|Back to Back Issues Page|
Stop Frustrating Leash-Pulling Behavior - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #08
May 07, 2010
How To Stop The Irritating Habit of Leash-Tugging and Get Your Dog's Attention
It's happened to all of us.
You're out walking with your Jack Russell and everything is going unusually smoothly. You've got 20 seconds of peaceful walking and then...
Nest thing you know, your JRT spots a cat and the leash pulls taut, jerking your forward. You've got the world's smallest cart horse dragging you down the road, nails scraping on the concrete, every muscle straining.
For some Jacks it's cars - for some it's cyclists. Whatever is is, the JRT that doesn't get overexcited and start tugging on the leash is very rare. This is a bit habit that requires training to get rid of. Not only is it embarassing for you, but it can also be harmful for your dog's throat if you use a conventional collar. Let's take a look at the best ways to solve this problem. There are two major options you can use.
This is by the far the best option, although it does take time to achieve properly. Now, you have to understand that training your dog to walk nicely on the leash begins at home - if you try to start training out in the street right off the bat, you're going to encounter way too much resistance and distractions, your commands and techniques won't work and your dog will just start to see your attempts to control her behavior as ineffective and she will ignore you even more.
What you are aiming to do is build up attentiveness. When you are walking with your dog on lead, her attention should be on you at all times - you are literally the leader and she looks to you for direction.
There are two good methods for building attentiveness. The first is by using treats. With your dog on leasha t your side, lure her along beside you using treats, feeding her one every few steps. After you walk a little like this, praise her lavishly and then repeat the process in the opposite direction.
This will help train your dog to keep an eye on you when walking.
Another method that can be used in conjunction with this is to suddenly change direction when your dog starts pulling. As soon as you feel the lead start to tighten, turn around and go the other way. Over time, your dog will understand that in order to keep going forward, she must pay attention to what you're doing.
Now remember, these techniques must be mastered at home before they will work in the street. Once you do get into the big wide world, you have the issue of distractions to deal with. In my ebook on training, I explain how to train your dog to ignore distractions and keep her attention focused on you.
No-Pull Harness or Collar
The other option - which really has to be used in addition to training - is to buy a special harness or head collar which makes it physically impossible for yor dog to tug you ahead while walking. This can be a good option for dogs with deeply set bad habits who need a "meantime" fix for the stret while they are put through basic training at home.
Got a great JRT story to share with the world? Now you can:
This page is not ust for true stories about your own dog - you're encouraged to share fictional stories or news stories with the JRT community.
Questions and Answers
Question: "Why does my Jack Russell like to eat slugs and snails? What are the implications and what can I do to deter her?"
My Answer: Hi there,
There is a small risk of the dog contracting lungworm from this habit. This is something you should try to train out as soon as your can.
Teach her the Leave It command. Set up a scenario with a slug or snail and keep your dog on leash. Let her sniff at it but don't let her get close enough to touch it. Now, walk her past the snail with firm control on the lead. She may tug towards the snail, but just keep walking straight ahead. Give her a firm command to "Leave it!"
When her attention comes off the snail and back to you, immediately reward her with a treat (it better be something more appealing to her than a snail!) and give her lots of praise. Then repeat the exercise.
Just so you know what to expect, don't be surprised if it takes a long time at first to take her attention off the snail and back onto you. It could take a few minutes the first time - be patient and wait it out. The more you do it, the faster she will give you her attention when you ask for it. Eventually, with enough repetition, you will be able to use the Leave It command to stop her from sniffing around anything unsavory, and after a while she will learn that these bugs are out of bounds.
Question: "Are jack russell terriers known for being deaf?"
My Answer: Yes. There's a link between the gene for whiteness in dogs and the gene for deafness. Obviously it's not going to be a problem for every Jack, but some breeding lines are particularly prone to this problem. The figures I have seen put the deafness rate for JRTs at around 10%, which is higher than the average rate for all dogs.
Advancing Your Dog's Training and Improving Your Life Together
The 7 Day Crash Course
For those of you out there who have decided it's time to get your Jack Russell's behavior sorted out once and for all but you don't know where to start, I've created a 7-part course designed to give you a basic, FREE introduction to the art and science of training a JRT. You can sign up for the free Jack Russell Training Course here.
The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training
Ready to take it to the next level and cure all your Jack Russell's bad habits, build a solid foundation of obedience, and create a training routine that suits your Jack Russell's unique personality and breed traits? My ebook is the most effective Jack-Russell-specific training system available, period. Reward yourself and your dog and improve your life today by reading and applying the groundbreaking techniques from The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training today.
'Til Next Time...
|Back to Back Issues Page|