Does your dog lunge at people whilst walking on the lead?

It’s a common problem. Many dogs walk nicely when no-one’s around, but when a distraction heads towards them he darts toward them almost pulling you over.
One way to correct this behaviour is to teach the dog to focus on you, rather than on the distraction. For this you need to be vigilant, anticipate the distraction, and get your dog’s attention in advance of the problem. Then hold the dog’s eyes on you, because he knows there’s a guaranteed reward for doing so.

How do you achieve this miracle?

Through teaching the “Look” command.

This is simple to learn and most dogs pick it up quickly. Start in a place with few distractions, such as your home. Take a tasty treat; hold it near the tip of the dog’s nose so he gets a sniff, then travel the treat in a straight line between his nose and an invisible point between your eyes. Hold the treat there, whilst saying “Look”.

The dog should now be staring straight into your eyes (OK, he’s really staring at that delicious treat, but it achieves the same thing) whilst you keep repeating the cue word: “Look”. Count slowly to 10. See how long he can concentrate before breaking his gaze. If he looks away, repeat “Look” more firmly, to get his attention back.

Some dogs can only manage a few seconds at first, but gradually build up the time with repeated practice. Once he’s regularly achieving 10 seconds, take the training outdoors.

Now when a distraction walks towards you, take control by anticipating the problem and getting the dog to sit. Hold is attention on you with “Look”, until the distraction has passed, give him the treat and great big fuss and hey presto! You avoided a lead lunge.

If you need a little help understanding how to teach “Look”, or want to know other useful commands to deal with lead-related problems, then phone Royvon today. We’d be delighted to get you both back on track.