Training Your Dog To Make Turns On The Lead
Check all collars to see that they are the right weight, length, and correctly placed on the dog. Hold the leash in both hands at waist level so the dog will be kept under control and the six-foot length will not seem awkward. Start the lesson with heeling and sitting. Make right-about and left U-turns every few feet so that the dog will be more attentive.
Your hands should stay “glued” to your waist area.
Say heel! Tug on the leash as you start walking, then praise as your dog makes an effort to stay up with you!
Keep moving on the right-about-turn! Command “Sit!” and tug upwards and then immediately release the tension in the leash by bringing your hands back down to your waist area.
Don’t forget the praise.
Large dogs can be brought around on the about-turn more quickly if the owner kicks backward with the right foot to rap the dog unexpectedly on the rear. Praise should follow immediately as the dog moves forward into the heel position.
Transfer the lead from the left to the right hand before you tell the dog to sit. This will shorten the lead so that you will have control over the dog and can make him sit straight.
You should only have enough slack in the line so that the dog feels no tension in the leash, but you only need to move your hand upwards 2-3 inches in order to administer the tug on the leash.
When you prevent mistakes before they happen, you won’t have to correct them later.
If he sits crooked, immediately reissue the heel command and then make him sit again, this time guiding him straight with your left hand.
Then continue: About turn! Tug on the leash! Praise! Keep moving. Walk briskly, especially on the about-turn. Use a series of short, snappy tugs on the leash to make the dog forget outside distractions, if/when he glances of in the opposite direction.
Tug on the leash in the direction of travel. Not up in the air!
When you make an about-turn, pivot sharply to the right and snap the lead parallel to the floor after you are headed in the opposite direction. You can more or less allow your body motion to do this, automatically.
Keep moving! When you make a left U-turn, bump into the dog to make him draw back by himself. Carry the leash comfortably in both hands. Keep it short but slack, and have your dog under control. Tighten the lead to make a correction, but don’t drag or hold it tight. When you snap the lead the right way, you will hear the collar click. Pat your side after you tug the leash to reassure your dog, and coax him to come in close.
When the dog forges ahead, do a right about! When he lags, jump forward!
Don’t exaggerate hand motions. Use a wrist action as well as bending the elbow and snap the leash short and firm. Throughout the training, command first, correct second, praise third!
The dogs must sit square and close to the side. Be careful not to step into your dog! It will make him move away from you. If he sits wide, pull him in close and hold the lead tight until he sits down the way he should. When he goes too far ahead, hold the leash in back of your body in the left hand and tug backward before you stop moving.
If he persists in sitting too far ahead, step across in front of him and block him with your left leg. At the same time, pull the lead tight across your left hip. He must learn never to pass your left knee when either heeling or sitting, and not to sit at an angle.