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The best in health, wellness, and positive training from America’s leading dog experts

Recalls & Leash Training

off leash training

Off Leash Training: Building Reliability

There is no way to guarantee the safety of your dog off leash. I would like to think that if we trained hard enough, or long enough, or with the right methods, that we could overcome all of the risks, that our dogs really could be completely reliable and safe. But the fact is that when dogs are off leash in an unsecured area, there will always be a chance that their instincts or desires will lead them into the path of danger. In addition, our environment is often unpredictable. When dogs are off leash, there is the chance of a sudden bang, an unexpected animal, or something else that may frighten or harm our dogs.

Leading Leashes – Harnesses and Collars for Leash Training

Do you gaze with envy at dogs who walk politely by their owners’ sides, while yours tows you down the sidewalk? Not only is it annoying to have a dog drag you on leash, it can also seriously damage your dog’s trachea and spine. Plus, dogs who strain at their leashes (and who subsequently get jerked by their frustrated handlers) are more likely to have spinal misalignments, and dogs with spinal problems have a much higher incidence of aggressive and/or hyperactive behavior problems.

No Miracle Products

These "no-pull" products can help you train your dog, but they don’t work at all if they are misused.

Proper Use of Head Halters for Leash Training

Ten years ago, a new dog training tool hit the market. Known generically as the head halter (or head collar), it is a device similar to the halter commonly used on horses. It provides a greatly increased degree of control over the dog who is dedicated to pulling on the collar and leash, without the punishment or pain factors associated with choke chains and prong collars. The head halter has a strap that goes around the dog’s nose, and another that clasps around his neck, just behind the ears. The leash attaches to a ring below the dog’s chin. Just like with halters on horses, bulls and other large animals, it works on the principle that where the nose goes, the body must follow.

Training Foster Dogs to Walk Properly On-Leash

My husband and I acquired two (temporary) canine foundlings last week. Julie is a five-month-old purebred Akita puppy that we rescued from our local shelter, where her cage card identified her as a Shepherd/Husky mix. Her prospects for adoption were dismal, given that the shelter euthanizes 85-90 percent of incoming animals. Our second castaway, Princess, is a three-year-old Beagle mix. My husband and I were driving down a busy highway when we spotted her, hunched in the middle of the road, defecating while cars swerved around her on both sides. Princess was wearing a collar and tag, but her owners had moved, and she ended up staying at our house for several days while we tracked down their new phone number and location.

Why a Reliable Recall Is So Important

Caper was a Spuds McKenzie-style Bull Terrier mix – white with a rakish black eye. She spent the first 18 months of her life running free in the small California coastal community of Bolinas, where resident dog owners eschewed leashes and threw bottles at trucks driven by animal services officers. As happens all too often with dogs who are given too much freedom, the energetic terrier got into trouble – she nipped a small child who tried to play with her on the beach. I adopted Caper upon her release from bite quarantine at the Marin Humane Society more than 20 years ago, and immediately enrolled her in an obedience class.

Long Distance Information

controlled area" to "come reliably when called regardless of where we are or what other exciting things are happening"?

Enter the long line: a behavior management tool that you can use very effectively to prevent Ranger from being rewarded by dashing off. The fact that he can't leave also gives you the opportunity to convince him that coming to you is irresistibly rewarding regardless of the circumstances.

Long lines come in many forms

Latest Blog

House-Training Is Simple, But Not Always Easy

There are lots of reasons that a house-training failure can occur. Perhaps the dog has a particularly small bladder or had a urinary tract infection. Perhaps the owner wasn’t able to let the dog outside as frequently as needed to support the house-training habit, or didn’t have the means or ability to manage the dog’s environment,