Tag: leash training

Leash Training Your Dog 101

Using a leash with your dog may seem pretty intuitive. Clip it onto their collar or harness and you’re ready to go, right? Sure, that gets the job done, but did you know there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to leash train your dog? Holding it correctly to prevent injury and teaching your dog to stop pulling are two great benefits of  training!

Leash Training 101

  • The right collar. If you’re starting your leash training with a puppy, it’s pertinent to get a collar that fits. Since puppies grow, be aware that you need to check the collar sizing regularly and upgrade as needed. Check out this link for tips on measuring your dog’s collar size!
  • Learn how to hold the leash. Here is where some human training comes in. Knowing how to hold the leash properly will help you keep steady control of your pet, without risking injury to yourself. This is particularly important during the training process when your pet will be pulling and jerking the most. Proper technique, as described by Wikihow:

    “Slip your thumb through the loop at the end of the leash. If you hold your hand upwards in front of you (like you’re giving someone a high five), the leash should dangle off your thumb. Then close your hand around the loop. The rest of the leash should come out the bottom of your fist, beside your pinky finger.”

  • Start with a short range. Keeping your dog close to you can help them learn which side they should walk on and what an acceptable pace is. This also allows you more immediate, easier control during the early stages.

  • Trial and error. Now comes the training part! With a pocket full of treats head out the door! As your pet walks calmly beside you, praise them and offer a treat. If they pull or dart about erratically exercise patience and reward them when they stop this behavior and return to polite walking. If they remain walking with you, stop and reward them every so often.
  • Deal with pulling. If your dog is trying to pull you toward a goal, stop. Wait until your pet stops tugging and then slowly walk toward the object of their interest, rewarding them if they walk calmly with you. Your dog needs to understand that misbehaving will produce the opposite result of what they want. If their behavior persists, calmly walk away from their goal. Don’t ever jerk the leash, just apply enough steady pressure that they must follow you. And again with the training mantra, once he stops and begins following you at a normal pace, reward him!

Remember to always be patient and gentle with your dog. Use your stubbornness and leadership to command your pet. Dogs are smart and most pick up on leash training fast!

photo credit: Comfort via photopin (license)

Puppy Time! How To Set Your Pet Up For Success

With little rolly-polly bodies and a playful spirit, puppies are hard to resist. There is nothing sadder though than to see a puppy that was brought home be left untrained and set up for a lifetime of struggle. Sometimes when the responsibility sets in and a puppy becomes a misbehaving dog it’s easier to take them to a shelter or put them outside on a lunge line or in a pen. What can you do to make sure that you’re both ready for the responsibility and that your puppy turns into a pet you can manage? Let us guide you!

Puppy to Dog – Tips for Success

  • Know your commitment – True with ANY pet, don’t make an impulse decision. Bringing a pet home is a big commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure you are ready and willing to put in the time and money to lovingly see the animal through to the end of its life.
  • Prepare your home – If you don’t want it chewed or damaged keep it out of a puppy’s reach. Make sure that you have the required equipment (puppy crates, puppy gates, etc.) to restrict their access and keep them safe. A well-prepared home will lead to less disciplinary measures required during the bonding process.

Puppy time!

  • Define toys – Make sure that your pet knows what it’s toys are. Don’t confuse them by letting them play with an old shoe or something similar. They aren’t going to discern between the toy shoe and your new pair when play time arrives. Make sure toys look different from regular household items you don’t want them messing with.
  • Take the time to train them – Training your puppy doesn’t have to be a big deal or a headache. The best training comes through play! For example, a game of hide and seek with treats as rewards can teach your pet to come when called. Get creative!
  • Keep bathroom breaks consistent – A great puppy potty break rule is to take their age in months and add 1. That is how frequently you should let them out. If your puppy is 4 months old, be sure to let them out at least every five hours. If you can’t be there all the time consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny!
  • Make them guest friendly – Nobody likes to be greeted by an over anxious or hostile pet when they visit. While your puppy is young consider keeping them leashed and by you while you have company. Being near you instead of all over a guest will become a habit for them as they grow. To prevent a second pet faux pas, discourage your pet from jumping on you and others by only ever rewarding them when all four paws are on the ground.

photo credit: Hudson, 9 weeks old. via photopin (license)

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