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The Road To Loose-Leash Walking: Ditching the Retractable Leash

Loose-leash walking is a very common issue my clients face, in addition to other behavioural problems needing medical and behaviour therapy treatment.

If you are using a retractable leash and having issues with your dog pulling, consider getting rid of this tool. Because it literally teaches a dog to pull. Not to mention the numerous human and dog injuries reported using this tool. Without any intention to cause fear, I won't reference the reports here. There is plenty of such information available on Google.

From a teaching and training perspective, the retractable leash has many negative impacts:

While using a retractable leash, your dog does not understand what "a leash" actually means because the definition of a leash and its boundary changes constantly.

Another problem is when you want your dog to listen, they are so far away! Your cues may mean nothing or appear different from when you taught them in the first place.

When you realise a problem with recall, your dog is probably used to the retractable leash routine, making it harder to change the behaviour.

Immediate solution:

If you want your dog to have more freedom for roaming while you have some control, use a longer leash, such as a 3m or 5m. You can easily get them from online shops.

Luckily, even dogs who are used to walking with a retractable leash can learn loose-leash walking with the right measures and patience. There are many other factors that contribute to leash pulling. I will discuss more loose-leash walking in another blog post. However, getting professional help will fast-track the outcome.

There are clearly concerns about retractable leashes when it comes to both training and safety. Booking an appointment with me or consulting a qualified positive reinforcement dog trainer is the best approach.

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