Loose-Leash Video and Tips Below!!
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
I try to get videos out for dog owners that are examples of science-based positive reinforcements tips and tricks. @amandathepetnanny
Tips and tricks to walking nicely on leash video.
What you need!
REWARDS! Treats and or a favorite toy
4 to 6ft leash
Realistic goals and expectations for your own dog-Loose leash walking is an impulse control skill. Some dogs need more practice than others to master this skill. Working on impulse control in certain contexts often overflows into other parts of our dog’s lives
Harness: highly recommended or a collar, gentle leader ---- here are some of my favorites
For high-energy dogs... Exercise before training. Seems counterintuitive but getting that initial energy out by playing tug/fetch will help them focus better in your training session.
Learn to read your dog's body language, this is how dogs communicate
Ears and head perked
“Whale”eyes ( the white of their eyes)
Tail movement (upright, slow wagging, circles, tucked, etc)
How to start loose leash walking training.
Start indoors- this gives your dog the opportunity to practice walking on a leash with minimal distractions.
Reward check-ins - Check-in = turns to give you eye contact on walks; reward with a treat and verbal praise. Dogs that are paying close attention to their handlers are less likely to pull out in front of them. Talk to your dog to encourage check-ins, sing him a song, or make strange noises
Go by time, not distance (route)
Change directions. Why? Because you can! You never know when you might need to make a quick change in directions. This teaches your dog to focus on you and coordinate their movements with ours.
Change Pace- This will truly test to see how focused your dog is on you.
Stop Reinforcing Pulling. - If your dog pulls stop moving. Allowing our dogs to continue to move forward while pulling is saying go ahead and pull and you get what you want. Do not move forward without your dog's focus.
Be consistent- if you don’t maintain consistency, this will confuse your dog. So when you have to correct them, that’s a failure on you, not them.
Rate of Reinforcement- Less distracting environments mean fewer frequent treats. A huge distraction, like a biker, your reinforcement will have to be higher for every step during the training stages to get past the distraction without pulling.
Having a solid "leave it" "watch me" combo command
Impulse control game- "Look at that" Every time the dog looks at the distraction, say “yes” and reward. The end goal of this game is for things that might fight for our dog's attention to become the cue for the dog to orient their attention back to us.
Distance is your best friend! - if you can not get your dog's focus back to you with a verbal command or treats ... you are too close. Take a couple of steps back (sometimes it will be lots of steps back)
Practice with over-the-top distractions in a primary training session ( controlled environment) - This will help in the real world with normal distractions. If your dog can ignore me doing jumping lacks and making weird noises think how easy walking past a normal person will be!
Examples of distractions
Distraction is still, or barely audible in the case of sound distractions like a dog barking. This is where a smartphone can come in handy!
Distraction is slightly moving or getting louder
Distraction moves more or is tossed in the air a bit
Distraction is dropped
Distraction is tossed a bit further
Distraction is moved across the floor
Distraction can be tossed (if appropriate) over the dog's head
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