Born to pull

To teach Buddy not to pull, you need his training collar, his leash, and a few treats. Attach the leash to the live ring of the training collar. Take him to an area without too many distractions — you don't need other people and dogs (especially loose dogs) in the vicinity right now — and where you can walk in a straight line or in a circle (about 30 feet in diameter).

Perform these steps:

1. Put the loop of the leash over the thumb of your right hand, and make a fist.

2. Place your left hand directly under your right.

Hold the leash in both hands as though it were a baseball bat. Plant both hands firmly against your belt buckle.

3. Say "Let's go," and start walking.

4. Just before he gets to the end of the leash, say "Buddy, easy," make an about-turn to your right, and walk in the opposite direction.

Be sure you keep your hands firmly planted. As a safety precaution, don't put your entire hand through the loop of the leash or wrap it around your hand. If your dog catches you unaware and makes a dash, he could cause you to fall. By having the loop over your thumb, you can just let go, and it'll slide off.

5. Step 2 produces a tug on Buddy's collar and turns him in the new direction.

As he scampers to catch up with you, tell him what a clever boy he is, and give him a treat. Before you know it, he'll be ahead of you again, and you'll have to repeat the procedure. When you make your turn, do it with determination. Be sure you keep your hands firmly planted against your belt buckle. Make your turn, and keep walking in the new direction. Don't look back, and don't worry about Buddy; he'll quickly catch up. Remember to praise and reward him when he does.

The first few times you try this, you'll be a little late — Buddy is already leaning into his collar. Try it again. Concentrate on Buddy, and learn to anticipate when you have to make the turn. Always give him a chance to respond by saying, "Buddy, easy" before you make the turn. You need to repeat this sequence several times over the course of a few training sessions until he understands that you don't want him to pull. Your goal is to teach him to walk within the perimeter of his leash without pulling.

Most dogs quickly learn to respect the leash, and, with an occasional reminder, they become a pleasure to take for a walk. Some, on the other hand, don't seem to get it. If Buddy seems particularly dense about this simple concept, you may need to use a pinch collar. Put Buddy in a position where you can praise him (see Chapter 6 for a story about situations where you may have to use of a pinch collar). The pinch collar, also called prong collar, is similar to a martingale in that it is self-limiting.

Remember, how readily your dog responds to his collar depends on

1 How distracted he is by what's going on around him, including scents on the ground

1 His size and weight in relation to your size and weight 1 His Personality Profile (see Chapter 5) 1 His touch sensitivity (see Chapter 9)

The pinch collar is an equalizer for these factors. It lets you enjoy training your dog without becoming frustrated or angry. Your dog, in turn, will thank you for maintaining a positive attitude and for praising him when he responds correctly.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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