If you have trouble with your dog pulling on his leash, you can stop this dog behavior. You want to go in one direction, your dog wants to go in the other direction. Sound familiar? There are several things you can do. If your dog is still young, you want to stop the leash pulling now, especially if he may outweigh you when he is fully grown. You don’t want to look like a tail on a kite when you walk your dog.
Taking your dog out for a walk can be a very enjoyable experience. It is also a critical element in having a well balanced dog. Dogs need to be walked, just getting exercise in your backyard is not enough. Dogs need not only the exercise, but also the intellectual and olfactory stimulation of walks.
You head out the door to take your dog for a walk. But if you stop for just a moment the battle begins. He still wants to move and you don’t. He wants to walk down the street at 90 mph and you can’t keep up and don’t want to walk that fast. Can you control this behavior in your dog? Yes, with consistency and the right method. It may be frustrating for a bit, but it can be done.
Here are 5 tips to help you train your dog to stop pulling on leash. While you can use training collars and retractable leashes, it is best to try other options first. Retractable leashes are largely a waste of time on big dogs, and really aren’t effective for training smaller dogs either.
For this method all you really need are: a 6′ leash and a nylon buckle collar. This is pretty simple and very effective way to train your dog to walk on leash. Remember, as always, consistency is the key to changing any behavior in your dog.
- While you are out for a walk with your dog and he begins pulling on his leash, simply stop. Become immovable until he stops pulling and allows some slack in the leash.
- The minute there is slack in the leash, praise your dog and begin walking again.
- Continue your walk until the dog starts pulling again, stop dead in your tracks once again. Remain neutral. Wait for slack, praise.
- Sometimes, if you simply stop, change your direction and start walking, your dog will have to stop pulling and try to catch up with you going in the other direction. This strategy will also teach your dog to pay attention to you when you walk.
- Do not let your dog go sniff and investigate whatever he wants. You must control the walk.
Granted, this can be time consuming. But, walks are so important to your dog, he will soon learn that when he doesn’t pull he gets what he wants. Dogs do what works!
Changing the behavior of your pet isn’t really that difficult, but as in most any type of training, consistency, repetition and praise are two aspects that must be reinforced. Dogs are smarter than you think. Do your part and you will soon find that you can emjoy your walks and your dog will love them as well.
Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember “Opportunity Barks!”