The title for today is: “The Hotdog Method – It Really Works!” Today I had a session with a 12-week old Maltipoo whose name is Harley. Harley is a very excitable dog, and we’re working on that. Part of my strategy is to teach the dog how to walk nicely on a loose leash.
I generally approach teaching a dog how to walk on a leash by bringing immense value to the dog being on the left side of my body.
First, I teach my clients how to hold the food and reward the dog for being in the heel position. The heel position is best taught alongside a wall. Then I teach them how to move their dog in the heel.
With a small dog like Harley, reinforcing with food was a challenge. His food is tiny and difficult to dispense. Some of the food fell to the ground, and now the dog is rewarded for sniffing around the ground.
At that point, I introduced the hot dog method. My client had turkey hot dogs, and we sliced it in half, lengthwise. Then we put the hot dog inside our left hand, and the end of the hot dog would be close to our pinky finger. Then we began to feed the Harley while she was in heel position. It was incredible to watch Harley once she discovered there was a hot dog in our hand.
I learned today that smaller dogs don’t have powerful grips, and it’s best to have the dog feed on the inside of the hot dog, so they don’t have to work their way through the casing.
After the dog finished this half a hot dog, she sat in heeling position while my clients and I had a pleasant conversation. Harley was waiting for more food, and that was really the point of the exercise.
If you are struggling with leash walking, maybe go out and buy some high-quality hot dogs. I tend to use “Hebrew National.”
Remember first to let the dog eat the hot dog out of your hand while in heel position and later add motion to that exercise.
If you need help with the hotdog method, please know that I am genuinely interested in helping you with free professional advice. You can text my tip line at 832-734-5189 anytime. I may ask for a little more information because I like to know who I am talking to, but your text reaches me, and the response will be from me.