Leash Training for Large Dogs: Mastering the Art with Patience

Are you struggling to leash train your big dog? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many pet owners face challenges when it comes to teaching their furry companions good leash manners. However, with the right approach and a dollop of patience, you can train your big dog to walk confidently by your side.

The Secret to Effective Leash Training

Leash training a big dog requires a methodical approach. While some pups respond well to simple commands and positive reinforcement, others may need a more direct approach. Let’s explore a comprehensive training plan that will help your dog become a well-behaved walker.

Establish the “Quiet” Command

One of the first steps is teaching your dog the “Quiet” command. By following the Quiet method, you can train your dog to control their barks. Practice this command during the day to create a foundation of obedience.

The Element of Surprise

To reinforce the Quiet command, incorporate the Surprise method during the day. Start by crating your dog for short periods, rewarding them with treats when they stay quiet for five minutes. Gradually increase the time intervals between rewards. Remember to practice crating sessions, gradually extending their duration to 1-3 hours a day.

Breaking the Cycle: The Interrupter Technique

In some cases, dogs continue barking despite consistent training efforts. If your dog falls into this category, consider using an interrupter. Interrupters help break the self-rewarding cycle of barking. When your dog cries in the crate, firmly say “Quiet.” If they stop barking, reward them with treats. However, if they persist, use an unscented air canister to emit a puff of air near the crate, calmly saying “Ah Ah.” Avoid spraying the canister in their face.

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Spy on Your Pup

Once your dog is comfortable with crate training in your presence, it’s time to step up the challenge. Use a camera to monitor their behavior from outside the house. Whenever your dog barks, quietly correct them, then retreat outside again. With time, increase the duration of your absence, rewarding your dog with treats when they remain quiet.

Gradually Increase the Duration

As your dog becomes more proficient at staying quiet in your absence, gradually increase the time you spend outside. Aim for three-hour sessions where your dog remains calm and collected throughout. To incentivize long-term quiet habits, provide your dog with a dog food stuffed chew toy during these sessions.

The Art of Exit: Patience and Calmness

When it’s finally time to let your furry friend out of the crate, remember to maintain a calm and patient demeanor. If your dog rushes towards the door, calmly close it and make them wait. This sets the expectation that exiting the crate should happen calmly. Once they have settled down, tell them “Okay” and let them come out slowly. This helps prevent anxious and excited behavior.

With dedication and consistency, your big dog will master leash training in no time. Remember, every dog is unique, and the training process may vary. Be patient, offer positive reinforcement, and celebrate small victories along the way.

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Good luck with your training endeavors!

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Posted on Dec. 1, 2021