A common sight for any dog owner is the image of an unfortunate fellow canine carer being dragged unceremoniously along at the end of a dogs lead. A lot of the time the command “heel” accompanies the procession yet makes little difference to proceedings.
For the human participant of the beyond control dog walk this may be arduous and humbling. Sadly dogs are not born with firmly established obedience training. Commanding an untrained dog to walk to heel is setting oneself and the heedless dog up to automatically fail. For a command word to have any effect on a dog the animal must first be taught the meaning of the command.
Positive re-strengthening is the most useful method to use during obedience training sessions. Reward based reinforcement of the dogs needed behaviours will both make sure the dog enjoys training sessions and stays galvanized to learn. Clicker training is also a good re-strengthening tool which works really well to pinpoint the precise position you need from the dog. If you're not worried about sharp and formal obedience training then you might simply strengthen then reward a slack lead.
To encourage the dog to slacken off on the lead you can keep his attention focussed towards you by holding treats or a preferential toy. Changing direction surprisingly a few times in succession will also spur the dog to focus on you. When his attention is on you then you need to bolster this to encourage him to look to you again.
At the beginning of any obedience training session you must make sure that you are far from any distractions for your dog. Only allow distractions once your dog can handle them. Taking a dog into an area of high interest in the initial stages of obedience training means that you are setting him up to fail. It is better to coach in a leaden area and build distractions slowly at a pace that the dog can deal with. Following the right dog training guidance is important to having a docile dog.