May Newsletter – Pulling
Most of the pups will try to pull on the lead. If the pup is pulling you should do the following:
• Stop immediately; don’t carry on walking. If you continue walking you are rewarding the pulling.
• You must stop and stand still.
• Wait for pup to stop pulling into the lead, the moment they do, you should click and treat. Then say, “let’s go” and move forward, with the lead nice and loose.
• If a pup carries on pulling into the lead, stop and apply the same method, the moment the lead loosens, click and treat and then say, “let’s go” and move forward, moving forward 2 steps, click and treat etc.
• If your pup is pulling to sniff something – stop and tether the pup until the lead gets loose and then click and treat. Say, “let’s go” and move on.
-Tether meaning, you need to become a tree or a pole, think of something that is stuck in the ground, your feet can not move. You hold your lead with two hands close to your body and your hands become glued to your waist, you don’t pull back, the pup will be pulling to try sniff at that object. The moment that the pup stops pulling and the lead becomes looser, or the pup takes a step back you would click and treat.
• You can also use your time out with the pup if they are pulling to sniff or pulling and barking to get to the other dogs.
-Time out is when you would turn and walk in the opposite direction for a couple of steps and then stand still. Ignoring the dog, this means making no eye contact or talking to them. You would count to 10 slowly, (10 seconds) and then you would turn and walk back in the direction you were heading, if pup plays up again, you would do your time out again. For a time out, you do not click and treat.
Q: What can you do if your pup is pulling to get to another animal or if your pup will not stay in a down?
A: You would use a ground tether.
-A ground tether is, when you would become a tree or a pole and you stand on the lead and imagine your body is planted into the ground, you cannot move. You ignore your pup and what they are doing. Once they do settle you would just give them a treat – not saying anything you would not click and treat as the click will only excite them again. I would also stand there for a while and not start moving as soon as the pup has calmed down, as this would also get them excited. If your pup has barked during this process then you would not give them a treat.
By holding the lead you tend to move around with the pup and they tend to get what they want, as we move around with them.
Standing on the lead (ground tether) you have more of your weight on the lead so that you are not moving around. You need to teach your puppy this when they are small. Trying to teach a big pup ground tethering can be dangerous as they could pull you over. In this case tether your pup to a solid object.
Do not say anything to the pup during this time, do not make eye contact, you just wait for them to be calm. Once they are calm you can move forward.
Once again you need to be consistent with this, every time, no matter where you are or what you are doing. If you only use this method sometimes it will not be effective.
Consistency will pay off.
If you are struggling with this, please do not hesitate to talk to your Puppy Raising Supervisors as we would be happy to show you the techniques again.