If dog walking has become less and less enjoyable on walks for you, then you may want to improve your dog’s behavior using some simple training tips. Today, we’re going to teach you three effective ways to improve your dog’s behavior during a walk.
Dog Pulling on Leash
Don’t use a choke chain or a shock/prong collar.
Some dog owners try to influence their dog’s behavior using pain. While this might be effective in the short run, it leads to serious long-term behavior issues. Your dog will learn to fear you, not respect you, and that could lead to biting behavior, barking, and other problems. Regardless, trying to build a relationship with your dog using these types of collars is rarely effective.
Instead of using painful collars, try using a normal flat collar or one of many available harnesses on the market. Most dogs respond more positively to firm but gentle reinforcement, and it’s important to turn walking into a positive experience, not a painful one.
Make walking by your side more enjoyable.
One of the best commands to teach your dog is ‘heel.’ However, instead of screaming at the dog and pulling sharply back on the collar, try approaching it from a different angle.
Many dog behavior experts recommend using the ‘name and reward’ system to teach your dog a new behavior like ‘heel.’ Instead of just saying ‘Good dog!’ when he walks by your side, name the behavior and reward him with a treat or affection. Pull firmly back on the leash and, when the dog reaches your side, say ‘close’ or ‘heel’ and then give him a doggy treat.
This will make walks more enjoyable for everybody involved, and it goes a long way towards creating a positive relationship between you and your dog.
Control your Dog’s Pulling Behavior
Many dogs like to pull on the leash while they walk. Instead of being dragged along when this happens, stand your ground and refuse to give way. If you have a big dog, this might require you to bend your knees, lower your center of gravity, and stand like a sumo wrestler. However, this will teach your dog that pulling doesn’t lead to anything, which will eventually make the behavior stop.
Wait until your dog stops pulling, and then continue walking. If the dog immediately starts to pull again, stop walking and wait until there is slack on the leash again. Before long, your dog will understand what you’re trying to do, which should make the behavior stop.
Try these tips to make your walk more enjoyable.