Boston Terriers may not be large dogs, but they are strong and they are known to be leash pullers. Training your Boston Terrier to walk nicely on a leash may be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. You should always able to walk your dog without fear of losing an arm!
It is also important for breeds like Boston Terriers and Pugs, that you get them the right kind of harness. Due to their bulged eyes, these breeds can become more prone to eye issues in their later years if you use a standard dog collar.
By using a harness, the pressure is taken off the dogs eyes and into their chest. All dog owners have their own preference in terms of comfort and look. I prefer a mesh harness because it looks more comfortable, but some prefer other materials like a leather dog harness due to its durability.
Teaching a Boston Terrier to politely walk on leash can be a tough job, especially if he has been pulling and dragging you down for the last five years. First, you need to start practicing at home, where there are no distractions and he’s more likely to pay attention and focus on the training. Stand next to your dog and reward him for focusing on you.
On Leash Walking
You can offer him a treat or a piece of kibble. Then you can take a step forward; if your dog follows you, make sure you reward him. If he walks ahead of you and pulls on the leash, stop walking and hold your ground. Call him and try to get his attention; when he looks at you, lure him to the initial position. Once he’s standing next to you, repeat the process. If the dog is walking by your side, keep rewarding him machine-gun-style! Fast and frequent rewards are the best, at first. The idea is to maintain the behavior while it’s occurring. If you’re slow to deliver the rewards, he’ll probably pull on the leash again. Keep it interesting and engaging!
Once he already knows what you want and can easily walk by your side without pulling on the leash, you can go to a more distracting environment. Don’t expect your Boston Terrier to walk perfectly at first. You may need to repeat some of the initial steps, until he understands that he is supposed to walk by your side, no matter where he is.
Off Leash Walking
Off leash walking can be trained by using the same techniques mentioned above. Just make sure you don’t allow your dog to walk off leash in a non-fenced area; he can easily be distracted and get into danger quickly. When allowing your dog to walk off leash, it is also important that he receives some recall training in advance.