My Dog Pulls and Goes Crazy on A Walk

My dog walks pretty well most of the time, but sometimes he sees something and just goes nuts.  He is jumping, charging, standing on his two back paws, and barking like a crazy dog.  Is there any special technique I can use to fix this problem?

We see this walking problem a lot with many dogs that are a little overactive and aren’t clearly attentive to their owners.  The normal “walk next to me” exercises are actions that you must initially use for proper, obedient walking, but this problem requires that you will take the next step. 

Don’t worry, the “next step” does not mean that we are going to use choke chains, chock collars, or anything that would scare your dog.  What we must do is to actively enforce the fact that your dog must constantly provide you with focus and attention on the walk.  By doing this, your dog is submitting that you will take charge of any “strange distraction” you might encounter and it is not his responsibility to do all those annoying and embarrassing actions.

Here are some things you should do:
  • I would first think about using the right collar for the walk.  When I have to guide him with the leash, I want my dog to experience a quick tug/snapping sensation.  I do not want him to simply experience a continual pull.  We recommend the use of the Bark Busters Training Collars.  These allow you to create that quick tug/snap and also provide an audible correction sound.  If you can’t get one of these collars, try using the Martindale collar.
  • Give your dog more leash than normal when you go out for your walk. 
  • As soon as he begins to walk in front of you or his gaze begins to wander from you or the path directly in front of him, give the leash a quick tug (it might take several of these actions) until he returns to your side and is focusing on you.
  • If he continues to walk ahead of you, stop walking and allow him to continue until he reaches the end of the leash.  Just as he reaches the end, give the leash a firm tug/snap for him to look back and see that you are far away from him.  Continue your walk in the opposite direction.
  • Stop multiple times while you are walking and have him sit.
  • Change directions while you are walking.  Give the leash a quick tug/snap as soon as he is not attentively changing direction with you.

Do not start this process during “busy times” in your neighborhood.  The whole purpose of this exercise is to enforce your dog’s need to constantly “check in with you”.  Start off when it is quiet so that you can constantly provide him with the proper instruction.  Ramp up the exercise by walking at progressively active times.

We just finished this program with a very large Pit Bull that wanted to go after neighbors and their animals while on a walk.  After a few sessions using these techniques, the dog was great.  If you have any additional questions regarding this technique, please contact us at Great South Florida DogTrainers.


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