Hello friends! This afternoon, I’m going to give you guys some tips on lead/leash training your dog or pup. Now have you ever walked a dog that just pulled you down the sidewalk? Maybe it was your friends- maybe it was yours…but I’m sure some of us have had that happen before. It’s SO much easier to just train them when they’re pups NOT to do that- and it also makes for a MUCH better dog to walk with.
BUT, even if your full grown dog isn’t very good on a leash, and pulls a lot, you can STILL at least help it to be a little better. No, it might not be as good as if it had been trained as a pup, but it can still be better. But you can’t let it be the sled dog at the front of the pack. Not unless you want it to be a sled dog. I don’t like it when there are dogs who pull me around, and if YOU do, well then…why are you reading this post? When they’re pups, they’re not quite strong enough (at least if they’re littler, younger pups) to pull you across the neighborhood yet! They’re still small enough for you to have control over and let them know that though you’re their friend, you’re also the boss. I’m sure some of you still have pups, or maybe your friends do, and I ask you to please not just let the dog pull around where he wants, he needs to have boundaries.
So…imagine this small husky pup. It’s little and cute. And it chews on your shoe laces and jumps on your leg, playfully barking. You put a leash on it and let it go where it wants.
NOW, picture this, a HUGE husky DOG that bites you, and jumps on all your little kid friends, knocking them down. It doesn’t MEAN to hurt them, but when you’ve been telling it that jumping was alright all these years, and then you say NO, it doesn’t know what you mean! And it BARKS, because you used to think it was ‘so cute’.
Same with leashes. As a huge dog, you don’t have much control over it. The best you can do for a large dog that’s not well leash trained, is probably to tie it on a chain to somewhere, and just let it fight it out on the leash that it won’t chew through. Believe me, this is NOT mean. It needs to understand that it can’t fight the leash all it’s life. I mean, don’t just leave it there for three days! You should be smarter than THAT…but if it has absolutely NO respect for a leash and just flails around, then it might just hurt you if you try to leash train it at that age. If it’s just one that pulls a lot, you can just pull back a lot, eventually, it might get a little bit tired, and it should be easier to lead.
If you live in the country and don’t want to ever use a leash, then just get it good enough so that it knows come very well. You don’t NEED to train your dog on a leash IF you live in the country..but believe me, it’s awful nice to know that you were able to teach them, and it will be a good picture if someone sees you walking your nice trained dog.
And you need to at LEAST try to give it some meaning of ‘heel’ or whatever word you use for your dog to not pull on you. You can tug it, to keep it from going to far ahead, or staying to far back. I’m not very used to training olderish dogs to heel, but pups I can. So, if you have a pup that you want to train, or just would like to know how to, read the stuff below.
This morning I got out two of my pups. You guys know that I have lots, and I haven’t been doing enough with them. So, dad said the next step for them, is to leash train them. They were born in late June, 2016, so they are definitely old enough and big enough for it now. I’m not sure exactly what AGE is best to train at, but I’m sure at least 8 weeks (usually when the pup is able to be bought) is good enough.
What type of collar do I use for them? Well, the one I use is called a choke chain. WAIT, now don’t start judging yet, it’s not a chain that chokes them- well.. if you use it wrong it might! But you don’t use a choke chain to CHOKE them. This is what one looks like.
In using a choke chain, it has two O-rings on each side of a chain thing. You put the chain thing through one of the O-rings and it forms a circle of which you can put over your dog/pup’s head. Now, if your pup is behind you, and won’t come, try a phrase. If you want to use ‘heel’-go ahead-but I use ‘come on’ if I want them to come up to me from behind, and ‘come here’ if they’re too far ahead. So if it’s lagging behind, you say ‘come on’, give it a chance to come on it’s own, and if it doesn’t, then you give it a tug. When you use that specific collar, if you have the leash loose, (and have the collar on right) it will leave the collar nice and loose, but if you pull on the leash, it will tighten the collar!
So you say ‘Come on’, then give a little tug. If they don’t reply to a little tug, give a firm one, with another ‘come on’. After a while, they’ll realize that if you say ‘come on’ that means that you’re about to pull, and they should come up by you. When they come up, make sure to every now and then give them a good pet on the head and tell them good boy/girl.
