Hey there friends. Long time, no talk! Just like the rest of you, we have been swamped with the holidays and unfortunately, our little blog took a backseat. I am back today, however, to discuss how to train your dog to walk politely by your side on a leash with none of that annoying pulling. First things first: buy an appropriate training collar. It doesn’t matter your preference, but you want something that will slightly pinch or apply pressure to the neck when it’s pulled on. I personally prefer a choke chain, but I know many people are uncomfortable. using those Remember, it’s all about how you use it! Also you will need a sturdy leash (non of that retractable non-sense <– I’ll discuss why I hate these in another post)

In addition to purchasing a collar and leash you need to find another very important resource: TIME! No training happens overnight and you will need to dedicated anywhere between 10-30 minutes of training time each day. Fortunately, if done correctly, your dog will pick up on this pretty quickly.

So how does this work? Keep your pooch on a short lead. During training, he should not have enough lead to walk ahead of you. He should be right by your side. Every time your dog pulls on the leash you STOP. Ask him to sit, and feed him a treat. Not only is this training him not to pull it’s also training him to sit every time you stop. This can be very frustrating at the beginning because your dog is still going to pull every step. Its important to be patient. If you have to take a step and sit each time, thanks O.K.! Make sure you start this training in a controlled environment, without many distractions. You always want to be able to add distractions in to build on the training.

That’s really all there is to it. All you need is patience and lots of repetition. Your dog will learn that he needs to look to you for pace and direction on a walk. He will learn that you are in charge and that staying close yields treats! Its always important to continue training even after you’ve accomplished a goal. Once your dog is walking properly, you should still stop periodically and make sure he is still sitting appropriately.

-Liz

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