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Five month old Bonnie is learning to walk without pulling on the leash.
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It's not always easy to walk a puppy. Puppies like to run, pull, bounce around, and investigate everything. Bonnie has days like this. When she was very young, she walked very nicely because she wanted to stay close to me. But now that she's five months old, she's becoming more independent. She has been pulling ahead to the end of the leash and trying to go places as fast as she can.

In a previous blog, I said that pulling on the leash was just plain bad manners. If I let Bonnie pull on the leash, she will learn that if she pulls, I'll follow her. It's my job to teach her not to pull.

The method I'm using is simple to understand, but not always easy to do. Here it is: Bonnie pulls (leash tightens)...I stop. Leash loosens...we walk.

If Bonnie pulls on her leash making it tight, I stop immediately. I just stop. Eventually, she'll turn around to see what's going on. If she doesn't, I may call her or make a noise in the beginning to help her take a step toward me. As soon as she does that, her leash loosens and I start walking again. Leash tightens, I stop. Leash loosens, we walk.

Some days, in the beginning, my walk with Bonnie took a very long time. Sometimes we didn't get where we wanted to go. But soon, Bonnie caught on. She now knows that she can't get anywhere while pulling. She does know that. But she still pulls because she forgets. So until she grows up, I'll have to remind her. We get where we want to go these days - it just takes a little longer sometimes.

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