When Ned the Border Collie was a little puppy teaching him to walk on a leash was very much like a few other puppies I’ve had in the past. It’s a bit of a trial, they don’t like it much at first and it takes some time. But he got it. Once Ned started to grow quickly, however, we had a real issue with walking him on a leash. He was like a kite in a strong wind. He would pull non-stop. In fact he looked like a plow mule he’d be pulling on the leash so hard. He resisted all the “tricks” I thought I knew about how to fix this behavior. Eventually a trainer suggested a pinch collar, which worked great, but I sort of felt like we cheated a bit. We just didn’t know how to make it right.
There is a “right” way to fix this behavior and it comes down to authority, the dogs respect of you and your “pack position”…watch the video:
Check out Dans online dog training video site.
When the dog is all fired up, especially in the puppy stage, throwing a leash on him and running out the door is about the worst thing we did. At that point the dog is in the drivers seat and you’ve lost the battle before it begins.
We’ve had some great luck with establishing a very simple but tight routine before Ned would be able to go outside. He always had to sit (or lay down if he was really riled up) and wait. We’d put him in a sit, attach the leash and then put on our shoes or coat or whatever. If he broke sit we’d stop getting ready until he sat back down. Being as smart as he is he quickly figured out the more he behaved the faster he’d get out the door.
The second thing we did that worked well was make him stop and sit right outside the door. He used to just charge out the door at full speed…not good. We made sure to walk outside first, then invite him out, make him sit while we shut the door and then invite him to come along on the walk.
An annoying process to be sure but it did not take long at all, once we put effort into it, to break him of charging outside.
Third, when he would pull on the leash we’d stop and put him into a sit position. Each and every freaking time. This too was really annoying, and a short walk would take forever, but it really helped with the pulling.
The biggest thing, in my mind, is not to get frustrated with the dog. There is a fix and any dog can be taught to walk correctly on a leash. It just takes knowing what to do and doing it consistently.