Keeping the Start of Your Walk Nice and Quiet

Every time Wolfie and I go out for a walk, he pulls me through the front door and down the street.  This needs to stop!  What can I do?

Many times we answer our own questions without even knowing it.  Our dogs get all excited about the walkies because we have built up the moment with distracted anticipation.  Of course they are going to go nuts when we open the door and, of course, they are going to run out the door and pull us down the streets! 

What we must do is to manage the situation before it takes place.  We must do two things to regain control of the walkies:

Break the association of "leash means walkies".
Dogs learn by "A = B".  Whenever Wolfie sees the leash, it means "walkies".  Oh boy! Oh boy!  He gets all excited and runs all around the house in celebration.  We, of course, chase him, yelling and screaming, until we catch him and get the leash on.  Can you say "adrenaline rush for Wolfie"?

We must break the "A = B".  Start putting the leash on Wolfie at different times during day (while you are home and can keep an eye on him) and simply walk away.  Have it on him at different times so that he can not make an association of a related action with clicking on or off the leash.  This will take the "leash means walkies" association away.  It will transpose Wolfie's reaction to the leash from excitement to lack of attention.

You now have the ability to prepare for the walk with minimum adrenaline and maximum focus on you.

Make sure you go through the front door first.
Starting a walk is not the begin of a race.  Wolfie should allow you to calmly step through the front door while he politely waits for your permission to come with you.  Here is what you do:
  • Approach the front door and put Wolfie in a "Sit". 
  • Open the door and tell Wolfie to "Wait".
  • Calmly step through the front door to the outside while Wolfie remains inside.
  • Give Wolfie the "Release" command to allow him to calmly walk outside.
  • Have Wolfie "Sit" outside the front door.  When you are ready, calmly start your walk.
Of course, there are many other aspects to walking Wolfie and this blog contains many other training tips on the subject.  The problem is if you don't start your walk off on the right paw, it will be overly difficult to maintain control over Wolfie.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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