Training your dog should be a fun and enjoyable experience but from time to time problems can occur in a dog's training which mean you need a little extra help.
Leash Training: Your Leash Training Questions Answered
Leash training is hugely underestimated by new dog owners. The process of getting your puppy or adult dog used to being on leash is fairly simple and just takes a little bit of your time. Trust me, this small investment of properly training your dog to walk politely on his leash will pay high dividends in the near future, especially if your puppy will grow up weighing 50 or more pounds.
Leash Training Questions
I get at least a dozen or more questions each week from new dog owners that ask me about leash training. They want to know what type of leash is best, what type to avoid, how long they should walk their dog, how to get the dog to stop pulling, etc.
Below I have listed a few of these common leash training questions for your benefit. Remember, there is no one best way to do anything so when it comes to dog training, whether it involves leash training or other lesson, it is okay to mix in your own training ideas so long as you keep it 100% positive. Negative dog training is not recommended and highly discouraged.
Having said that, here are a few basic leash training questions:
1. How much room should I allow the leash to extend when walking my dog? According to most dog trainers, your puppy or adult dog does not need anymore than 5 to 6 feet of distance to roam when you are walking him. This is plenty of room for you to keep control of the situation, while at the same time giving your dog a chance to sniff out small areas along the way.
2. What type of material should my leash be made of? If you walk into any pet-specific store you'll find that the majority of leashes for sale are made of nylon. Nylon is easy to wash and comes in all kinds of pretty colors. However, they will burn your hand if the dog suddenly pulls and the leash moves through your fingers.
My recommendation is to use a leather leash. In fact, a 6 foot leash made of leather is the perfect size and material. It will last a long time and you will not experience any type of burning sensation if it is pulled. The grip is firm and your control is increased.
3. What about using chain leashes? Chain leashes are practically indestructible and will last a very long time, but just like nylon material, a chain leash can hurt your hands if the dog yanks hard and your grip slips. In fact, the injury could be much more severe than a nylon burn.
4. How wide should the leash be? This answer is very simple. A leash that is approximately ½ inches to ¾ inches is ideal. Try to avoid heavy, bulky leashes.
Children and Dogs - How Dog Training Can Help Build The Relationship
Puppies are like children in many ways. They need constant care, supervision, and a lot of affection. Having both together, your kids and your dog, especially during playtime, require extra supervision and patience. The key is to teach your child how to play with the puppy and for the puppy to understand that he needs to listen to the child the same way he listens to you and the other adults in the family.
Always Use The Same Commands
It is important for your child to use the same commands that you and the rest of the family use. Doing so teaches your child to use the commands with respect toward the dog. At the same time, your puppy will realize that he needs to obey the child’s commands, thus teaches both to respect one another.
It sounds like it can be quite a handful, but it is also a lot of fun. Combining training and playtime helps to create a closer bond between your child and puppy. Let them run together and then see how fast your child can command the puppy to stop and sit. The puppy needs to learn to sit and wait while your child to throw a toy for your puppy to retrieve. Your child can also train the dog how to roll over by rolling in the grass while having the puppy mimic him.
There are many other ways you can incorporate training and fun between your child and puppy. Below are some helpful rules to keep in mind:
1. Your dog should understand who the leader is. If he has an instinct to herd, don’t let him herd your child. Doing so will make the dog think that he is in charge and will not obey your child’s commands.
2. No roughhousing whatsoever. Discourage aggressive play at all times. Do not let your child drag, pull, wrestle, hit, or poke the puppy, even in a playful way. Your puppy may react differently and may jump and bite. At the same time, do not let your puppy jump on your child. A four year old German Shepherd can easily knock down a 6 year old child.
3. Teach your child to respect the puppy, and vice versa. Your child should learn how to properly treat the dog, which will then earn him the respect and leadership from your puppy.
4. Establish consistency. Puppies learn through repetition. Your child needs to understand that commands that we teach him are firm and absolute. If the puppy doesn’t obey the command, the child should repeat the command until the puppy does what he is told to do.
5. No squeezing. Hugging the puppy too tight can result in injury.
6. Always be there to supervise playtime, especially if you have a young child and/or you have a new puppy. This way, you can easily intervene if things get out of hand.