When you are struggling to train your dog in any way, it can often seem frustrating because you may feel as if your dog just isn’t getting what your are asking him to do. Loose leash training is really no different, because what you are essentially asking your pooch to do is learn something and, much like a small child, teaching takes time and patience, but it can be done.
When you are loose leash training, it’s important not to plan that your dog will behave exactly the way you expect right away. For instance, if you walk past a place that your dog finds especially attractive, say, mailboxes, your dog will have a difficult time resisting the temptation, so it’s a good idea to work up to these things. Rather than frustrating yourself and your dog with these ever-so-attractive mailboxes, you may want to avoid them at first so that your pooch doesn’t derail all his training in one day.
Instead, when you’re loose leash training, it’s important to begin the process in an open area that doesn’t have these particular temptations. Choosing a larger area will help your dog to avoid “triggers” to tugging because many of the scents in an open area tend to be diluted a bit and less attractive to dogs. As you’re working with your dog, you will find that he becomes more able to keep his nose off the ground and pay attention to the walk with you.
Also, it’s important when you are working on loose leash training to mix up your routine a little bit. Much like a dog hearing a bell and assuming it is time to eat, dogs can learn a routine and know how to behave during that time, but when the routine is changed around, they become confused about what is expected of them. By taking the time each day to walk in a different area and develop a different routine, you may find that your dog responds better to your training efforts.
Always remember that when loose leash training, your goal is to teach your dog to pay attention to you. This ultimately is what stops him from tugging at the leash because he wants to know where you are going. When you are working with any type of training, the most difficult part is teaching your dog to pay attention to you, so this is the most important part of any training. Since dogs are like small children, it may be difficult at first to develop a method that encourages your pet to pay almost exclusive attention to you when they are walking, but with time and patience and a little creativity, you will find ways to encourage your dog to avoid distractions and keep their eyes on you.
Some people find that talking to their dogs through out the loose leash training process is very helpful, while others find that when they say nothing to their pet and depend on eye contact, the loose leash training process is more effective. Before you begin loose leash training your dog, it’s a good idea to work with your dog in other types of training so that you know what will get your pooch’s attention. When it comes to walking, then, you will have a stronger understanding of how to get your puppy’s attention.