Walking a dog is one of the greatest things you and your dog can do together. From puppyhood to old age, every dog loves to get out of the house and explore, smell the smells and see the sights. However, in order to get out of the house, your dog will need to learn how to behave on a leash. Dogs, and puppies especially, often like to do things to please their alpha leader, but walking is an area where your dog will require a little more training work than other commands.

It is very rare to see dogs that are good at walking on a leash from the start. A dog, by nature, loves to run, and many dogs have an idea of “territory” that is much larger than your house or even yard. Dogs also have an instinct, held over from their ancestors the wolves, to chase things that run, to pursue. Your dog will need to learn how to behave on the leash whenever he is out of the house.

This whole process can be very frustrating. It is common to see bigger size breed dog owners unable to control their dogs, often getting pulled side to side and being walked by their dogs. Once a dog reaches this stage, it becomes very hard to correct the behavior (it’s not impossible though, so don’t give up!)

The best time to teach a puppy good walking habits is during puppyhood. When a dog is still a puppy, he is still finding ways to make you happy and will be more open to doing things your way. Find a collar or harness that fits your puppy and a leash and begin training right away. If he can learn it when he is still a puppy, it will become natural to him into adulthood.

A note on harnesses: There are many different dog walking devices, from cloth collars to choke collars, to spike or prong collars, but easily the most effective is the harness. A harness clips in front of and behind the legs and its design means that, instead of choking your dog when he pulls, which can harm him; it instead just restricts his movement.

There are some harness designs that are able to lock up the dog’s underarms and restrict his movement until the pressure is released. Most dog trainers tend to promote positive reinforcement as they think it is more effective.

The important thing to realize is that you and your dog will have to learn to walk together. Every dog owners have their own preference when it comes to walking their dog. Dogs will response differently to various people as well. You need to observe and feel how your dog is walking.

Start by taking your dog out into an open field or park (hopefully with few people). Provide some slack on the leash and walk naturally. If you feel that the dog is starting to pull or go off in the wrong direction, instead of yanking hard on the leash, simply stop suddenly. Your dog will realize that he is causing the discomfort whenever he tries to pull.

If you need to get your dog’s attention, say if there is a rabbit or child you feel that your dog may want to run after, use short, deliberate jerks. Some dog trainers have found that pulling the leash slightly, almost like a tapping motion, is also a useful technique.

If your dog tends to pull and walks ahead of you, try to walk in a circle. Abrupt changes in direction will teach your dog to be on his toes, ready to respond to your movements instead of flying off ahead. Try both inside (you turn into your dog) and outside (turning away from your dog) circles.

Plenty of praise and your dog favorite treats are the best tools to help train your dog to walk properly. Dogs are always keen to please their owners. Your dog will be happy if he knows that you are, he will be happier if there are treats as rewards as well.

In extreme cases, if your dog is simply not responsive to normal training, a prong collar may be your only option. While walking normally, the collar simply sits on the dog’s neck. When he decides to pull, the prongs will begin to dig into the neck causing momentary pain. Your dog will pick up soon that pulling is not good.

When toilet training your puppy, take note that she is not able to control her bladder overnight before she reaches four months old. To learn more about canine health care and canine dog supplies, visit us at CanineTouch.com.

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