Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Leash Walking Q & A with Drayton Michaels

Drayton Michaels | DogStarDaily.com

Walking in partnership with your dog. This is an excellent way to describe the paradigm of leash walking. Many times it is a question of doing the appropriate dance steps in concert with the dog. IE: Are you walking fast enough, are you not stopping for intense pulling, are you “working the dog” so the dog is attentive? Are you getting tangled up? As in many dog training context the dog walk is full of distractions, hence why it is many times a challenge. A partnership is intrinsically a more cooperative way to view leash walking as opposed to the militaristic view of old school leash walking.

How to get a dog to stop pulling on leash, can it be done? Yes and no. I often counsel people about leash manners and let them know “All dogs pull and dogs pull all the time”. It really does boil down to a matter of degrees of pulling and focusing on the dog. When dogs are on the leash they are prevented from checking out the world at their own pace. Remember dogs are genetically predisposed to investigate things. This need to check things out is especially true of doggie smells and other dogs. Be patient and define reasonable criteria for your dog. Some people have been given the ridiculous notion that dogs should not smell on a walk! This is ludicrous. Imagine being told you could only look at water when you’re thirsty? Allowing dogs to smell on the walk will provide mental stimulation, which will alleviate stress, and it put you on the dog’s team. Using the smell as a reward is also a built in reward for listening to sit/wait cues and for loose lead behavior. Adjusting your pace with the dogs as well as having solid leash mechanics can be a really big help in the training of leash walking. Read the entire article

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