Your Pet Question:
How do I train my two small hyper dogs to walk calmly on the leash?
The Expert Says:
The quickest method is to use ‘Gentle Leaders’, which are very effective in calming dogs and preventing them from pulling on lead. If you prefer not to use a head collar, then it is back to basics as there is no quick fix! The dogs need to learn to focus on you and understand what’s expected. Enrolling in a local dog training school/program would be most beneficial. I start my dogs off lead in the house. Before I feed them, I have them follow me while I am holding the food bowl, one dog at a time. Walk holding the food bowl and ensure they know that there are some yummy additions in it! Reward the dog for the right position. As you make progress, try stopping, turning etc. but go SLOWLY. Take your time and let them think about what to do. As long as your pet is CLOSE to being in the right position and paying attention, reward them. Don’t distract them by waving your hands around or talking -remain calm and quiet. As you progress, raise your expectations about their position. Keep rewarding and make it fun! Limit these sessions to two to three minutes at a time, and eventually you will have a dog that walks great on AND off lead!
Ellie Ross, owner of Wag and Train Inc., Kitchener, Ont., and CTV’s “PUP Talk” host.