Teaching a Santa Monica Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 2, 2018

For this Santa Monica dog training session, we shared tips to stop 9 year-old Shepherd mix Rocky from pulling on the leash on walks.

I started out the session by sitting down with Rocky and his guardians to observe how they interacted with one another. Many of the dog behavior problems that I am called into solver actually caused by the humans the dog lives with.

But in this case, with Rocky only being adopted a month and a half ago, that was not the case here. He was well mannered, listened well and only had a few minor issues inside his home. This is almost never the case with my dog behavior clients.

To address the minor issues, I shared a number of dog behavior secrets with the guardians such as avoiding petting him when he is over excited or in a reactive state. This is a common mistake many people make not knowing that anything a dog is doing when you pet it is what you were specifically rewarding them for.

I suggested some rules, pointed out ways to add structure to his daily life by petting with a purpose and how to reward desired action through passive training. These will help Rocky respect his guardians leadership more which will have a positive impact on his behavior on walks.

The primary reason that Rocky’s guardians called me in was to work on his behavior around other dogs; showing a limited type of aggression as well as anxiety when other dogs were nearby on walks. Usually when I am called into work with dogs with those problems, there are a number of other problems that exist in the home that need to be addressed first.

In Rocky’s case, those inside problems were pretty limited so once we finished discussing them, I showed them how they could use a Martingale collar to stop a dog from pulling while on a walk. I summarize these tips to stop a dog from pulling on the leash in the free dog training video below.

Stopping leash pulling in dogs is one of those common requests for help I get working as a dog behavior expert in Los Angeles. With as many dogs as there are in Santa Monica, having a dog who is relaxed around and behaves well with other dogs is important.

Rocky’s behavior around other dogs was considerably more subdued than what I was expecting. You could tell that he was uneasy around other dogs by his stiff body posture and the fact that his tail completely stopped moving.

Most people think that a dog’s tail wagging means that it is happy. In actuality it means the dog is excited or aroused. The fact that Rocky’s tale did not move it all when on walks was concerning for me.

While it was great to get the dog to stop pulling on the leash, The real challenge will come in a few days when we have a follow-up session to work on the Rocky’s dog aggression problem.

To help set him up for success, I suggested that Rocky’s guardian take him to the park where we will practice some Behavior Adjustment Training in a few days. Getting Rocky familiar with the settings without the presence of any other dogs will greatly increase the productiveness of that future appointment.

To help the guardians remember all of the dog behavior secrets I shared with them 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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