Whole Dog Journal Tips May 17, 2011

(Guide to Collars & Leashes #3) Guide to Collars & Leashes

It’s a never-ending quest – like looking for the Holy Grail – the search for the perfect piece of humane equipment that will teach your dog not to pull on the leash. Here’s a tip: it doesn’t exist. Any piece of equipment is merely a tool that opens a training window for you. To use it correctly, you must take advantage of that open window to reinforce the behavior that the tool encourages the dog to offer. If you fail to consistently reward the desired behavior when it happens, the tool becomes a crutch that you rely on to make the behavior happen. In worst case scenarios, the dog learns to ignore the tool and reverts to his former behavior even with it on. What you want, instead, is for the dog to learn the desired behavior – not pulling – so you can wean him off the tool and still have him offer the desired behavior, independent of the presence of the piece of equipment.

For more details and advice on how to select the best collar and leash for you and your dog, purchase Whole Dog Journal's ebook, Guide to Collars and Leashes .