So let’s talk about dog training tips that attribute to walking your dog and how to make it easy and pleasant for both of you. This means for you primarily that your dog is not pulling you down the street. And this means for the dog somewhat the same, that he’s not pulling you down the street which must be choking at his neck and make things less comfortable for him. My advice to you is if you’ve got a new puppy begin by walking your puppy, preferably, without even a leash. Young puppies have an instinct to follow your ankles and if they associate your ankles with the walk this makes things much easier as the dog develops his own thought patterns later on and wants to walk someplace where you are not aware you might be slow to come too. So that’s just a pointer for little tiny puppies. Though let’s presume that your puppy is older and maybe your dog is even grown and you’re having this ridiculous issue of the dog taking you for a walk for some time now. Well, this can so easily be turned around. Are you ready for a simple answer?
You need to understand thoroughly the premise of positive reinforcement behavioral training. Positive reinforcement basically is that when you do something you get a result or reaction for the action. So in other words, if your dog is pulling you down the street and he keeps getting to move forward, he is being reinforced for pulling you. He’s getting to move forward on his walk. Albeit uncomfortable, he’s getting some kind of reinforcement for his behavior. He likes moving forward from point A to point B getting to where the smells are coming from, so you are, in essence, reinforcing his pulling behavior by allowing it to happen. Almost all things training related in dogs or any other kind of animal for that matter, works on the premise of positive reinforcement. It goes back to this notion that if the animal gets something good for his behavior he will keep doing it. I’m sure you can relate to the idea of rewarding the dog with a treat. Well it’s the same notion with that concept. He does something and he gets a treat! The treat can be likened to getting to move forward on the walk.
So the trick is to not reinforce the bad behavior. What you need to do is not allow him to pull you forward; rather you need to pull him backwards and entirely in the opposite direction. I promise, you do this for three days, whenever he’s pulling forward on the leash, you immediately turn yourself around and start pulling hard and fast in the other direction. Do this at the same time with a verbal command of “no pulling” or and “stop pulling”. Then, as soon as the dog recovers and is now basically running behind you because you want to move that quick, you then stop and give the dog positive reinforcement for his good behavior. This is given in the form of pats and cuddles and words like “good dog”, delivered in a soft and pleasant tone. You will quickly see the results of not letting the dog control the walk, but rather you control the walk by pulling against what he wants to do and very soon your dog will respond to commands of “no pulling” or “stop pulling”. There after, when you say “good dog” he will associate those words with walking close to you and at your side or behind you. Give it a try! You will be amazed, I’m sure.
Author: Dr. Marika Zoll is a clinical psychologist and breeder of French Bulldogs. Her site is http://frenchbulldogsla.com. She practices alternative medicine healing along with traditional preventive medicine