The Treats Game (Teaching a Positive Interrupter)




Slowing your dog’s movement or bringing them to a stop if they’re moving towards a trigger helps your dog maintain the distance they need so they’re less likely to react.

By using a hand over hand movement or stroking the lead, you can help your dog to slow down.

When you need your dog to stop completely, slowly squeeze the lead between your thumb and fingers until they gently come to a full stop.

If your dog is moving quickly, you may need to do a repetitive squeeze and release action like pumping the brakes on a car in order to help your dog slow down without putting sudden tension on the lead.

Once you are stopped, place your feet shoulder width apart with one leg slightly behind the other. Move into balance by keeping your knees slightly bent, relaxing your shoulders, taking a breath, and lowering your hands.

When you do this you will see a nice “smile” in the lead.

Try not to step forward as this can cause your dog to step forward, too. Instead, shift your weight from back to center to see if it helps the lead relax.

If your dog continues to try to go forward towards the trigger, you are most likely too close and will want to prompt your dog to move away with you to create space.

By learning how to gently stop your dog and put a smile in the lead, you can keep them feeling safe, making the walk more comfortable and enjoyable for both ends of the lead.

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