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5 Vital Strategies to Help Your Australian Shepherd with Loose Leash Walking
Australian Shepherds are high-energy and intelligent dogs that are known for their herding instincts. While they make great companions, they can be a handful to walk on a leash if they are not trained properly. Pulling on the leash is a common issue with Australian Shepherds, and it can be frustrating for both the dog and their owner. It is important to teach your Australian Shepherd to walk politely on a leash to prevent injury and make walks more enjoyable for everyone. In this article, we will explore some tips to help your Australian Shepherd stop pulling on the leash.
1. Start with Basic Training for Your Australian Shepherd
“But wait,” you say. “I just want my Australian Shepherd to stop pulling on the leash! Do I really need ‘basic training’ too?”
The answer is: it depends. While its possible to train your Australian Shepherd to stop pulling on the leash without training other commands, all training becomes easier if you start with a solid foundation, such as training your Australian Shepherd basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” (as an aside, if you’re looking for a solid overall training program, we really like the K9 Training Institute’s program or SpiritDog’s program, both of which include modules on leash pulling)
Before heading out for a walk, spend some time training your dog inside your home or in your yard. Use positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and affection to reward your dog for good behavior. This will help your dog to associate good behavior with positive rewards.
2. Buy a No-Pull Harness for Your Australian Shepherd
A no-pull harness is an excellent tool for training your Australian Shepherd to stop leash pulling. Unlike a traditional collar or harness, a no-pull harness is designed to discourage your dog from pulling by gently applying pressure to their chest. When your dog starts to pull, the harness will tighten, and your dog will feel a slight discomfort that will discourage them from pulling. Using a no-pull harness can be a safe and effective way to train your Australian Shepherd to walk calmly on a leash.
We love the Rabbitgoo brand no-pull harness on Amazon, which has almost 150,000 reviews.
Consistency is key when training your Australian Shepherd to loose leash walk. It’s essential to use the same techniques every time you take your dog for a walk. For example, if your dog starts to pull, stop walking and wait for your dog to calm down before continuing. Be patient and persistent, and your dog will eventually learn that pulling won’t get them where they want to go.
4. Use Positive Reinforcement like Training Treats
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training techniques for stopping leash pulling. When your Australian Shepherd walks calmly by your side, reward them with treats, praise, and affection. This will help your dog to associate good behavior with positive rewards, making them more likely to repeat that behavior in the future. Avoid punishing your dog for pulling, as this can make the problem worse by increasing their anxiety and frustration.
Our test pups LOVE these bacon flavored Pet Botanics training treats. They are small enough size that you can give a lot of them, and not overdo calories.
We’d also recommend a handy training treats pouch you can wear on your belt during walks.
5. Try an Online Dog Training Course for Your Australian Shepherd
If you’re struggling to teach your Australian Shepherd loose leash walking, it may be time to seek professional help through and online dog training course. A professional dog trainer can provide you with personalized advice and techniques to address your specific issues. They can help you to identify the root cause of your dog’s pulling and provide you with effective solutions to correct the behavior. With the help of a professional trainer, you can teach your Australian Shepherd to walk calmly on a leash, making walks more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.
Our 2 Favorite Online Training Programs for Australian Shepherd Leash Pulling
- SpiritDog makes an excellent and affordable training course called “Loose Leash Walking” that’s an excellent resource for Australian Shepherd owners. The course promises to teach your Australian Shepherd to stop pulling in 10 minutes a day. You can also get feedback from real, professional dog trainers.
- K9 Training Institute Makes an Excellent, Well Rounded Dog “Masterclass” that includes modules on loose leash walking. While it’s a bit pricier than SpiritDog, it offers a solid foundation and solutions to nearly any behavior challenge you might face. The course uses the same material that professionals use to train service dogs, so the quality of the material is top notch.
In conclusion, teaching your Australian Shepherd to walk calmly on a leash is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner. With the right approach and a bit of patience, it is possible to overcome any leash-pulling tendencies your dog may have. Remember to be consistent and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Reward your dog for walking calmly on the leash and avoid punishing them for mistakes. By showing your dog the proper way to behave, you will not only improve your walks together but also strengthen your bond and deepen your relationship with your beloved furry friend.