It sounds so easy right? It’s not. If you’ve every had a puppy you’re already probably nodding your head in agreement.
It’s tough! They cut you off while walking because the left side of the sidewalk is so interesting for that one moment…BUT WAIT, now the right side is fun! If you have a herding dog you definitely know what I’m talking about even more.
It’s in Fisher’s blood to herd us or anything for that matter. We like to take a family walk every night after dinner and boy does that test our patience sometimes! Fisher gets so excited that both Mom and Dad are taking him for a walk that he gets overwhelmed and herds us. This sometimes including jumping and nipping (gently) to get us to go where he wants. Thank heavens we enrolled him in puppy training!
Since we started our puppy training class two weeks ago (we got Christmas week off) we all have learned so much! Fisher is a completely different dog when we go on walks and it’s amazing! It becomes a safety concern for him and for us if he is not properly trained to walk on a leash. Zig-zagging can cause us to trip over him that could result in everyone getting hurt. Herding is natural to him, but he needs to learn not to herd people (kids & babies too, not just adults), shopping carts, strollers, and cars. If he trys to herd any of those things he could be severly injured or worse.
Do you need a remedy to get your dog to walk better on a leash?
It works, but it’ll make you dizzy! Hold your dog on a short leash and do not allow your dog to walk more than 1.5ft in front of you or lag 1 ft behind you.
If they are lagging, try saying “come/come on” and giving a gentle pull with the leash. If that doesn’t work, get one of their treats from your treat pouch or pocket and hold it out in front of them while saying “come”. When they do, give them the treat and say, “yes” to show them that you appreciate their good behavior and will reward them!
If they are pulling (seems to be most dogs), the second they get 1.5 ft in front of you say “Ut-Ah”, lower your free hand to the bottom of the leash to help the redirection and reverse your walking direction. This shows the dog that YOU are in charge of where you’re going, not the dog. You constantly have to be showing them that you are the alpha because just like kids and teenagers, they are always testing their limits. You may have to do this multiple times (you will get very dizzy!) before they stop pulling. Once they are walking side-by-side with you again and not pulling say “yes/Good boy/girl” and give them a treat.
I’m not a trainer, I’m not certified, these remedies come from a combination of the training we are receiving for Fisher and from our experience doing it with him.
It’s exhausting and hard work, but if you stick with it and are strict about it, you will notice a night and day difference in how your dog walks on a leash!