Dogs who misbehave on a leash have often never been taught how they should act. With regular work, your dog can learn to walk by your side without pulling, jumping or barking.
Teach your dog what you expect. Work in your house or backyard, in an area where there are no distractions, to teach your dog how to walk on a leash. Position him on your left side and start walking. If he forges ahead of you, circle to the left, so that he has to slow down and pivot while you walk around him. If he lags behind, circle to the right, so that he has to speed up to stay by your side.
Tug gently on the leash and give him a verbal command to calm down, such as "Easy," when you feel him start to jump or pull.
Practice walking on a leash with your pet until he is reliable and walks nicely with some slack in the lead.
Take your pup outside for a walk. Choose a relatively quiet area for this first walk. You want him to see activity and temptations to jump and bark, but you also want to make it easy for him to behave. If he jumps or barks, immediately make him circle and keep walking. The idea is to teach him that he has to work harder when he behaves badly. Use the "Easy" command (or whatever command you chose) and a gentle tug as a reminder to behave when necessary.
Continue to take him to different areas for walks, gradually increasing the crowd level to which he is exposed. Each time he misbehaves, simply circle and continue. If that isn't enough to get his attention, try a figure eight: the quick change in direction will keep him on his toes.
Items you will need
- Keep a supply of treats handy while working with your dog. When he is doing a good job of paying attention to you while walking, slip him one as a reward. Do this at random, not always after you circle or after you pass another walker or dog.
- Use a standard six-foot dog leash, not a retractable leash, when walking your dog.
- The Good Behavior Book For Dogs; Colleen Paige
- Martha Stewart: Fixing Bad Dog Behaviors
- sightless dog image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com