Today we had this big lad in for some help with his leash pulling and backing out of his harness.
We got Yugo out to see what he was like on the leash and you could see his pulling was being caused from a place of uncertainty and panic, over your typical excitement and over-arousal pulling.
Yugo is very sensitive to environmental stimuli like traffic, noises, men, and other dogs. The panic and stress created by these things causes him to lose his clarity and begin to pull from place to place without any real direction or intent.
We got to work on teaching some fundamental leash control by using directional changes with pressure and release. Within no time he was clocked in and following the handler, but it was clear his engagement needed some work before the root cause of his leash pulling would be addressed.
When we’re dealing with issues like leash pulling, reactivity, fear, aggression etc it’s really important that we teach dogs the value of engagement with their owners. The dog needs to think that their owner is the best thing since sliced bread. This is easy to achieve this in the house, but difficult to achieve when the other temptations of life are present.
We started off with rewarding for very basic eye contact and gradually built up to more demanding tasks with distractions. Next we filtered this into leash walking and began to lay the foundations for what walks would entail moving forwards.
There’s no reason why Yugo shouldn’t be walking on a nice loose leash and with a big improvement in engagement with his owners moving forwards. Once the engagement is there more emphasis will be placed on working with his owner rather than feeling like he’s facing the stressors of life alone.
Good work today guys and keep us updated!