Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi there, what i woulde suggest is firstly to start walking them seperately until you have stopped the pulling problem. Start again from scratch and do the Red light Green light which is the easiest way for now. Start this in the house as if you can get the dog to walk out without pulling it will be much easier. I have pasted some info below for you to follow. when both dogs are sorted out seperately then begin the same procedure right from scratch, with both dogs. Good luck and info follows. Do let me know how you do, thanks Scotty
LOOSE LEAD WALKING
Taking your pup/dog for a walk is one of the most important things you can do. Not only do dogs require physical exercise, the mental stimulation received when a dog is out for a walk is essential to emotional and mental well being. It is said that the dogs sense of smell is in the region of two million times stronger than ours, so an outing for a dog can be compared to us ‘reading the newspaper’ and catching up with all the news for humans. Imagine how frustrating it would be for you to spend your whole life in your home, never going out to the shops or just for a drive? Doesn’t bear thinking about does it! A dog who receives regular walks and mental stimulation is far less likely to exhibit problem behaviours. Many of the problem behaviours seen by behaviourists are caused by a lack of stimulation and boredom.
Two of the main reasons that dogs pull on leashes are that one, they pull and we follow, and secondly, dogs walk faster than we do. In a dog pack there is always the leader who makes the decisions for the whole pack. If your dog decides where you go and how fast you go, in effect the dog is taking over the position of leader in this particular exercise. When your puppy is a small bundle of fluff and only weighs a few kilo’s, pulling on the lead does not seem very important, but when puppy has grown up, weighs in the region of 30-50kg, the sensation of having your arms pulled out is not that nice! So many people don’t take their dogs for a walk for this very reason. How much better to have a lovely walk with your dog, with no pulling, and you enjoying the fresh air and your dog enjoying all the lovely smells that tell him who has done what to whom and who is new in the area!
Loose lead walking is NOT heel work and your dog is allowed to do pretty much what it wants to do as long as it doesn’t pull. This is your dog’s time to smell all the interesting smells and enjoy himself.
a. Hold the lead right at the end, with both hands on your stomach, in the region of the belly button. We use this position initially to have a constant distance between the puppy and you. This ensures consistency and teaches the puppy where the limit of the lead is. At a later stage when your pup is no longer pulling, you can change the position to the standard one, which is the dog on your left hand side and the lead in the right hand.
b. The second your pup pulls, stop and stand totally still. Don’t look at your pup or pay any attention to it at all, totally ignore him. The second there is a loosening on the lead, start walking forward again; once again stopping the second the puppy pulls.
This is the only exercise where the puppy is not rewarded with food; the reward is the forward motion. The importance of this exercise is to always be consistent. If you do it sometimes and not others, the puppy will never learn to walk on a loose leash. If you are in a hurry to get back, rather use the lure method with food as demonstrated. Make the extra time when coming to training or going out so that you don’t get into a situation where your puppy gets away with pulling. Your pup is not going to learn the rules of this exercise without, practice, practice and more practice.
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