Two of the most popular requests I get are:
- to stop a dog pulling on a lead
2. to stop dogs lunging and barking at other dogs
A lot of the time, this request comes when dog owners have acquired a second dog. The story usually sounds something like, “I could take Fido anywhere, he was always so well behaved, friendly and rarely pulled.” Sometimes this can lull us in to a false sense of security and off we go with rose tinted spectacles to go and get puppy number two.
All is going great until we venture out the door and we find puppy number two just wont listen to us. So why is this and what can we do to fix it?
Well first of all, no two dogs are the same. Even within breeds and breeding lines. When dogs are bred from purebred lines, the history of the parents is so important. What were these dogs bred to exhibit? Looks, temperament, agility, herding or companionship? We then need to look at how narrow these bloodlines are. This is something called progeny which I will cover in much more detail in another blog. But basically, the more purely bred a line of dog is, the more defined that dog’s behaviours are going to be.
Dog behaviour can differ between males and females. In my 30+ year experience I have found, male dogs seem to be a little more laid back and relaxed, whereas females are little busy bodies who like to look after everyone and make sure everything is as it should be. So, your laid back male puppy dog who is happy to follow mom around and meet new people may be completely different to your bossy lil female pup who has decided she is in charge around here as this human seems a bit laid back and needs some structure in her life!
As you may have heard me say before, dogs need rules to follow and if there aren’t any, they make their own up and sadly, dog rules don’t work well in the human world.
Dogs need rules to follow and if there aren’t any, they make their own up and sadly, dog rules don’t work well in the human world.Ondine Bult
When you get your new puppy, make sure you pay all that time and attention with her just as you did with the first one. Make sure the puppy knows you can care and look after her and let her know you have got it covered. This does not mean be harsh and mean, it just means be firm fair and organised with your new puppy. Set a good routine and follow it. Don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes and cave in.
In this blog we will meet a “second puppy” who fits right in to the situation I described above. Vaeda is a cute little Pomeranian who moved in with her owner and brother dog brother Obie as a little puppy. Obie loves his mommy and makes sure he is always at her side. His goal in life is to know here his mommy is and look after her. Vaeda on the other hand knows there is a LOT of fun to be had and she wants to get after it! Her owner reached out to me as dog walks were becoming unmanageable due to Vaeda pulling on the lead and lunging and barking at other dogs.
I worked with Vaeda to teach her how to walk nicely to heel while paying attention to me and she came on so well. In these videos you will see us taking it to the local park. We purposely started off in a quiet part of the park and warmed up the lesson with some basic heel work, using my secret weapon HOTDOGS! I used the analogy of teaching someone to swim by pushing them in the pool. It doesn’t work. To retrain little Vaeda, we need to start nice and easy and slowly build up the distractions. One thing I didn’t count on was a hungry hound dog that was very interested in our lesson. This old pooch could see we were having much more fun on our walk than he was on his and decided to join us. Look at how little Vaeda responded!
I am so proud.
We did giggle after the lesson at how Vaeda’s owner went from not being confident handling her own dog to confidently handling two, one of which she had never met before. The secret sauce, along with hot dogs of course, is to focus on your dog.
Be the leader your dog wants you to be! Be confident! Be interesting!
We then continued our lesson around the park , managing Vaeda when we saw other dogs, not necessarily avoiding them, but engaging her before she was able to engage with them.
We finished the lesson by tidying up Vaeda’s heel work by using the clicker so she sits nice and neatly to heel and stays there when she walks.
Look at how she walks on a beautiful loose lead in this video.
This is just the start for Vaeda, we now need to condition these new behaviours to become behaviour as normal over the next few weeks before we start to introduce walks with her brother. Watch this space!
Do you need help training your dog in a positive way? Reach out to me below to get started!
Leave a Reply