3 Great Tips For Leash Training

Dog Leash TrainingDog Leash Training That Will Make Your Life so Much Easier!

*guest post by Austrian Pro Dog Trainer Brigid Weinzinger

Dogs pull on leashes.
Full stop.
Like it was a law of nature.

Do you feel like this sometimes?

Like there is nothing you can do about it? Not much at least. Because you have tried it all and still you got that dog of yours pulling on the leash.

Well, your are not alone! We have all been there!

As a matter of fact there are solid reasons why your dog pulls on the leash.
(I’ll go there in a minute!)

However, there is no reason to stay there.
You, too, can have your dog walking nicely on leash with you.
Without years of harsh training or putting stuff on your dog that will just hurt and harm them.

And I will tell you how. 

Before that we’ll just take a quick glance at why the dog pulls in the first place.

There are three simple reasons

Dog Remedies 1Reason:  That interesting thing over there!
Dogs follow their impulses, go for whatever is interesting, smells interesting.  And bet you: most of the time that interesting thing is well beyond the range of the leash.  Plus dogs move faster than humans do (at least as a general rule). So what do you end up with? A dog that pulls on the leash trying to get to the interesting thing.  It takes impulse control and thus training to not pull.

Dog Remedies 2Reason:  You pull on the leash!
Have you ever watched your first reaction when the dog starts pulling? Yes, your reflex is to pull or jerk back. It is simple physics: force and countervailing force.  In plain language: the dog pulls, you pull. The terrible thing, though: The same thing will happen to your dog. You pull, so they pull. Countervailing force!  It will just go on till you end up in a tug of war on the leash or you decide to break the vicious circle.  How do you expect your dog to keep the leash loose when you don’t?

Dog Remedies 3Reason: It works!
Dogs will do what works and stop doing what doesn’t. It’s what learning theory calls the “Law of Effect“. If the effect of leash pulling is success – as in, “I get to go where I want to go and faster than any other way“ – the dog will continue the successful strategy. Honestly, anything else would be madness, wouldn’t it? Now, who set the dog up for success with pulling?

Yes. You. Because you walk along and let yourself get pulled.  Sure way of actively teaching your dog to pull! So don’t complain if they do…

By now you probably have a notion of where we’ll be going….

Small orange ckmkEliminate the reasons
Small orange ckmkEstablish impulse control
Small orange ckmkEffectively train for success on a loose leash

Let me give you the best three tips I can come up with for that later.

We are talking best three tried and tested on hundreds of dogs!
They always work. Always! I mean ALWAYS!

Provided the human part in the equation stays cool and consistent :).

So, here we go!

Get the Right Leash Training Equipment for Your Dog!

Does it really matter what type of leash or collar or harness you use?

Oh Yes!

Let me tell you a short story: Many years ago with my first dog, a then very young and (always) lovely lab called Maluna I spent some days with a great dog trainer and was asked to join them for a group training. It involved walking in a group of dogs on leash trough a stretch of forest at 6am. God! That was going to soooo embarrassing: me half sleep walking at 6am with a dog who never ever was on leash in the forest (only in the city) and not used to being in a group of dogs! 

You know what saved me? The night before I had bought a harness instead of a collar and a 3 metres leash instead of the short 1.5 metres leash. It worked magic!
Dog Training Leash TrainingThe harness was so much more comfortable for her, no pressure on her sensitive throat which she tried to escape from! The 3 metres gave her enough space to walk normally, take a sniff here and catch up again. Pure magic!

Since then I have changed hundreds of dogs onto nicely fitted harnesses and long leashes – and it always does the trick! So go and get some of the magic for your doggy, too!

(and don’t they look pretty? Yes, that’s the famous Malune in the pic!)

Make Leash Pulling a Failure!

Remember? Your dog pulls because it works. Well, make sure it doesn’t!

That requires you to do one thing that sounds simple but does take some practice: The very second you feel the leash isn’t slack or loose, you stop. Immediately! Keep your elbow to your side, let your feet stop and grow roots. Your dog must not have any success with pulling. Not one centimeter of ground to be gained through pulling. The only way to ensure that pulling does not work any more!

