One of the more difficult and dangerous aspects of dog ownership may surprise you. Hint: it isn’t suffering a bite! It’s the simple act of walking your dog. Dog owners almost universally experience chronic or episodic leash tugging, straining, or outright bolting out of their grasp. Today, we’re examining a training method often touted as the cure-all for “problem” walkers: Is loose leash dog training a gift or a gimmick?
Why Pulling Happens
No matter his breed, if you could follow your dog’s family tree back far enough, you would find wolves. Wolves are incredible athletes, walking and running in packs for an average of eight to ten hours daily. In a single day, wolves often travel 40 miles.
With this heritage, it’s little wonder that your dog is driven to move. Large or small, dogs find movement to be their natural state. This drive is why she strains against you, pulls the leash out of your hands, and can’t settle down when she sees prey or fellow dogs.
Why It’s Dangerous
Picture this: you’re walking on a peaceful spring morning, and your dog spies a family of squirrels scampering across a nearby lawn. What happens next? Does your dog remain calm at your side, waiting for a cue from you to decide whether he can run?
Or is your dog like millions of others, lunging forward before you can say a word or react at all?
Maybe nothing unsafe results. Maybe this time, you’ll be lucky. Sooner or later, though, your dog will either run into a dangerous situation or pull you in such a way that injures you. In fact, Linda Carroll at Reuters reported that over 4,000 seniors a year are sent to the emergency room with fractures that occur while dog walking.
While it isn’t the perfect cure-all for every canine, loose leash dog training is no gimmick. It takes time, consistency, and proper technique to implement successfully, but the results are astonishing to most dog owners.
Loose leash training is a method that relies on signals your dog will understand. Your dog’s attention will be drawn to happy walking that continues while the leash is slack, and the boring stopping and waiting the instant she applies pressure to the line.
While we would love to give you a simple, point-by-point guide to easy slack leash training, the truth is that working with a professional is the best (and often only) way to teach your dog to walk beautifully on a leash.
If you long for easy, enjoyable walks with your rambunctious or headstrong canine, All Dogs Unleashed is here to help you make that happen.
Our training process will address the following common challenges:
- Training your powerful working dog
- Training your stubborn scent hound
- Training your small, anxious dog
- Training your dog to walk well if you are a senior citizen or person with disabilities
- Training a dog to walk in a new environment (i.e. moving from a suburb to the city center)
- Training your dog to ignore stimuli he finds exciting or startling
To paraphrase an old proverb: the best time to teach proper leash etiquette is from the day you first place one on your puppy. The second-best time is today. Contact us to schedule your first training session here at All Dogs Unleashed.