If they go too far ahead, you can say ‘come here’ (like me) or whatever you like, and then give a tug for them to come back. After a while, you may say your phrase for them to not go up, and they’ll stop to wait for you to catch up, or come back.
Also something you could do- make sure you know HOW much of the leash you want them to have. Sometimes for a pup, so you’re not taking away much of their freedom, you can give them quite a bit of leash, but make sure that if they start getting to the end, you tell them, before tugging, to come back -so that they know not to go all the way to the end or pull. They may ‘memorize’ the length and not go past that specific length. Of course you don’t need to always do the same length. You can hold them by your side for sometimes too… And once your pup starts getting good at running by your side, or lagging behind then catching quickly up when you ask him or her too, you can let it know different speeds. For example:
A while back, I had a dog named Terri. She was almost two, and I had trained her to walk on a leash pretty nicely. I wanted her to be the perfect dog for whoever she went to. I thought- if she goes to an old couple, I want her to be alright with walking slow! So I would walk extremely slow, and sure enough, she’d walk nice and slow beside me- with a bit of training. Then I thought “What if she goes to a runner!?” So I would run/jog with her and show her how to stay beside me. Pretty soon I could go from a walk to a run and she’d be pretty close to my side. Even though she was good with mainly walking a fast walk, like I usually did. 🙂 I did get her sold, to a good owner with other dogs.
So in training your pup- if they’ve NEVER had a leash or collar on before, it will be a little nuts at first. But don’t give up! 😉 This morning when I got my pup- Vik- out, it was the very first time he’d EVER had a leash on! He fought it, and didn’t like it, but I comforted him, and taught him, and by the end of our SHORT walk, he was doing pretty great! My pups still aren’t good about not jumping. In fact, Vik was being a pain, because he was biting me! And jumping. So, in the middle of teaching him to be good on a leash, I ALSO went to teaching him how to lie down. For stock dogs- and any dog- it is nice for them to know Lie Down. Sit is more commonly used for dogs that aren’t used for stock purposes, but we do lie down. It also taught him to just calm down, not jump, and then we’d continue our walk! To get them to lie down, you tell them the command, and then use your foot to push down on the leash close to their collar, pulling their head (and the rest of their body with it) to the ground. You hold it to the ground, and they may flail a bit, but then they’ll collapse to the ground. As SOON as they do, you release on the leash and give the collar slack if it didn’t itself, then you tell them what a good dog they are and if they jump right back up, put them down on the ground again. If you do that a few times on your walk, they’ll be better about it once you’re almost home again!
One thing that the second pup I took on a walk was doing, was he would lurch forward (not enough to pull on the leash though.) and then wait for me. I didn’t mind, because he wasn’t pulling on the leash any. So he was doing good. By the end, he was just trotting RIGHT along next to me, and I was EXTREMELY happy that I had gotten him that well. So I made sure to praise him with a lot of ‘good boy’s as he was walking along next to me. All in all I’m happy with how they both were when I got them back to the house! 🙂 Now just… 6 more to go… 😛
Also something my pups do is chew on the leash, they DON’T like it…and they’re not going to for the first bit.. Make sure they know NOT to chew on the leash while you’re walking, but don’t spend too much time telling them not to chew on it (my personal advice) or else they’ll think, oh, the more I chew on it, the less we actually walk! But if you pull on the leash, and make it uncomfortable for it to be in their mouth, and just pretend that they’re not doing it, they’ll think ‘oh, well it’s not making a difference anyways.’ BUT the leash I was using was pretty thick too, so they didn’t actually chew it apart. If you notice that they’re chewing it apart, then they do need to know not to do that, and also it might be good to use part chain down there. That’s another reason why the choke chain is nice, because if you get a big one, it won’t be too small or too big, but they won’t be able to REACH the rope, just the chain. And they won’t (probably) want to chew on a chain. But I was using a small pup sized choke chain, so this time that didn’t work.
So, how did you like it? Drop me a comment and tell me. If you liked this post, then LIKE it! 😉 I hope this helped at least some of you. And I thought it was about time to do a ‘how-to’ sort of post. Well, have a good day everyone, and I hope this comes in handy! 🙂
P.S. I do recommend using something similar to the choke chain, it works really well. 😉