Training Steps to a more enjoyable Dog Walk!
Is Your Dog Walking YOU?
Your Expectation: Cool! My dog isn’t going to pull me today!
Reality: You’re going to be doing a lot of stopping and standing on leash for the next few weeks.
|Do: Keep training sessions to 10 minutes – don’t push your dog!||Do not: Attempt to train when you are tired (Silly Human!)|
|Do: Training sessions at least 5 days a week
|Do not: Lose your patience
If you become frustrated, quit immediately.
Hit the Reset button and try again later.
|Do: Use a shorter leash – like 4’ (more connection to dog)||Do not: Use a 10’ leash or extendable leash! (Now I know why your dog walks you!)|
|Do: Print this page and bring it while you are actually outside training. Remember, most of this manual is to train YOU!||Do not: Think you will remember all these steps unless you print this and bring it on the training sessions.|
OK NOW GET OUTSIDE AND GET MOVING!
3, 2, 1…. GO!
- When your dog pulls
- Immediately Stop Moving Forward
- Most dogs will continue to lean into the leash, waiting for you to move forward again. This behavior has been allowed in the past, and they don’t yet understand what you are asking. It’s ok.
- Continue to stand – I know….your dog is freaking out at this point… pulling like crazy. It’s ok. Continue to stand.
- Stop, Think, Goal: Your goal is get the dog to stand without leaning into the leash – you may not move forward until HE releases tension on the leash or stops leaning into it.
- If the dog continues to lean into the leash and won’t relax tension on the leash: You can use a little “tug tug” wrist movement as if you are shaking change in your hand. This will help to communicate with the dog you are asking for something.
You may ONLY take a step forward when the dog relaxes tension on the leash. If the dog goes right back into leaning/pulling again, you MUST STOP WALKING IMMEDIATELY AGAIN. Timing is Crucial. When the dog pulls, STOP WALKING.
- The ENTIRE 10 minute training session will be like this:
- Single step
- Dog pulls
- You stop
- When dog allows slack on Leash: ONLY then, may you move forward
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Expect to only take ONE step and have to stop again. This is fine! You will stop and start continually for the entire 10 minute session
- You are not actually going to get to “Walk” today.
- You will take single steps, and then stop immediately when the dog leans into leash. ONLY move forward when the dog allows slack on leash.
- Hold the same expectation on yourself as you are holding for your dog. If you are yelling and frustrated you must quit and try again later.
Do not expect perfect results on the first day… or the second day…..or the third day.
This Step can take DAYS to train.
Be Patient and Repeat. Neither YOU or your dog will be perfect at first. It’s ok.
It took a LONG time for the dog to learn that pulling was allowed. Now you are changing the rules, so be patient. It will take the same amount of time to undo the pulling behavior that was learned from his past.
Once your dog is consistently stopping with slack in the leash:
Now you can take more steps forward. Use a command like “OK” to signal you are allowing him to move forward. Do not clutter your training with multiple words and sentences. Make it easy and simple for your dog to learn. Each time your dog pulls, you must revert back to stopping again.
Time, Patience and your good training will prevail! You can do this!
BONUS INFO FOR YOU REALLY SMART PEOPLE:
The pulling behavior exhibited by your dog has a technical name: random, variable reinforcement. It means this. When a behavior works occasionally, and you can’t predict exactly when, you will try it over and over and over and over again. And you will not give up trying it for a long time even after it stops working. For you and your dog, this means that whenever you let her drag you toward another dog or an interesting pee spot, you’ve built a little more staying power into her attempts to pull. So, if you allow you dog to pull like a maniac even ONCE, you have just reinforced the behavior for them to try again!