Leash walks revisited…
Your tip for this week is all about walking on a leash.
Taking your puppy for a walk every day is one of the very best things you can do for your puppy. It is also excellent for enhancing the relationship that you have with your puppy.
If you have been practicing the leash walk you’re probably doing quite well with this.
But if you’ve dropped the ball a bit and haven’t been out walking as much as you should with your pup she is probably not as comfortable as she could be with the leash walk.
The first and best tip is quite obvious…make the decision and get out there and walk your puppy!
After that…there are ways to deal with your puppy pulling on the leash and instilling proper etiquette on walks. I have found when training puppies that a brisk step makes for less problems than a slow pace. If you can keep up a good quick pace, your puppy will have to keep up with you and there will be less pulling as she learns to walk with you.
Later on you can work at changing the speeds of your walks…after she has grasped the idea of walking on a leash with you.
The most basic and best way to prevent your puppy from ever pulling on the leash and to stop her from pulling if she has already started the habit is to ‘stop’ every time she pulls.
When I say every time…I mean every time…always…no exceptions.
If your puppy pulls as you walk, you simply stop walking, wait until there is no pressure on the leash and your puppy has settled down, and only then do you proceed forward. This takes some time for a puppy that has already gotten into the pulling habit…but it is well worth the time to be able to walk with your pup comfortably without having a battle every time you go out.
When you meet someone on the trail you can let your puppy sniff very briefly and then keep walking briskly along. If there is another dog involved it is best to call out to the person coming toward you to see if there dog if friendly. “Is your dog friendly?”
A very important thing to remember is that your puppy trusts in you to keep her safe when she is out and about. One thing you do NOT want to happen is to subject your puppy to an aggressive or angry dog while out leash walking or anytime for that matter. Show your puppy that you are a good leader by protecting her from snaps and snarls from other dogs. If you run across an aggressive dog it is best to go out of your way to give the dog and person room on the trail to pass by safely without incident.
Take water with you if you are going to be gone long and don’t forget your clean-up bags.
Have fun and keep walking!
Have a great week!