let him off the lead

This is the one you need if you want your dog to slam on the brakes (ie pull backwards). If you never let your dog run free off the lead, and never let him stop and enjoy the area he is walking in, he'll soon learn to throw his weight backwards, often sitting down, to force you to stop or drag him.

Always walk to really exciting places

Put your dog's lead on, and walk him to somewhere he loves, or drive to the car park, and lead walk him to the good bits. Never walk anywhere dull, such as your own front door, without going somewhere lovely first.

Make sure to really excite him

Get your lead out, and say something such as "Walkies!", "Who wants to go for a lovely walk?" and make sure your dog is leaping all over the place in excitment before you've even got the lead on. Then once it's on, carry on with the exciting talk and be sure he runs out of the front door, with you hanging on behind.