DD: 010 Leash training – when your dog is too excited to walk
When the walk becomes dangerous…
Taking your dog for a walk is supposed to be one of those pleasant experiences; relaxing, enjoyable and memorable. However for many people it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons! Dragged down the street, pulled off your feet, arm yanked out of its socket, damaged wrists and a lot of stress.
It can actually be quite frustrating to see other dog owners with their dogs walking nicely beside them off leash!
One lady I worked with told me about her how she had just bought a coffee to enjoy whilst walking her two black Labradors, when they spotted another dog and charged towards it. She ended up clinging to a lamppost, arms and legs wrapped around it, coffee in one hand and two dogs in the other! That was the final straw… She called me for help as soon as she made it home.
So how do you go from this crazy situation where your dog is out of control from the very start to having a nice calm walk? When it comes to leash training your dog when its too excited to walk, you have to start right at the beginning.
A totally different approach
In this podcast I explain a technique that I suggest only dog owners with the most energetic dogs need to apply. For most of us this method is not necessary. Becoming the pack leader and waiting for your dog to calm down at every stage of preparing for the walk will be enough to regain control as you leave the house.
Before we get into it, here’s a free download for you: The 7 most common mistakes that people make when walking their dogs. Just click the button:Download: The 7 Common Walk Mistakes
Taking the top off the dog’s energy first
In maybe 1-in-20 difficult dogs who pull on the lead, I will apply this method of draining some of the dog’s energy before attempting to get them under control. Many of these dogs have not been for a walk for a long time as it’s become too stressful and dangerous for the owners, the dog and the public.
The approach I explain in the podcast is simple but it needs to be done correctly or you’ll get nowhere fast because it’s very subtle, and it’s easy to miss the whole point. Here’s the general idea of what we’re doing.
The standard approach
Let me first summarize the standard approach to calming your dog down before the walk. Usually when we’re training our dogs to stay calm and walk nicely on the leash, we only continue with the walk if your dog is calm. So we would only progress through the door if your dog has calmed down to a reasonable level. Then we would only progress down the garden path if your dog is still calm. Simple enough?
To see exactly how to do this and get your walk off to a good start watch this video…
However, with a very small number of dogs, this is never going to happen!
Some dogs are just so super-charged up, due to their age, character, lack of exercise, breed, situation and many other factors, that it’s almost impossible for them to calm down before we take the top off their energy.
If you have a dog that struggles with high energy levels, I encourage you to check out my program – The Dog Calming Code.
Or if you have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program would be a great first resource for you!
Breaking old habits and creating new ones
This approach looks at taking them for a good run at the park. The clever and very subtle part is how we take advantage of our tired out dog when we return home and immediately put in place some brand new habits!
Breaking old habits and forming new ones, new associations and new ways of behaving is half the battle. Once you get started it’s so much easier to keep improving.
If you love learning about dog training or you have a super-charged dog… enjoy the podcast ☺
To take a look at my complete dog training program, The Dog Calming Code, click here.
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