Be prepared that your dog might try really hard and even jump into the leash. After all it’s a case of, darn it, this always used to work!!! I’ll try just a bit harder“.

Just stand still, don’t move. Don’t pull back. Keep breathing. Stay calm.
And wait. Wait for this one moment when your dog notices that pulling won’t work and when they are maybe giving you that doubtful glance (hey there, what is going on?“), call them and reward when they come. What happens? Your dog will have stopped the pulling and procured the slack in the leash – which you reward. BINGO!

Reward the Loose Leash. Reward and Reward!

Dog Training Leash Training

Let’s be honest: As long as the dog behaves nicely we normally don’t do anything. Only when their behavior takes a turn to the unwanted do we start to react and want to change things. The nice walking on leash goes unnoticed, the pulling gets immediate attention. It is human nature, so don’t blame yourself!

But please train yourself to do otherwise – to reward all the good things your dog is offering.  You remember that dogs will do what is successful? So make sure the right behaviours are successful!  The secret in successful leash training lies in the timely rewards.

Reward as long as the leash is loose! Use great treats! Reward frequently! If need be reward every two steps on a loose leash in the beginning. Then start asking for more steps and more and turn your frequent rewards into occasional ones. Make leash walking a fun game and you will get a dog who won’t leave your side any more…

Brigid WeinzingerBrigid Weinzinger lives and works with animals and their humans. She has made her passion her profession and offers soulful animal training and coaching to all who want to experience the same magic she finds in animals:  Deep bonding, an understanding beyond words and the joy of learning and discovering things together (including good manners with each other). She lives in Austria and posts on http://www.denktier.com.  Sign up for her blog and a free brochure “Share the Joy, Double the Fun with your Dog“ or follow her and her animal adventures and advice on http://www.facebook.com/brigiddenktier.

Running with Dogs, Oxytocin and Pair Bonding

Running with DogsHow would your life, your work, your dating life, your relationship with your husband, wife or children change if you could get a little surge of oxytocin whenever you wanted?

WHAT? Is that some sort of illegal drug and what does it have to do with my dog?

NO. It’s not an illegal drug.

It’s a hormone, one that is known to clear up anxiety, deal with stress, make you feel good; it creates bonding that rocks. It’s a thing that if you could put in pill form, people would be clearing the shelves, buying enough to not run out. Ever.

What Does Ocytocin and Running With Your Dog Have To Do With One Another?

Connection releases oxytocin. Real connection. And our dogs are one of the easiest things to start connecting with. They have no judgements, they are just simply happy to be with you.

Combine getting outdoors and a little exercise and you’re golden. Oxytocin galore.

PawsRunning just 15 minutes 3-5 times a week could make all the difference in the world on how you feel. And let me just tell you, your dog’s life will change dramatically. For the good.

How To Start Running With Your Dog

Heading out the door with your dog ready to put a 5 miler in when you haven’t been running in a very long time, or maybe you’ve never been a runner, isn’t a very good idea.

Just sayin…

And then there’s that thing about how to get your dog to run nicely on a leash when they haven’t done it before.

1 circle greenThe best way to start is to experiment with some easy running drills in a field, park or for those who actually get to live in Maui, the beach to start. It’s good for more than a few reasons.

One good reason when it comes to training your dog to run with you is you can run a short distance, then turn and go in another direction, many times. It is a great help in teaching your dog to stay by your side, rather than pull ahead.

Small orange ckmkDogs do what works for them or what you let them get away with. If you let them pull ahead, they will. If you let them drag behind, they will. It’s only a game for them, they just don’t know the rules.

Once your define the rules by requiring your dog follow you closely in expectation of a direction change, it becomes clear. This running thing means to hang by you and follow every move you make!

2 cirlce greenAnother good reason to start running with dogs using these steps is it takes the idea that it’s a huge undertaking away.

Start with running back and forth in a park, field, beach or open space. Make it 10 or 15 minutes. Done. It won’t be long and the movement, the fresh air, the quality time spent with your dog and the oxytocin release will have you wanting to up your time and distance to get more of a good thing!


