Being led on a merry dance by your pup during your daily walks quickly loses its charm as your dog grows up.
Sure, it can be fun when you’re being swiveled and tugged around all over the park by your new puppy, but on a daily basis, and with a grown dog, it can be quite a hassle.
More importantly, pulling on the leash hurts the dog, often leading to neck injuries or chronic conditions. Indeed, to stop your dog from pulling on the leash is in his, or her, interest.
Before settling on training methods, it’s necessary to understand that each dog may respond differently to a technique.
Considering the dog’s personality, and the probable reasons behind the dog pulling on his leash during walks could help one better understand which method might work best with the dog.
Usually, dogs pull on their leads for one of two broad reasons:
- Excitement: Dogs that are overeager to get outdoors and start moving around are quite easy to recognize. This might simply mean your dog needs more training, or, it might indicate a lack of exercise, too. Being firm and assertive is how you train the dog to stop pulling on the leash in these cases.
- Fear or insecurity: This can be harder to deal with, as overcoming fear or insecurity requires a good deal of patience and attentiveness, on the part of both the dog as well as the owner. Once you are somewhat clued into what’s troubling your dog, you could consider various solutions.
Here are some of the more effective methods popular among trainers and owners to stop a dog from pulling on the leash:
1. Using a Short Leash
Keeping the leash short gives you better control in guiding the dog, and a better position to stop the dog from pulling on the leash.
When correcting using the leash, it’s very important to keep the corrections brief and to immediately relax the leash.
Keeping it taut for extended periods could end up choking your dog.
2. Using Improved Collars
Collars that maintain the position of the leash at the top of the neck are much better at stopping your dog from pulling on the leash.
Also, when the leash is on the top of the neck, it’s easier to communicate with the dog, whether for direction or correction.
3. Rewarding Good Behavior
Incentives always count.
As a reward for his good on-leash behavior, allow your dog to stop, explore and investigate more frequently, though, without disrupting the walk too much. To maintain better discipline, try to feed your dog after the walk, and not during it.
4. Assert Your Presence and The Way You Lead
Some dogs pull on their leashes to show aggression or dominance.
To stop your dog from pulling on the leash, it’s crucial to impress upon your dog that you are in charge, that you lead the walk. You might also consider continuing training on the leash indoors, to reinforce good behavior.
5. Dealing with Fear and Insecurity
Getting your dog to stop pulling on the leash when he’s fearful or insecure requires patience and understanding. It may be that your dog is injured or unwell.
On the other hand, it may be that he fears other dogs outside. In any case, forcing him through correction or dragging him along without understanding why does no good, and contrarily may cause harm.
The answers in these cases depend on the dogs in question and could range from changing the route you take, to “walkpooling” with other familiar and friendly dogs and their owners.
When dealing with tips on how to stop your dog from pulling on the leash, or any other training for that matter, it’s crucial to maintain consistency, have patience, and to start yesterday.
And, of course, always do prioritize the safety and well-being of your dog while training.
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