We’ve all seen it: dogs who drag their caretakers (previously known as dog owners) along the street. They look out of control and are hard to be around, pee in the wrong places, cause misunderstandings between neighbors. Having an unruly dog is an unnecessary cause of stress in your life. All of us who have had the honor to live with a dog have, at some point, felt bewildered or frustrated about our best friend’s behavior. The good news is, it is up to us to correct most of these issues. And it’s not too complicated.
Below you will find some tips on how to train your pup to walk with you. I have identified some of these techniques from years of living with a dog in New York City. Some other tips I simply learned from reputable dog trainers on the internet and in my neighborhood. All these tips are equally important and easy to achieve. Please be consistent with these rules and you will see results within days. I will refer to the pup in this article as She because I currently have a beautiful female mutt called Luna!!:
- Make your dog sit and stay still while you are putting a harness or collar on her. Don’t let her go crazy and unruly while you’re trying to take her out on a walk! She has to be able to sit and wait. Reward her for that once you’re done putting the leash on, and she will always do the same thing.
- Always walk in front of her. Your pup must understand who is the leader of the pack from the very early stages. Sometimes they will get excited upon seeing a squirrel or a bird and get ahead of you. My guess is that this is a normal response to excitement, and I wouldn’t want to curb that. But 90% of the time, your dog should be next to you while walking. Simply keep a tight grip on your leash while they are still young. They will learn and understand that near your leg is the right (and safe) place to be.
- Don’t let your dog pull you. Remember, you are the leader of the pack. If you don’t feel like going somewhere, you keep your dog from going that way. This behavior is commonly overlooked when dogs are still pups, or on toy breeds. If you let your puppy get used to pulling, you won’t be able to control her when she’s a full-grown 70-lb animal. Regardless of the size of the animal, this looks terrible on the owner. It’s flabbergasting to see a 20lb pup pulling a 150lb adult down the street!!
- This is an optional one, but I highly advise those who live in large cities to do it: Teach your dog that the bathroom is near the very edge of the sidewalk! It is an extremely considerate thing to do. Half the city will thank you for doing that, as less people are likely to step on your dog’s pee. As for number twos, even if you pick it up (as you always should), there will always be some leftover in the floor waiting to be stepped over. Or, have you thought about the time when your pup has diarrhea? There’s no picking that up! On the other hand, if your dog does her business near the curb, she will annoy less neighbors and leave her mark in less shoes. This is a very civil and nice thing to teach your pup.
- Use a proper leash. Savvy dog trainers highly discourage using retractable leashes, especially on larger breeds. Your dog should always be within distance from you and you should be able to control his or her impulses at any time. A solid rope or leather leash should work fine. Read below to learn about the leash we designed!
- Use treats and pets. But only after they’ve done something good!! When do you reward your dog while walking? Well, think of all of the above points. If your pup follows you wherever you go, reward her. If your pup pees in the edge of the sidewalk, reward her. If your dog sits calmly while you put her leash on, reward her! What do I use for rewards? Blue Buffalo Wild Treats. It has some of the best ingredients I have found in the market. And the flavors are pretty exciting for a dog: Duck, Salmon or Chicken Click here to learn more about this treat.
- I recently read this one from The Dog Whisperer and it made so much sense to me (Kudos to him!). Always walk in and out of your house before your dog. You go out first, you go in first. This is a true demonstration of leadership and your dog will appreciate and understand it.
- When you walk back into your house, make her sit and wait again for you to remove her leash. This is rule number one repeated, but it’s very important that your dog understands this part of the routine.
- Finish with a treat and small pet, congratulating her for being so well behaved!
So what leash do we recommend? At GOMA Industries we decided to design our own leash with all these basic principles in mind. I live in a city, so on top of having full control of my dog, I wanted to add a safety feature to this leash. I realized that in some dark spots of New York I couldn’t see people coming at me with their dogs.
That’s why we added a reflective strand to this weaving, on top of the no-pull factor mentioned earlier
Want to try our leash? It’s pretty awesome and it has great safety features.
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I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. Remember, if you’re looking for a great leash for your pup, or looking for a lovely gift, consider getting THE GOMA CANINELINE.
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