One of the main problems dog owners have is difficulties with their dogs walking on the lead. Dogs learn at a very young age that when they go on walks they pull, so it can take a lot of work to undo this depending on the age of the dog.
A very strong dog pulling on the lead can take away all of the enjoyment from a walk, and can be dangerous for both dog and owner. Similarly to recall, the best way to teach heelwork is in stages where you build up the level of distractions.
Depending on the nature of your problem it can take weeks or even months to train your dog to walk nicely on the lead. In the meantime, it may be useful to get a body harness or a headcollar for your dog to help you to walk your dog and to prevent your dog from injuring itself.
- INTRODUCE A CONSISTENT HEELWORK CUE
- DON’T WALK IF YOUR DOG PULLS YOU
- SET YOUR DOG UP FOR SUCCESS – START IN AN ENCLOSED ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE ARE NO DISTRACTIONS AND SLOWLY INCREASE DISTRACTIONS
- CONSISTENTLY REWARD YOUR DOG FOR BEING IN THE CORRECT POSITION WITH A REWARD APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR DOG
Recall (or getting your dog to come back when called) is one of the most important things you can teach your dog, and also needs the most work. A reliable recall can save your dogs life and can allow for off-lead walks which are beneficial for both dogs and owners.
Most recall problems stem from the dogs not being taught recall properly in the first place, or distractions being more interesting than the owner. The best way to teach a solid recall is in stages where you build up the level of distractions.
- TEACH A CONSISTENT RECALL CUE
- SET YOUR DOG UP FOR SUCCESS – START IN AN ENCLOSED ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE ARE NO DISTRACTIONS AND SLOWLY INCREASE DISTRACTIONS AND DISTANCE
- ALWAYS REWARD YOUR RECALL IMMEDIATELY WITH A REWARD APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR DOG
- NEVER PUNISH YOUR DOG FOR COMING TO YOU AND NEVER RECALL YOUR DOG FOR SOMETHING
NEGATIVE – E.G. NAILS CLIPPING
- RECALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY FOR NICE THINGS – E.G. WALKIES, TEATIME!
- DON’T ONLY RECALL AT THE END OF THE WALK – TREAT RECALL LIKE A GAME WHICH YOU PLAY
THROUGHOUT YOUR WALK. SOMETIMES CLIP THE LEAD ON, SOMETIMES JUST REWARD.
- PLAY RECALL GAMES WITH YOUR DOG – HIDE AND SEEK, PUPPY PING PONG, CHASE ME!