You’ll be ready to move on to longer sustained running sessions on a trail, road or on the beach and you’ll both be stoked about it.

3 circle greenYou’ll hydrate more. Drinking 8 glasses of water is the recommended staple to stay hydrated. No one does it. Or very few people.

Also true, dogs may have water out available but most dogs don’t drink enough on their own. Add a run session in and your dog will naturally drink more. You should however, make water available all the time and encourage your dog to drink after every single run session you have together.

So… I’d like to make this really easy for you so that you can have the life you love with your dog by your side.

GO DO IT. And if you have questions put them in the comments below. I’d love to answer them. The fact that you are here now indicates to me that you are committed to have that oxytocin feeling all the time!

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The Single Most Powerful Dog Training Class You Can Have

Dog Yoga FitnessAs a Professional Dog Trainer, there’s one skill you can attain that is more powerful than any other.

Do you know what it is?

My friend Dawn Celapino does.

Small orange ckmkIt’s NOT building a new website.
Small orange ckmkIt’s not making friends with every vet in town in hopes of referrals.
Small orange ckmkIt’s not doing tricks with your dog in front of Petco.

If you want the answer watch this video and fill out this survey.

Add your e-mail here: Dog Yoga Classes

Want more videos on how to teach your own dog yoga class, what to charge, and how to get your dog training business on the map with this very powerful class?

Ask your personal questions on how to start your own dog yoga class here:

Dog Yoga Survey

Dog Yoga FitnessDawn has teamed up with the best in the dog business world and is going to show you how to incorporate this one class into your own business and create repeat business from high paying dog owners.

Master this class and you’ll find the secret to getting more clients who KEEP coming back, who bring new clients with rave reviews from benefits they receive for their dogs and themselves.

It’s powerful.

Talk soon,

Jt Clough

PS If you have tons of dog training clients already this will bring you BIG profits because they won’t go away never to be seen until they get a new dog. They’ll stay with you and KEEP paying you.

PSS If you have too few clients this class will put you on the map in your area.

Come check it out HERE.

photo credit: Leash Your Fitness

Are Tennis Balls A Good Thing For Your Dog?

You just got home from a stressful day at work. Nice. Home. Even better… you are greeted at the door with a huge wag and your dog, tennis ball dog toy in mouth! Seriously you can’t help but smile. Play time.

Dog Tennis BallAfter all we all need to live a little more in the play mode like our dogs do so often. It is what makes our dogs so dear to us. Unconditional love and the insatiable idea of play.

But Wait, Are Tennis Balls A Good Thing For Your Dog?

Dog Tennis Ball ToyMost dogs have a favorite toy and high on the list seems to be the age old tennis ball. Yet there is the concern that tennis balls aren’t safe for your dog. While nothing is absolutely fail safe, let’s take a look at the tennis ball and is it safe for your dog.

Tennis Balls and Dog Teeth

One of the big reasons tennis balls are touted as bad for your dog is tooth wear and tear. After doing a little research it turns out it might not be the ball but the dirt.

Tennis players tend to get new balls frequently due to the fact that after a short amount of play the ball’s diameter is smaller. Tennis players will tell you that the racquet strings will quickly abrade the softer surface of a tennis ball which is covered with a substance made of wool and nylon or a felt type surface.

Dirty Balls

Tennis players who play on clay courts will tell you that the strings on their racquet will get worn down quickly by the tennis ball due to the fact that clay, ultimately dirt and/or sand picked up on the surface of the ball is very abrasive.
Dog Tennis Ball Toy

Go ahead, get an affordable toy your dog loves. Like the bestest thing ever… My Lab finds them at Baldwin Beach on Maui all the time. Score. Big score. Favorite toy of all time!

Arrow Soft RightOther considerations are if your dog chews a tennis ball to pieces and ingests them big danger could make for a really bad play session in the end. As well there is latex in the “ingredients” of a tennis ball and like people, some dogs could have an allergic reaction.

So, ultimately it’s up to you to decide if you feel it’s safe enough to continue your dog’s obsession with the tennis ball or deprive your dog of the wild wagging that starts with a mere glimpse of that tennis ball.

