Want your Morkie to walk better on a leash? You’re not alone. The good news is – it can be learned.
Let’s face it, a Morkie pulling hard on his leash isn’t likely to pull you over. But it’s embarrassing and can be annoying. So why does your Morkie pull so hard on the leash? Two reasons.
First all animals reflexively resist being restrained. From a tiny dog to a huge horse, they don’t like being tied up or tied down.
Second, dogs walk to explore their environment, get new interesting smells and check out the local scenery up close and personal. So walking nicely is not a natural behaviour.
What’s walking nicely?
We’re not talking about dog competitions for heeling – where the dog walks at your pace, at a very location on your left side. What you’d like is a “loose leash walk,” where your Morkie can enjoy a little bit of meandering but is basically keeping pace with you.
The leash stays somewhat slack – not pulled tight and not dragging on the ground.
To develop better walking habits in your pet, simply reward your Morkie every time he does it right.
Reward, reward, reward
When she takes a parallel step to you (yes, even one) reward her with happy-voice praise and a tiny treat. Another parallel step? Reward!
For those missteps, where your Morkie suddenly lunges and the leash is pulled tight, ignore them.
Some trainers recommend stopping dead on your walk when the dog does that. But that kind of negative reinforcement doesn’t work well in this case, because your Morkie is still outside with you, enjoying sniffing and seeing all the attractions.
What to NEVER do
Never jerk your Morkie back, or pull hard on the leash trying to steer him where you want to do.
Yorkies, Morkies and Maltese are just some of the small dogs who easily develop collapsing trachea. Their little windpipes are so small, that pressure from a collar and leash can literally collapse the windpipe over time. You have a wheezy, honking dog who has great difficulty breathing, all the time.
What kind of collar?
Finally, for safety sake please consider a harness and leash rather than a collar and leash. This is just as easy to manage and you don’t run the risk of serious neck injury. Keep a collar on your Morkie for I.D. purposes, but for walking, use a harness.
There are several kinds, from front or back clipping harnesses made of the same kind of material as a leash, to harnesses built-in to tiny clothing. Look for one that’s comfortable and not too tight, and is designed as a no-choke harness.