Perfect dog-walking 2: Pre-walk control

Get your dog under control in the home environment first. If your dog is pulling you indoors, you can be sure that outside won’t be any better.

  1. Change the location where you normally keep the leash.
  2. Go to the new location, pick up the leash, ask the dog to sit and put on the leash. If he gets over-excited, put the lead back in the new location, walk away and sit down without interacting. Repeat until the dog sits. This is a form of negative punishment, taking away what he wants most. Persevere; he will settle and sit.
  3. If, when the dog is sitting he starts jumping around as you clip the leash on, unclip and put it on a nearby table. If you can’t reach the clip because he’s jumping around so much, drop your end of the leash, walk away and sit down. If your dog tends to bite the leash, smear citronella oil or Vaseline on it, or use a chain leash.
  4. Insist your dog sits while you put the lead on. If he stands at any point, unclip the lead or drop it and walk away.
  5. Repeat several times daily. If you get annoyed, put the lead away, have a break and try again later.
  6. Once the dog is sitting quietly, walk him slowly towards the door. Stop every time he pulls. Take one step at a time if the dog is pulling, then two steps etc., until you have perfected the exercise.
  7. Repeat the above going through the door and gate.

– Scotty Valadao, Dog Behaviour Expert, Health24, updated June 2013. From ‘How to walk your dog’.

Image: Shutterstock

Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead

Perfect dog-walking 3: Mastering the loose lead