One of the benefits of dog ownership is the ability to take your canine companion on all kinds of adventures. From dog-friendly restaurants to beach trips, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to enjoying all that Michigan has to offer with your best friend. However, all your plans might be difficult to enact if your dog has problems walking on a leash. Have no fear because the team at Union Lake Pet Services is here to help you deal with common dog walking problems.

Dog Walking Problems: Pulling on the Leash

Does it feel more like your dog is walking you when you go out for a stroll? If your dog pulls on the leash, maintaining control while outside can make it difficult. This can lead to dangerous scenarios with other dogs, humans, or uneven pavement. Teaching your dog how to walk on a leash without pulling can make these excursions safer for everyone.

The Solution

It will take training and effort to teach your dog not to pull on a leash, but it is not overly difficult. It is important to stop walking when your dog pulls. Any time he starts tugging, you must stop where you are. In the beginning, this could mean stopping every few feet, but repetition will help your dog understand what you are trying to teach. Keep a firm grip on the leash until your dog returns to your side. Offer praise or a treat when they behave the way you want.

Dog Walking Problems: Lunging

It is very important to trust your dog when you are walking past humans or other animals. Dogs that lunge can scare other animals, who might, in turn, respond aggressively. 

The Solution

Dogs lunge when feeling anxious or threatened, so creating a positive association with people and animals on walks can help reduce this behavior. Try to work with your dog in a controlled environment. Offer a treat or praise as you see something approaching in the distance. This will allow many dogs to change their association with these distractions into something positive. However, if it doesn’t seem to work with your dog, you might want to work with a professional trainer.

Dog Walking Problems: Ignoring You

Keeping you, your dog, and others safe during a walk depends on your dog’s ability to listen to you. If your dog gets too distracted and doesn’t seem to hear your commands while on a walk, it could create a dangerous situation. 

The Solution

Once again, positive reinforcement training is your best option to fix this walking problem. If your dog seems to ignore your commands on walks, clicker training can help correct it. Practice walking with your dog at home. Use the clicker and offer a treat whenever he or she looks at you. This will show your dog the behavior that you desire. Once she has mastered it at home, continue clicker training on short walks until she turns her attention to you as soon as you request it.

Whether you are having trouble walking or you are experiencing other behavioral issues, the stellar trainers at Union Lake Pet Services can help solve your dog walking problems. Using positive-based training techniques, we provide a safe, comfortable environment where your dog can learn. To learn more or to schedule a consultation for your pup, please call (248) 363-6262.