To be consistent is key regardless of methodology. Grab your dog’s attention with treats or toys, or anything that’s rewarding for them. Once you have their attention it is important they learn the “look” command.The goal is to never repeat yourself when giving your dog a command. If you ask them to sit they should sit, the first time you say it! If you then go ahead and say “sit” again without correcting the refusal to sit the first time, you are teaching your dog that they are in control of when they sit because they learn that you will keep repeating the commands until they feel like executing it. Control your feelings, if you are worked up or uncertain as you give a command, your dog will turn a deaf ear. Have a friend/family member observe your behavior and give you feedback — or even film it so you can see for yourself. Also ask yourself if your dog truly knows the commands you’re asking for. They simply might not understand what you want them to do. Make sure your entire family is on the same page when it comes to interaction with the dog. As mentioned, consistency is key! Use the same commands, don’t repat yourself and mark the behaviours you don’t like. Pay attention to underlying issues like your dog’s emotional state. They might not listen because they are busy being scared or nervous because of another dog across the street or focused on claiming territory. So much can be gained when you have your dog’s full attention. You will be more successful with keeping them out of trouble like running out into the street or picking up something from the ground when they listen to you. And remember to have fun with your dog 🙂
Last weekend we visited Stray Haven and helped out with introducing new dogs to make sure there won’t be any fights in their new pens. We plan to come and help out with more than just introductions. Many of the dogs there have never been trained before and we are sure they will respond with amazing results. Our aim is to boost their chance for adoption and a better future. https://www.facebook.com/cypruspawshomelessdogs/
1) Trains your dog to pull and take charge
Training dogs is easy, and many dog owners don’t realize they train their dogs into bad behavior when using a retractable lead. If a dog never learned how to walk properly using a regular lead, using a retractable is not the best idea. Think about it, your dog pulls away from you, what happens? The lead extends! Would you not drive your car faster if there were no speed limits on the motorway? Dogs look to you to lead them, but if you keep letting them lead you on walks you’re not only training them to pull the lead but you are allowing them to dictate the speed and the entire walk, and we cannot accept that.
2) Bulky handles
It’s easy to lose your grip when holding the bulky and awkward handles on retractable leads. If your dog runs to the end of the cord and you are not prepared then you can count on a runaway dog. Your average leash always has a loop handle which will make it easier for you because you can put your entire hand through it and still have the use of your grip for something else, like a poo bag (always pick up after your dog!)
3) Harder to protect your dog from a distance
Any situation can quickly turn into i nightmare if your dog is far away from you. A retractable lead allows dogs too much distance between you and them, as well as freedom to pull uncontrolled. Imagine they are walking a few meters ahead of you on the side walk. You will have no time to reel them in or stop them from running into the middle of the street if they see something on the other side. With your dog too far away from you, there is next to no chance for you to prevent them from making uninvited contact with other dogs or people, or even control the situation if another uncontrolled dog approaches. Other dogs might see it as an alarming sign and view it as a hostile approach when meeting your dog. Remember that having your dog close to you using a shorter leash will allow you to regain control and helps you protect them better.
4) You can get tangled or pulled off your feet
You can get cuts, burns, broken bones and bruises when you, in a failed attempt, try reeling in your dog grabbing the cord or get tangled and pulled off your feet when your dog runs out of line and keeps running. This is easily avoided if you use a regular lead when taking your dog out for a walk. Don’t worry about them not getting enough exercise because they can’t run “free”. If you make your dog walk nicely next to you they will get equally if not more tired out from the walk because they have to focus on you more.
5) Dogs can get neck injuries
Dogs often run until the lead stops, and what most owners usually don’t realize is the impact this uncontrolled and hard yank has on a dog’s neck. It can cause injuries to the throat, neck and spine if your dog manages to get a lot of speed before running out of line on the lead.
6) Sound may scare your dog
If your dog is anxious or is easily frightened it’s a bad idea to introduce them to a retractable lead. The sound it makes sometimes when trying to stop the line can scare them as well as the thump of it dropping to the ground (thanks to the bulky handles). They might run off trying to escape that scary thing on the other side of the lead only to realize it’s chasing them and coming closer with each step. This might not harm your dog physically but think of the consequences it may bring for your next walk. You’d want to avid training your dog to associate walks with fear.
7) Malfunction over time
Anything with many functions have tendencies to stop working over time, especially retractable devices. There are many ways they can break- the thin cord might snap or break if you have a powerful dog or they run off at full speed. The stopper could malfunktion in a way that the lead unspools easily or it might not even retract properly. Don’t risk walking your dog with a lead that might break at any time. Save yourself the trouble and get a proper lead for your dog.
Only for training recall!
If you like to let your dog off leash from time to time but they seem to get selective hearing while off, it might be a good idea to train some recall with them.The only time we would recommend using a retractable lead is when training your dog to learn recall. You can use it as a training tool and over time your dog will learn to come when called