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The dog should be thinking about how
to earn the reward, not trotting after
the food.
Initially, you will reward frequent-
ly, at least several times a minute. As
Dog Training
the behavior becomes a habit, contin-
ue to praise the dog for good behavior,
but phase out the treats.
hoW loNg iT TAkeS
Young or energetic dogs require more
training than mature or calm dogs.
Dogs that don’t get out of the house
Using the proper leash and collar As with the halter, the idea is that
much require more training than dogs
can help make your dog training when the dog pulls, it will be turned
that see the world on a regular basis.
successful. Most pet supply stores to the side. Be careful when shop-
To maintain the momentum of
carry a wide selection. Following are ping for harnesses, as some attach
the learning process, make sure the
the more common types of leashes to the leash on the dog’s back rather
animal gets plenty of exercise. Be and collars: than the chest, which can exacer-
consistent. Never allow the dog to bate a pulling problem.
get somewhere by pulling; all family
• The common flat leash and buckle
members need to be on board with
collar are available in leather, nylon • Choke and prong collars, when
and metal chain of various lengths. attached to leads, control dogs
Above all, have patience. Some
by tightening around the neck or
days it may feel like your dog will
• A retractable leash, jabbing the throat with
never learn, then suddenly, one day
you will look back and have to think
much like a fish- spikes. You pinch and
hard to remember how he or she used
ing pole, lets a release for the corrective
to pull.
pet wander up action and quick atten-
to 20 feet ahead, tion, not to choke the dog.
Erica Pytlovany is a certified pet dog
while still under your control. These are not for novice
trainer with WOOFS! Dog Training Pushing the button takes up the handlers and can be
Center, in Arlington, VA. Learn more at slack. (It’s not a good choice when dangerous in inexperienced hands.
teaching an animal to “heel.”) Many trainers don’t recommend
them because they cause pain and
• A head collar, also known as a can injure a dog’s windpipe, neck
more exPerT ADvice
head halter, looks like a kind of or spine. Should they get caught
muzzle. Attached to a leash, its on something, or if the chain isn’t
Teach your dog not to pull while function is to stop pulling and keep threaded through the rings correctly,
you are both standing still by hold-
a dog under gentle control via a the dog can choke to death, be-
ing the leash firmly with both hands
loop around the mouth, as well as cause the collar continues constrict-
and refusing to budge until your
a collar around the neck. It doesn’t ing even after you’ve released the
dog slackens the leash. Not a single
restrict the mouth; rather, it thwarts tension on the leash. Check with an
step! Hold on tight and ignore every
lunging by transferring the forward expert for instructions before using.
As soon as he or she sits, say
motion into a sideways head turn.
“Good dog,” offer a food treat, and
This type of lead is especially ef- Warning: Never use a choke collar
then take one large step forward
fective on energetic or difficult-to- on puppies; dogs without thick neck
and stand still again. Repeat this
control dogs, but because of the fur; dogs with a respiratory problem;
sequence, advancing to two steps,
noseband, it can’t be used on dogs or breeds with fragile windpipes,
then three steps, until your dog with short snouts, such as pugs. such as Chihuahuas or Yorkshire ter-
walks calmly forward on a loose riers, because you could easily injure
leash and sits quickly when you stop
• A harness, designed to stop pull- your dog.
and stand still.
ing, wraps around the dog’s chest
and shoulders. The leash attaches to
Primary source:
~ Dr. Ian Dunbar,
a ring on the front of the dog’s chest.
Pr i n t e d o n re c y c l e d Pa P e r t o Pr o t e c t t h e en v i r o n m e n t
August 2009 23
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