Teach loose leash walking by using treats. Have your dog on your left side, leash slightly loose, and have a pocket full of treats on the other side. Speak your dog's name or make lip pursed sounds or whatever it takes to get his attention. As soon as he looks at you or comes back toward you give him a treat. Not a lot of words are necessary; body language and tone of voice are what a dog responds best to.
Keep some treats at the ready in your right hand (held closed and waist high) so you can get it down there quickly when you get the behavior you want. A lot of petting will add to the pup's excitement so keep that for the end of the lesson and then play with him. Soon your dog will be glancing up at you as he walks along beside you. Treat this behavior and keep walking. It takes time and patience and a couple of short walks a day will serve better than one long walk until he gets the idea. Work indoors where there are fewer distractions at first.
When teaching a dog anything short 5 minute sessions repeated later in the day will net the best results, and don't expect miracles overnight. Keep your treats very small or you'll soon have an obese puppy. When you think they're small enough cut them in two again. There are lots of homemade treats recipes on the internet. Sometimes mix in a few pieces of regular dog kibble, some dogs will work for that alone, however usually the higher value treat gets you the best result. Small pieces of cooked chicken works well, but remember to cut back the amount of your dog's supper. These treats add up and you do not want to contribute to weight gain. Some folks say I want my dog to work for "me", not just for the treat. Well, that will come. I have found treats training to be an invaluable tool, a dog thinks first with it's nose.
By Jean from Maritime, Canada
Yes every dog should learn to heel. This is the proper way to walk your dog. You should walk your dog not the dog walking you. At a heel you do have much greater control of your pet if you pass another person or dog. This is a good advise and a dog is never too old to learn this.
One of the best treats I learned about when I did obedience training with my 'pound puppy' Winston, (half Bassett hound and half Sharpei) was from the trainer. She said to take low fat (organic is best) chicken hot dogs and slice them long ways in half then cut each half into little 'coins'. Microwave them until they are crunchy. My dog would do anything for one of those little tidbits!
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