26 Jul Reactive Dog – Beginner Loose Leash Walking
When you let your dog pull on leash you are increasing his chances of reactivity. Why? Because dogs that pull on leash are not paying attention to their handlers which means they are paying attention to other things instead. If you dog is responsible for keeping the leash loose he needs to adjust himself if you speed up, slow down, change directions, or stop. This is his job. And dogs that have a job have less time to scan for triggers.
Get outside with a handful of your dogs kibble in an easy-to-reach pouch and do some work on loose-leash walking. I like to use a hands-free leash that you can attach at your waist leaving your hands free to hold your treats and clicker. Work in a place with no distractions. Take a couple of steps forward and reward your dog for catching up with you. If your dog lunges forward, freeze, walk backwards, reward when him when he catches up with you. We are trying to teach Rover that staying close is a good thing. When he starts to get that keeping pace with you is what gets him rewarded than you can start to add some easy distractions.
If it’s not working ask yourself is Rover motivated for your reward? If not, try something else until you find something that has value. If he is too distracted by the environment, consider working somewhere else.