What is a more effective, humane option to a choke collar to get my dog from yanking and lunging?
Make sure your dog knows the “heel” command so she’ll walk properly.
• Sit your dog at your left side.
• Hold the leash loosely through your left hand with the looped end in your right. Keep the leash short, but not tight. Avoid those longer, flex leashes because they only make it harder to control the dog and to give her a correction if necessary.
• Step forward, moving your left leg first. Hold a treat out in front of the dog to get her to walk with you. Use the command “Heel” as you walk. Repeat it as necessary, tugging the leash as you do to keep the dog moving.
• Reward the dog each time she obeys the “Heel” command with a treat or plenty of praise.
• Stop and have the dog sit once more at your side with the “Sit” command. (“Sit” is basic and the foundation of many commands, so be sure your dog has mastered it.) Then start again. Repeat this process several times.
• Practice the “Heel” command approximately 10 to 15 minutes per session, two to three sessions per day.
• This is also a good time for your dog to know the “relax cue,” because if she sees another dog she might lunge at it. Teach her a verbal command like “chill” or “relax” while putting her in the “sit” or “down” position
• Use an alternative collar, such as a slip (which is used in dog shows) and place it at the top of the neck. The reason that you don’t want to place it on the lower neck is because that where the dog’s pulling power is located—so you’re actually helping your dog to pull you around if you have the collar placed there.