For some dog owners, walking their dog can be a miserable experience thanks to their dog pulling on the leash. After all, a dog with enough momentum and strength can make a walk quite painful for their owner by pulling on the leash.
Ideally, dog walks are supposed to be pleasant bonding experiences between an owner and a dog. However, in some cases, they have become nightmares filled with a lot pulling back and forth between the owner and their dog.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from ruining your dog’s walks. In fact, this article will give you six tips to effectively stop your dog from pulling on the leash. It will be split into two sections, before the walk and while on the walk, that way you’re fully prepared to stop your dog’s annoying habit.
Before the Walk
Tip 1: Get Your Dog Used to Moving With You
You can get your dog used to moving with you through practicing during the day. First, hold onto their leash and step a few steps backward. Backward movement makes your dog want to move toward you. As they start to approach you, say, “Yes” and reward them with a treat.
This exercise will get them comfortable with moving with and focusing on you. It will make easy for them to understand moving side by side with you on walks is the right way to explore the neighborhood.
You should repeat this exercise at least 10 times a day until your dog immediately follows you when you back away.
Tip 2: Invest in a Chest-Led Harness
As the name suggests, a chest-led harness has the dog leash attachment located on the chest. This type of harness is extremely helpful for fighting against your dog’s leash pulling because it will turn their body around when they pull rather than allowing them to proceed forward.
Basically, this harness will make it seem like there’s no advantage to pulling on the leash for your dog. It will make the process of teaching them the right way to walk a much easier task. In addition, it will take the stress away from your dog’s pulling by disturbing it more evenly throughout their body. Honestly, it’s really a no-brainer for a dog owner that has a dog with a leash-pulling problem.
However, don’t use this harness as a replacement for a collar. Your dog still needs a collar to display all your contact information and tags. We have a few options on the Leatherberg website.
Tip 3: Practice Leash Walking in the House or Yard
There’s a chance your dog’s pulling is the result of them not being used to a dog leash, especially, for puppies or dogs from a shelter. In this case, it’s important to give them little practice before adventuring out into the neighborhood streets. Take them around the backyard or house on the dog leash to get them comfortable with the idea. Given they’re in more familiar areas, there less likely to pull. It will train them to realize a dog leash isn’t a bad thing.
After a while, the dog leash will just become a normal part of your dog’s walking routine. In fact, if they see you pick it up, they’re probably going to get really excited because the dog leash indicates that it’s time for a walk.
While on the Walk
Tip 4: The Reward System
As we all know, dogs love being rewarded for doing something right. Giving your dog rewards is the easiest and most effective way of making them do anything. This is no different with getting them to stop pulling on a dog leash. You can use your dog’s need for acknowledgment to your advantage by offering your dog a treat every time they listen to you on walks. For instance, when your dog’s walking side by side with you proceed to offer them a treat. This will make them associate walking the correct way with being a rewarding behavior. In addition, you can use special treats such as like small pieces of cooked salmon to speed up the process.
Tip 5: Don’t Give In
When a dog starts pulling, most owners give in to make the nightmare walk end sooner. However, this is counter-productive and just makes the dog think that pulling is the right way to act on a dog leash. Basically, you’re just giving into the problem rather than trying to find a solution. Instead, you can change this by immediately stopping when your dog pulls on the leash. Then, stand completely still and wait until the dog leash relaxes. This will make your dog take a step back or turn their complete attention towards you. After a few moments, continue on your walk.
It’s important to do this repeatedly until your dog understands pulling isn’t the right way to walk around the neighborhood.
If you find this process is taking to long, I recommend using the next step instead.
Tip 6: Turn Around
If you dog starts pulling, simply say, “ Let’s go” and start walking the opposite direction. However, make sure to do this without jerking the dog leash. This will only make your dog’s pulling get worse over time. Instead, you can motivate them to follow by using an excited voice to get their attention. After your dog does start following you and the dog leash is relaxed, turn back and walk to the area they were pulling towards.
This will convey the idea that pulling on the leash doesn’t get them what they want. Therefore, your dog will start to associate walking the right away with going toward the place with the interesting smell.
With these six tips, you should have an enough in your arsenal…
To stop your dog from pulling on leash. It will make your dog’s walks a more pleasant experience rather than a nightmare one filled with dread.