Training a Big Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: April 16, 2018

In this Omaha dog training session we worked with Lily, a two-year-old German Shepherd mix, who needed help to stop people reactivity and stop pulling on the leash.

After I arrived I sat down with Lily’s guardians to learn about their main dog behavior concerns. One of their main concerns was that Lily had been being reactive to people coming into their home. In order to teach them the Behavior Adjustment Training method I wanted to help them train Lily to stop pulling on the leash. When dogs pull on the leash it triggers their opposition reflex, which causes them to increase their energy and pull more on the leash, which is why harnesses typically teach dogs to pull. I taught them how to use our martingale collar set-up to help prevent this behavior. To see how I did this you can watch the video below.

As you can see in the video Lily was learning quickly to stop pulling on the leash when going for a walk in the backyard. The guardians will want to remember that if she pulls on the leash too much to pause where they are and help her stop pulling before resuming the walk. Also remember that it will be more challenging for her perform the loose leash walking when out for a walk compared to being in their backyard, so they will want to practice this method multiple times in their backyard before going out for a real walk.

To keep up with this good behavior the guardians are going to want to slowly increase how challenging it is for Lily to go for a walk without pulling on the leash. Also remember that if you are out for a walk and someone comes towards them with a dog and it makes Lily reactive, to feel comfortable changing directions to help Lily stay nice and calm and prevent any unnecessary escalating of her energy. We wrapped up this dog behavior session with Lily’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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