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Leash Training Problems

The Start of Leash Problems

Ridgebacks are large dogs, and they are also dogs bred for adventure. It should be no surprise that they can get pretty excited when they get ready to go outside for their daily walk. The prospect of new discoveries, smells, and a world of stimulation of a puppy's senses can be overwhelming. Consequently, the outdoor excercise has caused a great deal of consternation for many a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy owner, trying to leash train their new puppy. Exuberant Ridgeback puppies can get quite excited about the prospect of going outside, which is often where the real problem of leash pulling manifests itself. This article discusses a tried and true method of training your problem puppy to walk on a loose lead.

The majority leash pulling starts immediately after the dog sees the leash and knows he's about to go for a walk. If the walk starts off out of control, the tone is set for the rest of the walk.

Before you can realistically expect your dog to walk calmly beside you while on leash, you should train him to be calm as you are putting his collar and leash on! If he has accomplished a good sit-stay, then you can ask him to do this while you are putting on the leash. In any event, he should stand or sit-stay calmly, and if he doesn't, the walk should be halted until he does. Resist the impulse of giving in, otherwise he won't learn that you're not impressed when he is out of control. The Sit-Stay is an excellent control starting point, and although not absolutely necessary to achieve success, it is a good place to start if your dog already has mastered it. If your dog doesn't have a reliable sit-stay, then you can practice training him to sit-stay (Without giving him the expectation that he is going for a walk). If you do not know how to train your dog to do a reliable sit-stay, It is probably better to find an obedience training class rather than confusing your dog, thereby extending the training time.

Leash Training Preparations

Dogs generally learn very quickly that they must sit, or stay calm while standing as the leash is getting attached to the collar. They might tremble with anticipation, ready to ignite into a frenzy the moment that the leash is attached. If your dog charges in the direction of the door, almost dragging you behind, obviously the situation is still out of control. Simply hold tightly onto the leash while standing still and allow your dog to dance, ricochet and bounce around on the leash. It may take 5 or even 10 minutes - maybe more, however he will soon realize that you are not going anywhere and will start to calm down. Once this happens, praise him for being a good dog. Wait a miniute or so, then begin your first step, but don't start heading towards the door. Instead, walk your dog around the inside of your house, garage or even the yard to give him the opportunity to practice his 'not-tugging-on-the-leash' skills. Each time he tries to pull, or starts to jump or lunges on the leash, simply stand still, just as before. When he calms down, praise him in a calm and quiet tone. Remember to try to keep his focus/attention on yourself instead of the door that leads to outside. Once you feel that your dog is in control and that he is walking loosley and calmly on the lead without pulling or tugging while walking in your house or yard, then it is time to take the next step by heading outside.

In closing, it is good to remember a very crucial point. Puppies will be puppies. Make that sure you understand that training your little guy will take some time, maybe several days before he "gets it". You must remember this important point when doing any type of training, otherwise you may exacerbate the problem by rough handling, or by just giving up. Persistance and patience will pay big dividends when training your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.