Learning Leash Manners with Tools
Leash manners on any size dog or puppy is a must have! No matter how tiny your dog is, he should learn to walk on a loose leash so that he is safe and under control at all times. Larger dogs that pull can be a hassle to walk, and often times lose out on much needed exercise because of how difficult and embarrassing it may be to walk them in your neighborhood. Leash training can be confusing for both dog and owner as well as seem like a lost cause. There are tools on the pet market today to help us help our canine companions learn to walk comfortably and happily on a loose leash.
What’s a tool?
Tools used for dog training are essential just an item to make our jobs easier. For loose leash walking there are various harnesses, collars, leashes and more to aid us in walking our pets more comfortably and keeping them under control. Some go around the neck, others go around the body and one type actually goes on the dog’s face and muzzle just as a horse halter does. Each tool comes with its own style of training, and not every dog does well with them all.
Some of the most popular tools used are:
are metal collars with teeth that point towards the dog’s throat. Used correctly, these collars provide discomfort or pain to a dog when he pulls. He must stop pulling to alleviate the pain.
are made of chain and are similar to that of the prong but it does not have teeth. Instead of poking the dog in the throat it literally chokes him when he pulls.
are soft nylon and fit over the dog’s face and muzzle and is modeled after a horse halter. This makes pulling virtually impossible as the dog has no leverage. He is also easier to control as his body will follow wherever his head goes. Pulling or yanking on a head collar can severely injury your dog.
are soft nylon and fits over the withers, under the arms and in front of the chest. The leash clips to the dog’s chest instead of his back, giving him no leverage to pull. If he attempts to pull the harness forces him to face the handler. The shape of the harness puts no pressure on the dog’s sensitive throat.
can be dangerous if used incorrectly. They look like a normal collar with a plastic casing that holds an electronic device. The device will give static shocks to your dog as a form of punishment, typically by a remote control the handler is holding. The shock is dealt to the dog when he does an unwanted behavior.
Figuring out which tool you need for your individual dog takes knowing your dog’s personality and thresholds. For instance, if your dog is highly sensitive to touch then a prong, shock, or choke collar may do more harm to his training than good. For a sensitive dogs, the front-leading harness tends to be easier on their bodies so that they can avoid pulling and learn how to walk nicely on a leash. For dogs who will do whatever they can to pull ahead, a head collar or prong collar may work better. Know your dog and try on the different items at your local pet store before buying!
The Purpose of Tools
Purchasing and using a tool is not meant to make your dog automatically walk perfectly and for that behavior to stick forever. It is a training tool! These items are meant to help prevent pulling so that your dog will succeed at loose leash walking more quickly. When a dog cannot pull ahead, he can instead focus on getting rewarded for walking next to you in a heel position!
With so much rewarding, your dog will soon catch on that being next to you on a walk is the best place to be! These tools can be a wonderful helper in your leash pulling woes, but should not be depended on forever. The day you can take your dog’s head collar or prong collar off and he will still happily walk next to you is the day you have succeeded in loose leash walking!
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