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Teaching Dogs Not to Pull on Leash

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How to Teach Your Dog to Walk Nicely on a Leash continued...

Option Four: Collar Correction

(Use only if your dog is not wearing a choke, pinch or prong collar, or any head halter, such as Halti®, Gentle Leader®, etc. )

Some dogs may respond to a jerk on the collar when they pull. Walk holding the end of the leash near your left side, with your elbow bent. Don’t let your dog pull your arm straight out in front of you because then you won’t have the slack you need for the collar correction. You need to incorporate a warning into this sequence. Before your dog reaches the end of the leash, say “Easy.” If he slows down, say “Yes!” and call him back to you for a treat (keep moving). If he does not slow down and gets to the end of the leash and starts pulling, jerk sharply on the leash backward and upward. To do this, you’ll need to reach your arm forward a few inches to give yourself the slack on the leash to jerk back. Make sure your action is a jerk and not a pull. You may need to do this a couple of times before the dog slows down. How much pressure you exert when you apply the jerk depends on the dog. If your dog is small or sensitive, you will need only slight force. If your dog is large and tenacious, you may need stronger force. Be sure to quickly reward with treats and praise any time your dog isn’t pulling and walks with you with the leash slack.

Be advised that if you jerk too hard on your dog’s collar, you can inflict physical damage to his neck. The dog’s trachea is susceptible to bruising and permanent damage, so be extremely cautious using this approach. If this method is effective for your dog, it will decrease or eliminate pulling quickly, within a couple of days. If it does not, try another method or change equipment. Do not keep doing collar corrections or let them become an ineffective habit that is painful and unpleasant for your dog.

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