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The Fine Art Of Training Your Leash Pulling Puppy

By: Celina Klee

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Your little Buttercup whether she strolls along Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, or jogging along the ocean in Venice Beach, should not become a leash pulling puppy-which will only lead to bad leash habits when she becomes older. Your leash pulling puppy is much like a toddler who has just learned the fine art of running-most skip past the walking phase. You need not fear, your leash pulling puppy can learn excellent leash training habits.

First you need to forget about fancy "heeling," where your puppies' shoulders are aligned perfectly with your knee. What we need to focus on is a simple partnership in which little Spike and you can go out together in the fresh air without him turning into a leash pulling puppy Tasmanian Devil.

There are several ways to train a leash pulling puppy to walk without pulling, but the common denominator, as in all training exercises, is simple: Appropriate behavior is rewarded while inappropriate behavior is not. In this case, walking without pulling is appropriate and being that leash pulling puppy on the end of the leash is simply not acceptable.

The reward for walking properly is praise and the walk itself. So what about the negative aspect? How do you withhold a walk from your little leash pulling puppy? The answer is to stop in your tracks whenever your puppy becomes a leash pulling puppy little devil and don't start again until the leash slackens. Then, praise little Buttercup and walk on. If your little bundle of fur still persists in being a leash pulling puppy, you should tell him ``no,'' but don't make a fuss. It's far better to praise him loudly and show affection when he lets the leash loosen up.

Most young puppies resist collars and leads by rolling, scratching and collapsing. But don't give up on your leash pulling puppy. Don't pick little Violet up and carry her, and don't let her just stroll along beside you without the leash. First of all, that is not a safe thing to do and secondly, in some areas it is illegal to walk Tinkerbell without a leash and finally if you do try to walk your leash pulling puppy without a leash you will soon have an uncontrollable leash pulling dog. Not good.

Your Leash Pulling Puppy Is Finally Stepping Out

Buy a flat, lightweight nylon or leather buckle-style collar and a four or six-foot lead of the same material. Just a note: chain leashes and choke-type leashes are terrible idea for your leash pulling puppy because of their weight, (see the paragraph below).

Put the collar, without the leash, on your leash pulling puppy, praising and rewarding him for any sign of acceptance and ignoring his efforts to wriggle out of it. Next, attach the lead and allow the puppy to drag it along, watching carefully to discourage him if he starts to chew it. With patience and some well-timed rewards, Fluffy may surprise you by how quickly she accepts her new appendage.

Finally, pick up your end of the lead and allow your puppy to explore. After this introduction, however, even the youngest puppy's impulses should be controlled to match your expectations.

Training collars are better for teaching your older leash pulling puppy and an adult dog. Probably the most efficient and humane passive training device is the head collar or head halter, with which even veteran people-yankers can quickly learn to walk nicely. In contrast, the "choke" collar is intended to constrict around the puppies neck when tightened. Choke-type collars are frequently misused and work on the punishment principle. As the Fido pulls, the handler is supposed to deliver a small "jerk" of the lead and then immediately release or loosen the lead. This way, you "correct" (or, more accurately, punish) the dog quickly and decisively. But many people assume a dog will teach himself by choking as he pulls. Many a leash pulling puppy have simply learned to live with this choking device as they tug along, coughing and irritated, but never learning to slow down. The humanity of using choke collars has recently come into question. They should never be used on puppies, toy breeds, or dogs with tracheal or other neck problems.

Just remember that your puppy is indeed like a toddler and a little knowledge, a great deal of patience, and positive training will go a lot further when training your leash pulling puppy to walk on a leash. So say goodbye to your leash pulling puppy and say hello to your new walking, yes, walking buddle of fluff. Now, it is time for you both to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

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