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If you have a Cane Corso, you probably were attracted to the breed's unique looks, athleticism, and their reputation for being wonderful family dogs. Unless you grew up with them, you might not be accustomed to their stubborn side and willful side. If you haven't established strong leadership with your dog, you may have trouble getting him to follow you. Training is essential, especially focusing on leash training your Cane Corso. If he's not properly leash trained, you might be the one being taken for a walk.
This breed of dog needs exercise every day, so making sure your dog can walk on a loose leash every time you head out is essential. With proper training and attention to his specific learning style, you'll not only have a fun buddy to walk with, but you'll be laying the foundation for a trusting relationship for years to come.
It's important that you establish yourself as leader of the pack early on in your relationship with your dog. If he sees you as the boss, he'll be happy to comply with your wishes, but if he doesn't know you run the show, he's more than happy to take that spot. Leash training your Cane Corso is an important step in establishing those boundaries.
Be sure to give him boundaries and stick to them. Sure, he's got those big melty eyes and adorable paws, and it's easy for you to cave and let him get away with little things. Little things can turn into bigger issues as he pushes those boundaries. Spending time making sure he can follow your direction on a leash will help establish this bond.
When you get started, make sure you always use positive reinforcement and reward him for good behavior. Never hit or threaten your dog. When you're ready you'll need a few items.
- A strong collar or harness
- A medium length leash
- Tasty treats he really likes
- A "no exceptions" policy--your dog must follow you with no exceptions
- A quiet place with little distractions
The Follow the Leader Method
Fit a collar or harness
Make sure you have a strong and well fitted collar or harness for your dog. If you have a puppy, make sure he hasn't grown out of it yet.
Put on the leash
The moment you snap on the leash, you are establishing yourself as the leader. You decide where you go and when. You can even start this in the house. If you're outside, start the session by leading him to a spot to relieve himself.
Walk a few steps and stop
Walk two or three steps and stop. Your dog should stop right beside you or behind you. Don't let him strain the leash or stop in front of you. Give him a treat for stopping in the right spot. If he walks in front of you, turn around or change direction so he is no longer in the lead.
Practice walking and stopping
Keep practicing, stopping at longer and unpredictable intervals until he's looking at you always to see what's next. If you are outside, don't let him mark or sniff. You can say "no" or make a sound to draw his attention back to you.
Now throw an abrupt change of direction every now and then. If he's with you he should follow your lead, so give him a treat. If he doesn't and the leash gets tight, say "no" and catch his attention.
Practice makes perfect
For the first few weeks, you may only walk the length of a block. The most important thing is that you always demand he follows your lead. Be firm and he will reward you with his respect and attention.
Keep him on his toes
As he gets better at heeling by your side and staying with you, keep challenging him. If you see his attention focus elsewhere for too long, change direction or stop. Make him engage on your walks.
The Stop and Go Method
Attach the leash
This method is best for younger dogs who don't yet have the muscle mass to pull you off your feet. When you are ready, put the leash on the dog inside the house, before you set foot outside. Don't let him barge through the door. Make him wait until you are ready.
Let him relieve himself
Take him to a tree or bush to relieve himself. This will be the only time he is allowed to go during the walk. No marking allowed.
Start to walk
When he's ready, start to walk down the street.
Stop when you feel tension
The second he walks ahead of you and puts tension on the leash, stop in your tracks. Don't move.
Relax the leash
He should respond by looking back at you or taking pressure off the leash. You might encourage him to engage by making a sound.
Once he releases the tension, walk forward as a reward.
Every time you feel tension on the leash, stop immediately. Don't move until he comes back or releases the tension. He should learn that walking with a loose leash means he gets to have fun and pulling means he doesn't have fun.
The Biscuit Method
Pick a good spot
This method is great to try in the house, before going outside. Pick a spot like a long hallway or a wide room where you can practice without distraction.
Put on the leash
Bring her to one end of the hallway or room and put on her leash. Make her sit and stay.
Show her the biscuit
Have a friend hold up a biscuit and walk to the other side of the room or hallway and place it on the floor.
Begin to walk toward the biscuit. If she lunges or pulls on the leash, stop immediately. Don't go any further, turn around and start at the beginning. Wait until she stops putting pressure on the leash.to start again.
A loose leash earns a biscuit
Only move forward when she is not putting pressure on the leash. If she pulls or lunges, take her back to the start. It might take a lot of time, but eventually, she will learn that pulling doesn't get rewarded, but loose leash walking does.
By Katie Smith
Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021