Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Imagine your dog walking happily by your side, stopping when you stop, turning when you turn, and continuing with you past other dogs and people. A head collar or front-attachment harness can help to discourage your dog from pulling, but he will need training to learn to walk beside you without pulling at all. A front-attachment harness is a safe and easy to use no-pull device that is great for all dogs. The front-attachment harness and head collar should only be used with leashes that are a maximum of 6 feet long. A simple way to help your dog learn to walk without pulling on the leash is to stop moving forward when he pulls and to reward him with treats when he walks by your side.
The steps below will go into more detail in order to help you to teach him how to have excellent leash manners. Start by attaching your dog to a rope or leash that is 10-20 feet long (but not retractable) while he is wearing a standard harness. When he catches up with you reward him with praise and by feeding a treat to him next to your preferred side. If the leash is tight and he does not come towards you, stop walking and apply gentle leash pressure.
Your dog needs time to sniff and relieve himself while on the leash, but it will help him to learn better manners if you decide when that will be. Continue practicing leash walking in your yard as in Steps 1 through 3 but by using a shorter leash. On your neighborhood walks you will apply the same techniques as you did in your yard, but now there will be additional distractions and challenges such as friendly strangers, squirrels and other dogs.
Hold your dog’s leash and toss a ball or treat 20 feet away from you and your leashed dog. At first, you might want to use a longer leash or a less desirable object to make this easier for him. If he is lagging behind a great deal, he could be frightened or not feeling well, so use lots of encouragement instead of pulling him along. If after you’ve practiced these steps, your dog seems to be alternating between walking beside you and pulling, stop rewarding coming back towards you after he pulls and instead concentrate on rewarding him for taking a larger number of consecutive steps by your side. If you have a puppy or an adult who has never been leash trained, begin with short, positive sessions.


If your dog has already formed the habit of pulling on his leash, you must convince him of two things: Pulling will not hasten his arrival at his goal, and walking politely will make you happy enough to reward him. He doesn’t pull on the leash, and he only goes potty and sniffs when you give permission.
If the leash is too long, it is possible that he could get going fast enough to hurt himself if he were to hit the end of the leash abruptly. If your dog is not very interested in food treats, then you can a tug a toy or toss a ball for him in place of feeding a treat. Get some pea-sized pieces of fresh meat or cheese to use to reward your dog and go to a familiar outdoor area like your backyard.
Whenever your dog happens to choose to walk beside you, reward him with praise and a treat next to your thigh on your preferred side. Wait for a moment when your dog is walking off on his own, or is lagging behind to sniff or go potty. The leash pressure is meant to be a reminder of your presence and to make it slightly unpleasant for him to ignore you, but not to force him towards you. Continue to reward him for staying by your side when you walk in a different manner than usual (extra fast or slow, stopping or changing directions) or you encounter a distraction like another animal or person. Consider using a front-attachment harness or head collar for extra control and bringing fresh meat or cheese for use as treats. If he walks beside you while you walk towards the object, allow him to continue towards it until he reaches it and can take it as his reward.
If he is lagging to sniff or to potty, simply keep walking but be sure to apply only gentle pressure on the leash. You should be able to take your dog for a walk around the block or into a crowded veterinary office without having your legs wrapped up or your shoulder dislocated. Even if he’s a whirling dervish or major-league puller, there will be times when he stops the craziness enough to let the leash go slack. Give a treat every few steps at first, increasing the distance you walk between treats until he forms the habit of walking at your side without treats. In other words, when he pulls, rather than simply stopping, turn around and walk the other way.
Of course, it may also be that you are inadvertently encouraging him to pull by hurrying along with him.


When he takes a few steps in the right place, mark that behavior with your voice or clicker, and reward him. Leash manners is probably the most challenging thing you will probably teach him to do, but it is fun too and well worth the effort! Even a pint-sized pooch can take the fun out of a walk if he pulls, spins, and jerks you around, and good leash skills are also important for safety, both your dog’s and your own.
It is a good idea, though, to teach your dog to stay on one side so that he doesn’t trip you as he runs back and forth.
In other words, teach your dog that if he tries to pull you toward something, you will stop in your tracks.
Repeat until he stays beside you, slowly increasing the time between treats until he no longer needs to be lured and rewarded. When he is properly leash trained, your dog will walk steadily on one side of you with the leash slack. If your dog is determined to get where he wants to go, he may not notice right away that you are playing statue, but sooner or later he will either stop pulling or turn and look at you.
If his weaving or circling is wild enough to pose a risk, shorten your leash so that he has to stay on one side of you, and reward him when he does.
If your dog is completely uninterested in you, take him inside and then try again later at a time when he is a bit more hungry. Like many other aspects of good training, teaching him to do this will require some time and effort, but the payoff is a dog who is a pleasure to walk.
Simply hold your leash firmly, turn around, and walk at a normal speed in the other direction.
You may have to spend a few days going for short, slow walks, but many dogs figure out very quickly that pulling slows progress rather than speeds it up.
When he catches up to you, be very happy to see him, and mark and reward him for being with you.



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Comments to «How to train a puppy to walk on a leash and not pull»

  1. ANGEL writes:
    Around seven weeks old primary.
  2. TeK_BiR_GeCe writes:
    Two when your puppy gets it right all door escapes, so that he does not get free outside.