Correcting Bad Habits in Dogs: Easy Solutions for Pulling, Jumping, Barking, Stealing, and Other Behaviors
Dogs who misbehave by jumping up, barking excessively, or pulling on the leash usually make dog ownership a hardship. In this step-by-step guide, respected animal behaviorist Claire Arrowsmith explains proven training methods to overcome six of the most common problem behaviors. Using positive training methods, this book provides instant help for frustrated owners. You’ll learn how to deal with pulling on the leash, not coming when called, jumping up, chewing and destruction, stealing and scavenging, and excessive barking.
About the Author:
Claire Arrowsmith is a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) and holds an Honours degree in Zoology and a Masters degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare. Claire currently focuses on behavior problems in pet dogs and cats and also offers training advice. She is a qualified Puppy School tutor and runs dog training classes, and is the behavior specialist for Houndstar Films DVDs. Claire also features on the expert panel of Your Dog magazine and presents regular advisory talks about problem dogs. She is the author of Sit, Down, Come, Heel, Stay and Stand Book (T.F.H. Publications 2008). She currently lives in the UK with her husband and rescue Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed dog, Sarnie.
Book Excerpt: Pulling on the Leash
• Dog surges ahead from Heel position when on the leash.
• Dog is more focused on outside distractions than on you.
• Dog displays fear reaction.
It’s often assumed that dogs should walk next to their owners. However, this is not a natural instinct for them and, without training, very few will do so of their own accord. Small puppies are often allowed to pull as they please but as they grow up their owners often regret this. Pulling dogs can cause themselves physical harm as well as posing an injury risk to their owners. Owners are frequently pulled over, or into traffic, so it’s important to remedy the problem or—even better—prevent it from developing. Having your dog under control should be of utmost importance to all owners.
Strong Collar and Leash: Your dog should wear a well-fitted collar attached to a strong leash. Avoid very long or short leashes since these can make heelwork training difficult by giving your dog too much or too little freedom.
Head-collar: Particularly strong dogs can benefit from a head-collar. These popular training devices provide extra control similar to a bridle and come in a range of sizes and styles to suit most breeds. They allow large breeds to be walked more safely.
Training Harness: These specially designed harnesses can make it harder for your dog to pull forwards while giving you extra control.
Exercise: Your dog needs to be exercised before you start your leash work training. Using up any excess energy will help him concentrate and he’ll be less over-exuberant or frustrated.
Location: Begin heel training in quiet areas and progress to busier places to prevent distraction.
Training: Reward your dog with praise and treats when he’s walking next to you.
He will begin to associate this position with the enjoyable experience. If your dog pulls ahead, stop walking immediately. Your dog must learn that pulling actually makes it harder to proceed with his walk. Resist the urge to pull your dog back or to jerk his leash.
Excerpt from Correcting Bad Habits in Dogs: Easy Solutions for Pulling, Jumping, Barking, Stealing, and Other Behaviors by Claire Arrowsmith © T.F.H. Publications. Used by permission.