Personally, my dog’s a Lab, she LOVES and I mean absolutely loves the tennis ball. Luckily she doesn’t chew them up, she’d carry one to he end of the earth though.

And your dog, is the tennis ball way up on the toy priority list?

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The Ugly Truth About Fireworks and Dogs

Does your dog really dig fireworks?

Dog Fireworks WarningThat’s what I thought. Hell no. Nope. No way.

Even dogs who seemingly don’t have a reaction, I’d be willing to bet would really prefer fireworks weren’t a part of this particular celebration.

What Do Dogs Really Hear When it Comes to Fireworks

Hearing callout5 Things to Consider for Your Dog 4th of July Safety

Maui Dog 1Exercise your dog big time the morning of the 4th of July. Whether you are cooking in, or going out, a huge exercise session for your dog does great things to take the edge off. *Come to think of it, probably true for you too!

2 BlueKeep your dog in a secure place whether you are home or not.

For many dogs this may mean a crate or kennel, or “a room of their own” if you plan to be away.

3 BlueNever leave your dog unattended in the yard or outdoor run. Even the most balanced dog can have a reaction. A scared dog can get out of amazing high or secure fences or small openings you aren’t aware of.

4 BlueTaking your dog to a fireworks event is not a good idea. You might think it’s fun but read the deal above about their hearing and vibrations. They may tolerate it, or they could freak out, in either case, not a good idea.

5 BlueHave identification tags on your dog. 4th of July is notorious for dogs getting out and lost. ID tags make it easy for anyone to find who to call and how you can quickly be reunited with your dog.

So, tell me… what does your dog do on the 4th of July?

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Why Your Maui Dog Should Not Drink From Mud Puddles

It’s Maui. It’s hot. Keep your dog hydrated. All things we already know.

Dog Mud Puddle Drinking Warning

It also rains. It’s tropical. There are mud puddles.

Dog Mud Puddle

It’s Called Leptospirosis

There are only 100-200 cases of leptospirosis reported in the United States every year. But here’s the deal, 50% of those cases come from Hawaii!

Because of the tropical climate the disease is much more prevalent, giving good reason why Maui dog people should know how to recognize the symptoms and when to get medical attention.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by contact with water or soil that has be contaminated through infected animal urine. More cases occur with heavy rainfall and tropical environments. It is often found in areas with waterfalls and freshwater ponds where bacteria can live for long periods of time.

What are signs of Leptospirosis in Maui Dogs?

The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to many other viral and bacterial infections. Mis-diagnosis can easily occur.

Be aware of the signs and pay attention to water sources your dog may have drank out of.

Small orange ckmkWeakness and loss of appetite
Small orange ckmkVomiting
Small orange ckmkDiarrhea
Small orange ckmk
Sweating paw pads or chills
Small orange ckmkLoss of appetite
Small orange ckmkRed eyes, squinting from eye pain

If the disease is left untreated, more serious symptoms can develop, including:

Small orange ckmkKidney damage
Small orange ckmkLiver failure
Small orange ckmkMeningitis
Small orange ckmkHeart failure

How to Prevent Leptospirosis in Maui Dogs

dog vaccinationArrow Soft RightThe most effective way to prevent leptospirosis is to restrict a dog’s access to muddy marshy areas, ponds, irrigated pastures, raw sewage and standing pools of stagnant water. 

It’s often hot in Maui and we are conditioned to make sure our dogs get water. When they head for a mud puddle after one the heavy rains, it seems almost wrong to not let your dog drink.

But really, its a bad idea.

There is a vaccine for leptospirosis in dogs. Talk to your vet about those and know you should do your own discovery about how often it is necessary.

Dog leptospirosis vaccine

If you are on an outing, make sure to carry your own water for your dog.

And yes, I DO give my dogs bottled water!

P.S. How about you? What is your dog’s main water source?


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Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not A Dog

Dog Beach ChairThis video will make you laugh without a doubt. It indeed points out dog behavior we tend to tolerate on a daily basis.

It is amazing how ridiculous it seems when a human is doing it, yet we can ignore it when the dog behaves this way.

