Are you struggling with a dog that pulls on the leash? Does it feel like your dog is crazy on-leash walks?
We assure you that we can help. Let’s create peaceful leash walks now.
It is spring and you want to walk your dog around the neighborhood, at nearby parks or when you go camping. Let’s help you create enjoyable leash walks.
We recently had a client in Mantua, dog school was our focus. They wanted their two dogs to walk loosely on the leash.
They loved to go camping and wanted to be able to walk their dogs around the campground and have a good time with their dogs.
As a result, we focused much on leash walking. I want to help you get your dog to walk loosely on the leash too.
Most of my clients find that the PetSafe front hook harness works wonders during leash walking dog school. Mantua and surrounding areas has many stores where you buy these.
The Tractor Supply Store is a great option because the price is right. You can also venture to Petsmart or Petco to find them.
This harness has a hook on the chest. Imagine walking and having a leash attached to your chest.
When you go to pull it will throw you off balance a bit. As a result, it will be harder for you to pull on the leash.
A back hook harness does not work in the same way. When a harness is hooked on your back, you have your full body weight.
This will help you pull on the leash. This is why back harnesses work so well for mushing.
Front harnesses working best if you also take your dog to dog school. Mantua doesn’t have many professional dog training options but you can either work with us or you can train on your own.
The first step is to buy the correct sized harness. Measure around the girth of your dog to find the correct size. When you put the harness on your adjust the girth strap first.
It should be fairy tight so that you can fit about 2 fingers under the strap. If you can fit more than that then it is probably too loose.
Second, adjust the chest strap. This also works best if is fairy tight but a little loose is okay. It won’t work well if the chest strap can drastically move up and down.
Hook the leash to on the front hook. You can also hook the leash to the collar as well for extra safety.
Always make sure the leash is between yourself and your dog or the harness will not work right. So if the leash switches sides switch it back.
In dog school (Mantua), I like to tell my clients to have their dog on their left side. Have the leash cross in front of you so that you can easily have both hands on the leash.
Keep your left hand up high on the leash or off the leash. As a result, you will see a “J” in the leash if your dog is not pulling.
Once your leash starts to straighten it is time train your dog. You want your dog to be walking by your side or 1-2 feet in front of you.
Take the left hand, place it on the leash and guide the leash backwards in a diagonal fashion toward your left side. This will gently pull your dog back to your left side.
Another option, is to change directions when your dog pulls on the leash. When your dog tightens up on the leash turn to the right and walk in the opposite direction.
You are teaching your dog that when he pulls on the leash he will not move forward. If you continually walk forward when your dog pulls on the leash, you are rewarding the leash pulling.
In addition to guiding your dog back or changing directions, click and treat (c/t), once your dog is walking nicely on the leash.
This will give your dog an extra incentive to walk loosely on the leash because he is getting a double reward. He gets to walk forward when the leash is loose and he gets a treat.
I also like to add a command before I c/t to help the dog learn a command that means to walk loosely on the leash.
In dog school, Mantua clients have used “easy,” “walk,” or “heel”. However, you can choose any word that resonates with you.
When you give your dog the treat try to give your dog the treat by your side so that your dog doesn’t learn to cross his head in front of your legs while you are walking.
Practice in your yard first. Once you get the technique down move outside your yard to low distracting area. From there graduate to more and more distracting areas.
Of course, if you need help with dog school, Mantua and surrounding areas is where we serve (Geauga, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties).
We will come to your home, your neighborhood and nearby parks to help your dog to learn to walk peacefully on the leash.
It is time for you enjoy spring with your dog.
Johanna Teresi, Mantua Dog Trainer, Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog School, Mantua