Going for adventure strolls can be the highlight of your dog’s day. So It’s easy to see why they might get excited and start pulling on their leash. If there’s one thing I envy on a walk or at the park, it’s seeing dogs walk calmly beside their owners; for some dogs is comes naturally. For others, it can take a little more work. It takes a lot of time and effort to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash, but it is well worth it when you’re out on a peaceful stroll with your best buddy.
Why Dogs Pull On The Leash
Managing leash-pulling behavior can be made simpler by knowing why dogs do it in the first place and how many of us unwittingly promote it. A major reason dogs tug on their leash is because they’ve learned that doing so is the only way to progress forward (especially when there are delightfully stinky spots to sniff). So be sure not to let your dog use you as their own human pulley system.
When they pull, it’s not out of spite or to establish dominance; rather, they pull because it works. They’re being rewarded for their perseverance since it keeps them moving ahead and toward their goals. Don’t worry! We have some tips to get you both enjoying walks together.
Get The Right Gear!
Get your dog a durable and strong training leash and collar. Make sure you have a leash with a traffic handle (a second handle close to where it attaches to your dog’s collar), so you can keep them close when you need to. Remember, if your dog is a puller, you want gear that stands the test of time. Get yourself a waterproof training collar and waterproof leash so you don’t have to spend your valuable time cleaning stinky gear when you could be out walking with your pup! There’s no excuses when you know your gear works in all seasons, even rain and snow!
Did Someone Say Treats?
Show your dog that being close to you is a good thing. Begin by rewarding your dog for sitting or standing at your side in a quieter environment, such as your house or garden. Quiet, distraction-free environments are ideal for teaching your dog new skills. Tip – To avoid a bellyache, give their regular food as training treats.
One Step At A Time
When the lead begins to tighten, come to a halt! Teach your dog that strolling nearby you on a slack leash allows them to go forward, but tugging prevents them from doing so. Stop walking as soon as the leash starts to tighten. Stand motionless, and don’t move until the lead has slackened. Do not yank the leash back or yell at your dog- instead, stand calmly and silently. If your dog does not return your gaze, take a few steps in the opposite way to refocus their attention.
Every time you go out with your dog, be consistent with your training. Yes, it will take some time, but it will be well worth it in the end. While your dog is learning, you should anticipate walks to take longer. If you continue with it, though, you’ll be rewarded with pleasant walks with a calm, happy pup who no longer takes you for a walk, instead of you walking them!