This technique can be helpful for dogs that are leash reactive for various reasons. Most notable reasons are barrier frustration and fear aggression. However, it is a good technique to help a dog hold a stronger command for any reason. The video is highlighting the technique mostly on a "sit" command because it is the most practical for most situations and allows a shorter leash for extra safety reasons.
Some things to note about this video:
- Affection is being used as the main reward. A good bond with the dog and a foundation of leadership exercises are necessary for the dog to appreciate this as a reward. If the handler does not have a good bond with the dog and/or the affection has not yet been established as an earned reward you can use a high value food reward when the dog decides to not lunge. Please refer to "leadership section" to maximize the value of affection. Ideally affection will be best to promote the bond between dog and handler, but high value treats can always be used to supplement especially just AFTER the distraction has passed.
- Notice in the video we are allowing the dog to focus on the dog distraction and make a decision. We are NOT distracting the dog away with a treat or our affection before the dog notices the other dog. We want to make sure the dog clearly is making a decision and knows exactly why he/she is being rewarded or corrected so maximum learning can take place.
- Resistance training should ideally be used for about 30 days AFTER the dog seems to have broken the habit of lunging at target distractions. This is when the dog is making less decisions and has formed more of a new habit of not lunging. Then, it can always be used in a milder form as a reminder to the dog around certain potential triggers. Technically the resistance training is a type of prompt to help teach the dogs how to restrain themselves, but ultimately it should be faded and only used to help when necessary.
- Highly reactive dogs may need to proceed to phase 3 training. But, be sure to follow through with these exercises in phase 2 to teach the dog the rules of discipline. Be sure to maximize the GOOD parts of obeying through affection and food reward and exhaust all efforts in phase 2 before moving to phase 3.
- The dogs in the video are using starmark collars and prong collars. You can also carefully use halti-style collars for this. Just be sure to use the proper technique for your collar choice to use least amount of force with most amount of motivation. Not all dogs do best on the same collar.
- This technique is for stationary dogs only.
- Leash Ninja
- Phase 1 Sit, Down, and Climb
- Phase 2 Climb (easiest for initially teaching resistance training)
- Phase 2 Sit and Down (if do the down exercise) (phase 2 with halti found on youtube, but prong technique only on the video section on this site)
Any questions be sure to put in the comments: