Snapping the leash is a form of discipline that throws your dog off balance. It makes him lose his concentration, stops him from doing a behavior, conditions him to avoid the thing he’s doing, and prevents excitement from escalating.

To properly perform a leash correction, you must start with a loose leash. If there is tension on the leash (aka, if your dog is pulling), you won’t be able to do this properly. Bring your hand down near your dog’s neck–if you have a small dog you will have to bend over. Quickly jerk the leash to the side (NOT back), and then immediately let the leash loose again. The leash should be taunt for less than 2 seconds.

When you do a leash correction, make sure that you are not timid, anxious, nervous, or excited. As the leader, you need to be calm and assertive in your corrections or else your dog won’t take you seriously.  If done correctly, with the right intensity and energy and timing, you should see your dog respond by lowering the head, looking at you, sitting down, or putting the ears back. A properly timed leash correction can change a dog’s behavior instantly and a smart dog needs only to be corrected in this way once or twice before getting the message that what they are doing is unacceptable behavior.

Lead your dog!