Dog Walking, Motivators, Tricks and Treats!
No, this isn’t a post left over from Halloween, although I hope everyone had a good one and all your fur babies are safe and sound!
Many people complain that when they try to walk their newly adopted best friend, they tend to pull on the leash, weave back and forth or stop at every blade of grass to lick or sniff it. There are several solutions to work on this issue. Now remember, this is not going to stop overnight and patience is definitely required to stop the pulling/bad leash habits. Remember, your fur baby has probably been doing this all their life and weren’t taught any differently.
I have used this method described in this article with Sasha and it works extremely well. It has made a world of difference on our jogs/walks. She used to be the World’s Worst Puller while on the leash, and now she is quite a good walker. There are many great tips on that page like how to stop your dog from lunging and barking while on the leash, tips for dogs who act aggressively while on the leash, and many others. I highly recommend checking out that full site because it’s a wealth of information for novice fur parents to expert fur parents.
Now, when wanting to teach your dog simple tricks like sit, down, off, roll over, etc., figure out what your dog’s biggest motivator is. Is it food? Attention? Toys? For Sasha, her first biggest motivator is getting attention and hugs from us, second are her Mellow Mut treats. When I want to teach her a trick that seems to be on the easier side (such as sit), I used attention as the motivator for her. When she made the motion like she was going to sit, I gave her huge praise and hugged her. When she finally did sit, I ended up giving huge praise, hugging, and doing a little dance of joy around her.
When I taught Sasha a more difficult trick such as roll over, I made sure to use her very favorite treats. When she got halfway through the trick, I praised her and gave her part of the treat, when she did the whole trick, I gave her huge praise and a full jerky strip treat. Most people say if your pet does the trick consistently five times, then the trick has been learned. Again, the biggest thing needed is time and patience and consistency. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on learning new things. It’s also a great bonding experience for fur mom and fur baby to learn together.
Remember not to overfeed treats. Sometimes I will use her dry kibble as a motivator while we are learning new tricks. Usually I will measure out enough to equal her meal and use that to teach her new tricks. This ensures that she does not become overweight, and she will get her meal, and learn all at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
I’m going to include several pages to teach your dog tricks. Hopefully you will find something that works for you and your dog. Figure out what motivates your dog to learn and most of all, have fun!
As always, leave a comment and let me know if you tried these tricks and tips and if they worked for you. I always love to read comments.