Does your dog pull on leash when walking? Try these changes to teach your dog a loose leash walk. Puppies need more positive reinforcement during the teaching phase.
- Change your cue. Many dogs have been taught, inadvertently, to pull when the leash is tight, instead of loose. A tight leash becomes a cue to pull. Resolve to make a loose leash, looped like a "J" below the head, a cue to walk politely. You can add verbal or body position cues, but without a loose leash cue, the others probably have little value.
- Change the consequence. When the leash is loose, walk forward. If it tightens, stop immediately (Even better, back up if possible to reset.) then only move forward when it is loose. Be consistent so your dog understands that if she tightens the leash, she will lose progress forward.
- Behavior will change. If the loose leash walking doesn't happen, become a detective to find where your cue - behavior - consequence sequence is unclear to you or your dog. Are you "seeing" the loose leash behavior clearly and quickly and consistently responding? Have you set up the training environment to make success likely? What if you use different equipment to make training easier? Perfect practice makes perfect!