Do you know when to give attention to your dog or cat? Most people would say yes but you would be surprised how wrong they are!
Give attention to your dog or cat when they are quiet and laying down. So if you are watching tv and your dog is just sitting there reinforce that behavior with love, praise or treats! Don’t ignore this good behavior and then when your door bell rings and your dog barks give him attention. This happens all the time people don’t give attention to good behavior and then when an undesired behavior occurs that is what gets their attention . This tells the dog that being quiet and calm is less rewarding then being loud and barking . Thus increasing the possibility of undesired behaviors.
This works for ever animal scenario.
Lets say in the morning you know that your cat loves being fed. He is quiet and you haven’t got out of bed just to put food down in the bowl. You wait in bed and now your cat meows or scratches . So you get up, talk to your cat and feed him, and this is how a loud annoying cat behavior starts. Instead of feeding a quiet cat you wait till they make noises and then you feed them .
You always want to set yourself up for success so anticipate poor behavior and give attention to your animals when they are good and ignore the bad behaviors and then just watch your lives improve just from this simple change.
Today, we will discuss the behavioral aspects of pulling and straining on a leash.
We will be using positive reinforcement training so bring some treats with you on your walk. When you begin the walk don’t get your dog overly excited especially when you know you are battling with leash pulling.
Be calm and head outside. Now your dog probably is already pulling. Be patient!!! If your dog knows basic obedience training use it if they don’t start your dog on a program of sit, down, stay and come. Now that you are outside do not move your feet if your dog is pulling. It is so important to never give in to the pull . Best thing to do is not move until they stop or change your direction in walking . If your dog responds to any of these changes reinforce that behavior . The purpose of this is to keep your dog on his toes. You’re the leader and your dog should follow you. Once again reward small improvements, don’t expect to see miracles in a day but if you expect and anticipate small changes to occur you will be excited with the results. The more confidence you begin to have it will translate to your dog . Also remember if you have a large breed dog make sure to also give them a lot of exercise!! If they go for runs or to a dog park and release energy you will notice your dog walks will start becoming more behavioral and your dog will be less hyper active . I love when I start walking dogs and in the middle of the walk ask them to come closer and do a little sit and down behavior. I reward all these behaviors and it builds a great bond with my clients and myself.
There is never just one way of fixing leash pulling problems but collectively if you get the best leash , train your dog in basic obedience, give them exercise, and be the leader walks will become such a positive fun part of your day with your dog .