Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Enjoying a good relationship with your dog means being able to take the dog for a walk and having it heel. For example, when you are home, clip the leash on but go about your normal routine in the house. Repeat this until both you and the dog are bored, and its lost all interest in pulling on the lead because the chances are it is going straight back inside and not on a walk. Teach the dog to stop pulling on the lead.[5] This works best if you set aside plenty of time, and are prepared to not actually get as far as your intended destination.
If your dog needs lots of exercise, try playing ball in the yard to tire it out beforehand so that it gets its exercise. Using this method, however, when the dog tries to get you to move faster, it results in you stopping, which means no movement at all. Hopefully, after about a month of taking walks like this, your dog will no longer be taking you for a walk! This version of How to Train an Older Dog to Walk Calmly on a Leash was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on October 27, 2015. 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.
If you have a new puppy, it is best to start lessons early and reinforce them often.  Here are some tips for teaching your puppy good leash manners. If the dog starts to get ahead of you, but before he or she gets to the end of the slack in the leash, turn around and begin walking in the opposite direction while making a kissy sound with your mouth.  The dog will turn around to see what you are doing, and will soon catch up with you, and you can reposition the dog where he or she belongs. Gradually lengthen the distance the dog must walk in the proper position before you stop for reinforcement via praise and a treat.  As the dog gets it, begin to give treats only randomly so he or she never knows when they are coming. Check out this article from Colorado’s Dumb Friends League for more informative tips on loose leash walking.


Unfortunately, many dogs have learned to pull on the lead, which is tiring for you, uncomfortable to it, and could potentially be dangerous if the dog is too large and powerful. Dogs most commonly pull because they are excited to get where they are going, which is usually an exciting place full of interesting smells such as the park.
When your dog turns its head to look at you, give a hearty "GOOD DOGGY!" then move forward and keep on walking. 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.
However, don't despair if you have an older dog that has learned bad habits, as it's never too late to retrain a dog to walk calmly on the leash without pulling. While it might seem tempting to use a prong collar or choke chain, these work by inflicting pain and having the dog associate pain with pulling.
This is likely to reboot the whole excitement thing, because this time it looks like the dog really is going for a walk. If the dog then tanks ahead of you and pulls in the next direction, stop again and change direction. Commit to daily training but don't assume that your dog will change its behavior after just a week. 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.
In the beginning you should have treats or some other reward for your dog, as well as your clicker if you use one to mark good behavior.


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. In either case, your best option is to take an obedience class or even a few private lessons from a qualified instructor who can help you get your dog under control. You simply need time, patience, and an understanding of what motivates your dog to learn and follow commands. This kind of leash will let you correct bad behavior quickly and effectively by redirecting the dog away from distractions. In this case, the action of pulling on the lead is it's own reward because the dog perceives they get where they want to go more quickly. 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. 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.



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