Some Loose Leash Training Tips Help This Trio of Stressed Out Dogs

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 1, 2018

For this Santa Monica dog training session we taught 2 year-old Pug / Chihuahua mix JuneBug to walk with a loose leash and ways for her guardians to build up the confidence of her roomies; 5 year-old Chihuahua Pixel and 1 year-old Dachshund Chihuahua Chuy.

The dogs were very agitated when I arrived for the session, with each dog showing insecurity in some way, shape or form. It was clear that they were stressed out and based on their behavior, I have no doubt that they all had an abundance of cortisol in their blood. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and having an abundance of it your blood can effect dogs and people in negative ways.

As a Los Angeles dog behavior expert, I know that we needed to shift the leader follower dynamic to help these dogs stop thinking that they are in charge of their humans. A lack of rules and structure has caused the dogs to think they humans need them to look out for them. But when the humans don’t listen to the dog’s warning, the dogs get more stressed out; just like a human parent who’s kids engage in dangerous or inappropriate behaviors.

After suggesting rules and showing the guardians how to pet the dogs in a way to get them to see and respect the humans as being leaders, we were ready to address JuneBug’s habit of pulling on the leash.

Training a dog to walk with a loose leash is actually pretty easy when you are patient and use positive dog training methods like I demonstrate in the above video. I always enjoy doing some loose leash training as it is such a common dog behavior problem that often stops or reduces dog walks. Since many people walk their dog daily to burn off excess energy, teaching a dog to walk in the heel position or stop pulling on the leash is the gift that keeps on giving.

This is a trio of very anxious dogs and increasing exercise will really help then. Changing the environment allows for so many forms of stimulation which can distract the dogs allowing them to practice a new, balanced behavior, even if its only for a short time. Additionally, stopping the leash pulling will allow the handler to walk with the dogs without any frustration making for a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Increasing all the dog’s exercise will help the rest of the dog behavior tips I shared take hold. These are three really great dogs, they are just so anxious due to feeling responsible for their guardians that they cant simply be dogs. Once the humans are able to flip the leader follower dynamic, the dog’s stress should go down and their doggy-ness should start back on the path to normal.

When the session first started, only JuneBug would come to me or take treats. But by the end of the session, all the dogs were able to approach me, take treats out of my hand and show calm, relaxed body language.

To help the guardians remember all the dog behavior tips we shared in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.


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This post was written by: David Codr

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