Dogs pulling on the leash on a walk is hard to stop so how do you train your dog to stop pulling on the leash and start walking to heel so you can go back to enjoying your walks with your dog.
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Today I’m going to be attempting to take This American Bully from pulling like an Absolute freight train to walk in on a Beautiful loose lead so that then I can Address his main problem which is Reactivity towards other dogs but first Things first let’s get that loose lead Walking looking beautiful now as you can See he is an absolute tank and although He might not be the biggest dog in the World he is incredibly strong so what we Need to do for step one to be able to Get on top of this is absolutely choose The right tool for him flat collar and Lead setup just is not the way that he Is going to be able to have any kind of Success walking especially knowing just How bad his reactivity is and as you can Hear it’s not good for his breathing It’s just terrible all round so usually I would consider going to a slip lead to Start with but knowing just how bad this Pulling in on a flat collar I’m gonna Jump straight to uh prong collar to be Able to make huge amounts of progress That will then also set us up for future Sessions where we’re going to be working On his reactivity towards other dogs so Now I’ve chosen what I believe to be the Right tool for him which is a small Prong collar that I think will be the Best way to allow me to communicate what It is that I want from and what it is That I don’t want from him we’re going
To go into my tune-up drill now my Tune-up drill isn’t actually about Correcting pulling or teaching heal what I’m doing is I’m communicating with him I’m teaching him a new language and I’m Building engagement what that means is I Need you to focus on me and pay Attention to me now him doing that Pulling right out in front of me means That there is zero engagement and for Him to have to engage with me he has to Be able to see me which has the natural Byproduct of him dropping nicely into Behind me or just by my side then from There we’ll move on to Future steps Where we start to shape that a bit Tidier and turn it into a more formal Heel so I’m going to jump straight into My tune-up drill and what I’m looking For him to do is to not be paying Attention to me And it’s slight little bits of pressure When he doesn’t And what that means is he’s going to Start having to make sure that he’s Aware of me like he’s doing here so he’s Just starting to check in with me a Little bit if he doesn’t We get a little bit of pressure then What we start to do is we start to add In different turns so I’m going to now Start to add in a turn into him Which means that he’s not paying Attention and not tucked in enough
What’s going to happen is I’m going to Walk straight through him but as you can Already see from one repetition He’s starting to yield To that pressure so once I’ve gone Through that process of teaching the new Language of the prong collar I then turn It into kind of a game and I call it Kind of my magic green circle game and If you can imagine that on my left hand Side kind of maybe attached to my left Ankle I’ve got a nice green circle and If he stays in that green circle Brilliant superb and then with my Directional changes if he falls outside Of that green circle and I’m going to Use this new language just to help bring Him back in to that green circle and We’re going to make it a game and it’s Going to be an engagement game and all He has to do is stay in that Circle if He stays in that Circle he wins I’m Going to verbally Praise Him and provide Treats and rewards if he goes outside of My green circle then there’s going to be A little bit of pressure on the prong Collar to bring him back in and then When he stays in that green circle for a Bit more time then we can go back to Praise and reward and what this does is It builds up incredible amounts of Engagement it’s that engagement that has The byproduct of a nice loose lead walk But that engagement for me is far more
Important for its knock-on effects Everywhere else without building a Better relationship where it’s looking Up to me as his loving leader and making Sure that he’s following my guidance and Direction rather than me following his I Can then use that relationship and use That communication skill to communicate To him in other areas where he’s doing Stuff that I don’t want him to do which Is going to be for his specific case Reactivity but it could be jumping it Could be barking it could be any number Of problem behaviors I can now address It using this same engagement and this New language that I’ve just taught him And then the last step and this step is One that’s very easy for people to Overlook and that is the importance of Then shaping heal with fun reward based Obedience yes I now have the knock-on Effects where I can walk him on a loose Lead and that is great we’ve made huge Progress but the homework for the owner Of this dog is now going to be building On this work and starting to do tons of Fun luring shaping cueing marking of a Formal heel so that we can start Communicating with him with that kind of More fun obedience positive Reinforcement-led training and then if He does decide to ignore those commands We have our communication Pathway to be Able to help him say hey buddy no no no
No you can’t do that remember I’ve asked You to do this thing so do that instead Please and if you do that then I’m back To rewarding and praising heavily it’s Balance it’s about getting the Best of Both Worlds and you should absolutely Not forget to do that with your dogs at Home as well so now I can enjoy this Experience with him far better than what He was at the start of the day when he Arrived with me we can go out on a Lovely walk and we can now start Addressing reactivity whilst on walks And hopefully with a bit of practice There we’ll have taken a dog to pull was Like a freight train that lunges at Every dog barks at every dog it sees to One that walks beautifully by my side And ignores other dogs when he sees them