We’re all familiar with that classic cartoon image of a pet owner being dragged through the neighborhood by their energetic dog. While these images may be overexaggerated, they do hold some truth.
As calm and cuddly as our dogs may be when they’re pent up in the house, all composure disappears when it’s time for a walk. I can count on maybe one hand the number of times I’ve taken my dog for a walk and not been dragged through the dirt like an unruly game of follow the leader.
Dogs pulling on their leash can prove to be both dangerous to you and your pup. Luckily, the team at Good Doggies has developed seven tricks to stop your dog from leash-pulling.
1. Try to relax before going out for a walk.
Most dogs typically go crazy when you so much as touch the leash. This increase in energy can extend into your walk. Try calming your pup down before strapping on the leash and opening the door.
2. Practice makes perfect.
Practice walking techniques in your backyard before hitting the streets. They will then likely carry over the good behavior into their public walks.
3. No time to train your dog? Try a no-pull harness.
I completely understand if you don’t have the time to train your dog how to properly walk on a leash, and luckily, there’s an invention for that! No-pull harnesses are perfect because they provide all the comforts of a leash without the trouble of worrying about your dog harming themselves by pulling too hard.
4. Every time your dog starts pulling, simply STOP.
For those of us that have a bit more time on their hands, there’s no easier method than simply putting your foot down and stopping the walk every time your dog decides to pull on the leash. When he or she finally gives up on trying to dominate the walk, give them positive acknowledgement and continue.
5. Change up directions.
When your dog decides they want to pull, regain control by changing directions. This will totally catch them off-guard and make them think twice before disobeying.
6. Play with your dog before starting your walk.
Have you ever noticed how your dog is less likely to pull toward the end of your walk? This is caused by fatigue. Rigorous play with your pooch before a walk will wear them down enough so that they won’t pull on the leash as often, or at all.
7. No compliance means no reward.
Training your dog is all about rewarding them. Positive behaviors should be rewarded with a treat, which makes them want to repeat the action. The reward for a dog in pulling the leash is they get to their desired outcome that much faster. You might not have thought of it this way before, but letting them sniff a mailbox or a tree can count as a reward. Eliminating this reward and interrupting the behavior/reward system will quickly make your dog reconsider their actions.