This morning I was walking my dogs and saw a woman walking her dog. From the look of the dog's dry elbows and physical stature, I would guess he was about 5-6 years old. I have no way of knowing how long she has had the dog. He might have been newly adopted, or maybe she finally had time to work with him. What I do know is that she seemed extremely frustrated, her dog was not paying attention to her at all, he was pulling on the leash and she was lifting the dog off the ground with each turn. Also the dog was wearing a choke chain. I resisted the urge to go talk to her about positive reinforcement training, but I wanted to. I don't offer advice unless people ask, but it can be tough to keep my opinions to myself. I hate to see dogs being mistreated. And, yes, I believe a dog getting lifted off the ground on a choke chain is being mistreated. On the other hand, in ten years of professional dog training, I have worked with thousands of dogs and I can appreciate dog training challenges and the frustration that accompanies it. But, that never gives the excuse to use physical methods. If you are frustrated with your dog when leash walking, go back to the fundamentals. Stop walking, and ask for eye contact from your dog. That is much easier for your dog then expecting him to walk nicely by your side when he is completely distracted. Also, stay closer to home and warm your dog up before walking farther. Leash walking is not an easy obedience exercise, but if you focus on the fundamentals and build on them, you will make progress. To help you learn how to do this, you should watch my free dog training videos on leash walking and other free dog training videos to learn more. Keep an eye on the site for more videos on leash walking in the future. One easy way to make leash walking easier is to buy a Sense-ible Harness. This is the best dog harness on the market. You can also sign up for my free dog forums to ask me questions about leash walking or any other topics.
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