Givvy and Angus are beautiful chunky Black Labradors, four year old brother and sister. They do what a lot of Labs (and other dogs) do – jump up and pull on lead.
Imagine how a dog would feel, already very excited before leaving the house, pulling madly down the road, being corrected painfully with perhaps a choke chain while a stressed owner shouts ‘Heel’…..and then a person with a dog appears in front of him. More discomfort as the anxious owner immediately yanks the lead and holds on tight. The dog is more or less set up to be reactive – to lunge and bark.
How often do we see dogs walking on loose leads, being allowed to stop and sniff and do what dogs like to do, walking like there is no lead at all, barking and lunging at another dog?
I rest my case!
A family member is now pregnant, so the jumping up has to stop. ‘Dog training’ methods have been used for four years of their lives – one dog has a choke chain. They are corrected, the lead is jerked and they are told ‘heel’. They pull so badly, especially when they see another dog or a person, that they can’t be walked together and even the young man is too anxious to walk them down their own lane.
Have four years of correction, ‘heel’ and tight leads worked? No. Have four years of being told ‘Off’ or being pushed down when they jump up worked? No.
It stands to reason that a different approach is needed.