Behavior Tip of the Month
(also see article `Who's Pulling Who')
My four month old puppy is starting to pull and I don't want to jerk or choke her. What can I do?
There are two ways to deal with pulling in a four month old puppy. The best way is to keep her from getting into the habit of pulling in the first place, which I will talk about this month. Next month I will discuss treating pulling in the older puppy.
I start teaching a puppy to walk on a leash in the house and the backyard when the puppy is eight weeks old. Here are the steps I follow:
1. Hand feed your puppy most of her food during your training sessions. Make sure she's hungry when you train. Keep the sessions short and frequent.
2. Pup should be on leash. With your pup on your left side, hold dry food in your right fist.
3. Take one step forward. Show the pup a morsel of food by holding it under her nose. Then toss it on the ground a few inches directly in front of her. Make sure she sees it, moves forward, and eats it.
4. Repeat the sequence -- take a step and throw the food in front of the puppy. Keep doing this with food tossed further and further in front of her and taking more and more steps.
5. At first walk in a straight line but then graduate to actually making turns around your house and yard.
When your puppy is walking well with you in the house and in the yard, you'll be ready to progress beyond your property. There will be amazing distractions in the outside world so normal puppies will pull.
But if you've taught the puppy the basics of how to walk by your side, you'll have an easier time teaching her not to pull in the face of distractions.
Next month's column will tell you how to teach your older pup not to pull, even when the world is beckoning him.
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.