A Tip When Walking Your Puppy

When I am walking my little puppy, Wolfie, he seems to pull the leash and try to run away from any distraction like big cars, joggers, other dogs, the garbage men, etc.  What can I do about it?  I don't want him going nuts all the time...

This is a walking tip that we have found works best for puppies.  When we are thinking they are going nuts or are super-afraid of that distraction on the walk, that really isn't the case.  With older dogs, this is a strong possibility because of inappropriate socialization or negative experiences.  What we have to remember is that our little Wolfie is new to the world and every sight and sound around him is new.  He has to make a decision if "that thing" is friend or foe.  

What we need to do is to set up the socialization experience so that little Wolfie feels safe while observing and/or hearing that new distraction.  If Wolfie is moving (walking at your side), he might not maintain that sense of safety.

As you are walking little Wolfie, the first thing you must do as the Alpha Leader and his "Safety Provider" is to constantly scan ahead and behind you for anything that might frighten or negatively distract him.  

Let's say that a UPS truck just turned the corner behind you and is coming up the street.  Stop walking and have little Wolfie sit.  If you are walking right at the edge of the street, move about 10 to 15 feet back from the edge of the street and have him sit.  Allow him to passively watch the truck pass and move out of sight.  

If little Wolfie begins to bark or "leave his sit", give the leash a slight tug, correct him, and have him sit again.  If you think you are too close to the side of the road, move farther away from the road and then ask him to sit.

What you have done is to allow little Wolfie to observe this new distraction in the real world and in real time.  You have also provided him with the safety he needs to understand that he does not feel threatened by the distraction while maintaining the focus on you as his safety provider.

If you do this in a consistent manner, you will teach little Wolfie the correct socialization "manners" for all the things in his new world.  You will have a great dog without bad habits.  For more information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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