4 Dog Leash Training Mistakes to Avoid
With an insatiable appetite to explore and give attention to what’s happening right in front of them, it's no wonder why dogs easily become man’s best friend. However, it’s with this same energy that causes your canine companions to turn a calm morning walk into a chaotic wrestle for control.
In this article we cover 4 common mistakes that dog owners make when it comes to leash training their dog. Are you doing things right?
Keeping a Tight Leash
The first mistake when aiming to leash train your dog is keeping a tight leash in an effort to maintain control. When this happens, instinctively your dog will pull against you trying to escape the pressure placed on its neck. What needs to take place instead is actually quite the opposite. You must try to always allow slack in the leash and practice walking your dog without any unnecessary tugging. This is easier said than done and will require a good amount of patience but the results will lend itself to respect between both dog and you (the owner).
Once settled and comfortable, the next step is to establish who is the pack leader. To do this, it is recommended that you walk in front of your dog, only allowing him to either be close beside you or behind you while walking. This reminds the dog who’s in charge without physically pulling or tugging.
Using Inconsistent Signals
One of the biggest things when it comes to Dog Training is to stay consistent with your actions. If you have successfully established yourself as the pack leader, then your dog will always react to the signals that you present. Thus it is extremely important that you leave your emotions at the door when it comes to training your pet.
In the first point above, we spoke about maintaining a loose leash when walking your dog. But what happens when the lead goes tight when your dog decides to burst after something that smells extremely interesting? How do you act in response? There are two types of people. One who pulls the dog back in order to establish control and another who moves forward again until the lead is slack. In this case, both types are in the wrong. The best way is to simply stop walking, stand still and wait. In just a few moments, your dog will turn back to you and you can continue leading the way when you re-establish who’s in control.
Unintentionally Praising Bad Behavior
It’s incredibly welcoming when your dog greets you each day by jumping on you and giving you loads of attention. Without much thought, you give an equal amount of love and attention in return. It just wouldn’t seem right if you didn’t respond with the same amount of reciprocity, right?
Well, you might rethink that when I tell you that you might be rewarding bad behavior. How so?
Your dog may begin to positively associate jumping on people with receiving a ton of praise and thus take his talents to the street, quite literally. The resulting behavior is your pup jumping on every person that comes into view, begging for attention. The first couple times could be cute but could quickly turn into annoying, especially when you may encounter more than a handful of people on your daily walks.
With this perspective, you as the dog owner might need to be more aware of the actions you reward, and yes this includes all the attention and extra belly rubs you give.
Using Fear or Pain as Feedback
As stated in a previous article, the use of fear or pain can really hold your pup back from effectively learning. The reason for this is because once you instill fear in your dog, your dog will not only lose respect for you as a pack leader but may also seek out others for their security and happiness.
The best way to teach your dog a new skill is to either show positive feedback or directly show the removal of said positive feedback. With this type of training, not only can you successfully teach your dog new tricks but you also do it in a way that builds the relationship between the two of you out of respect and trust.
What other mistakes have you experienced while leasing training your four-legged friend? Let us know in the comments below. Also, it would help so much if you shared this article to anyone who might need it!