Being in the dog training world for quite some time there are things in this video I find acceptable, even quite tolerable and some that really can be trained for… in the case that you really are a dog.

If you are a person, well, it’s out of my realm to get you some help… you’ll need to find that on your own!

Dog Remedies 1Barking at the Front Door

This is one I can actually classify as tolerable.  It is true that your home is much less likely to be broken into because you own a dog.  Barking at the door can be a great alarm system.  If the barking goes on and on, that’s another story but a short outburst as a live alarm system is a good thing.

Dog Remedies 2Jumping on Guests

This one should be on your list for training.  Really not cool for anyone to deal with no matter what size the dog.  With a few tips and dog training basics your dog can learn to sit when greeting a guest at your door.

Dog Remedies 3Licking Yourself

I’ve heard on a number of occasion that most men wish they could do this trick!  My personal opinion on this one… personal preference. You can train your dog to stop licking on command, but don’t expect that this behavior won’t happen when your dog gets the chance.  One of the joys of being a dog is you can do this one in public and get away with it.

Dog RemediesBegging at the Table

No.  Not good.  Train your dog not to beg.  As a lab owner this one is really important at my house.  Some dogs love food more than others.  Feeding from the table is a really bad idea and will encourage this habit.  Guests hate this.  Not cool.  Send your dog to hang out on a bed or some designated spot while you eat.

Dog RemediesHumping

Ya gotta admit, this one was funny, but if it’s your leg getting humped, not so funny all.  Dogs are dogs to a certain degree, but tolerating this behavior shouldn’t be part of your relationship with your dog. *Hint: dogs aren’t good at multi-tasking. Interrupt the hump with something as simple as “sit” to stop this embarrassing behavior!

Dog Remedies 6Peeing on a Newspaper

Potty training is in the top few reasons why people call Maui Dog Remedies for professional help.  Many times it is simply due to your puppy or dog being confused about where to go. Starting your dog out on newspapers or potty pads is a big no in this trainer’s opinion.  Dogs learn and think in pictures.  Newspapers in the house to a dog that was shown this technique early on is hard habit to break.  Teach your dog to go outside.

Dog Remedies 7Rear End Sniffing

Another one for personal preference.  A dog can get away with this one and yea, it’s sort of a dog thing.  You decide what is OK and what isn’t here.  As long as your dog isn’t accosting people with an over zealous nose nudge… you know where I’m talking about, a little sniffing isn’t going to hurt anyone.

Dog Remedies 8Sleeping on the Bed

Yet another you decide.  The age old myth that says your dog will become dominant due to sleeping on the bed is just that really… a myth.  We have our dogs these days for many personal reasons and sometimes the cuddle factor is high on the list. That being said, if you have a dog with behavioral issues, this could be a problem.  You know if this is the case and if so seeking professional training is highly recommended.

Dog Remedies 9Taking a Dump On The Sidewalk

Another one for your discrepancy.  The only rule that MUST be followed on this one…. have a bag and pick it up. Personally, I like to train my dogs where to go.  At home there is an area in the side yard.  When we are out and about I like to show them where I want them to go.  Even better, let your dog do the duty before going out and about to cut down on the unexpected places the urge might happen. Potty training is a biggie for harmony in the household.  Go about this one right and everyone is much happier…. including your dog.

Dog Remedies 10Running Out An Open Door

This one goes on the not cool category.  Not only is it a big safety hazard for your dog, but it is one of those things that can really hamper how your daily routine goes at your home.  I know people who have to barely crack the door and slither out themselves so the dog doesn’t push through and take off. A good solid recall (come when called) and boundary training is highly recommended here.

Jt Clough Running DogsJt Clough lives in Maui, Hawaii and practices health, happiness, natural remedies and training for dogs and their people. Her work at Maui Dog Remedies is for people looking to live healthier and happier lives through their dogs and her passion for it has helped so many to find and do that thing they’ve been talking about or wishing to happen for so long. She is often described as a dog whisperer for our best friends. Her latest publications are Pumpkin Dog Food + Treats Recipes and 5K Training Guide | Running with Dogs.

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