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Havers Dog Behaviour Blog

My dog behaviour blog is all about dogs and owners I have helped and dog related items in the news.

My dog pulls like a train, help!

I have been in Tamworth this afternoon working with a rather handsome 8 month old #Germanshepherd called Floyd. What did Floyd's owners need help with?

Floyd's behaviour toward and being on the lead. He pulls like a train, he barks when getting the lead on and then he really barks when he gets outside. If he sees people on his walk, he barks and lunges, if he sees cars, he barks and lunges.

Now Floyd is not a small German shepherd and he takes a lot of holding on to when he gets excited and things have been slowly getting worse.

How can a dog get to the stage where he is impossible to walk in such a short space of time?

There are many reasons for this but the main reason is he has been taught to be excited for attention and he has been taught to be excited for attention fro the people he meets on a walk.

He has also been taught to expect attention for being excited when people come to the house so he jumps up, a lot!

There are timefames and expectations that dogs work to and if these timeframes and expectations are exceeded or changed, then the dog no longer has a behaviour to attach and will calm down.

I applied this principle when I arrived at the house and sure enough Floyd calmed down enough for me to open the living room door and let him out and he was far calmer when greeting me.

We applied the same principle when putting the lead on and Floyd was much calmer until we started to move and then he pulled and got very vocal. This is the behaviour that usually gets him out of the house but that didn't work today.

Instead of thinking Floyd must have a walk regardless of his behaviour, we focused on teaching Floyd how to behave on the lead in order to earn a walk and that process may take several days before he realises the owners are not going to behave in the same way he is used to.

Impatience is one of our biggest enemies when teaching dogs how to behave, yet it won't take as long as we think it will if we have patience and take our time. When you can see a big difference in just 45 minutes, that's all the time I had today, then you know the dog is capable of being patient and learning new skills. It then falls on the owner to be patient and give themselves time to learn new skills and not to rush to their desired outcome because it won't work that way, you have to build a behaviour and that takes time.

This is Floyd!

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