How to stop your dog pulling
Daily walks are a huge part of having a dog. But what if your dog pulls on the lead. How do you stop your dog from pulling?
You head out every day regardless if it’s sunny, raining, windy or snow. You put aside your daily woes and can generally look forward to some alone time with your best friend. Check out our article here on walking your dog safely What you thought would be a nice, fun, chilled experience turns out to be the exact opposite.
As soon as you pull the lead out then chaos can ensue. And you are then dragged around the streets of your local town, with your dog in a scrum down position pulling you along. It shouldn’t have to be this way. Read on for some hints and tips on how to get your pooch to stop pulling.
Why do dogs pull
Dogs are eager creatures. always excited to go on an adventure. and they want to get there as fast as they can. Dog’s on an average walk twice as quickly as us humans meaning we are always on the chase if you let it happen.
Some dogs have a natural instinct to pull, working dogs, for example, have been breed over the years to pull for sport and for travel. Think along the lines of a hunting dog or a husky or malamute these can be big heavy dogs that are were breed to work and pull. You could say it’s in their blood
They have picked up the scent of something while out. Maybe another dog they want to get to or another animal they want to investigate. Food usually, but if they smell it they usually want to find the source.
They just want to get there, anywhere quicker. There’s always fun and something new around the corner and they want to get to it right now.
Ways to stop your dog pulling
Play with them or throw ball in garden or practice some commands with them. This will tire them out mentally and physically and calm them down. This can then help when you take them out as they are a little less excitable.
Types of leads
Make sure you are using the correct lead. Maybe your dog would suit a harness better than a collar lead. A normal lead to the collar and it will sound like your dog is choking as the collar will press up into the throat. Not a good idea if your dog pulls and they can slip out the collar so not very secure.
A harness is a better option as it clears away from the neck and throat area and comfortably sits around their chest. A little warning tho, if you have a big powerful dog then a harness is a sure way of getting pulled over if you are not paying attention. A harness covers the body more so when they go, you can go to.
A head collar is for extreme cases in pulling, and for stronger dogs. these are essentially muzzles that fit over the dogs nose and the lead atta he’s to the muzzle. These can mean that the dog will pull less as the control is around the face.
These I would say are only necessary as you train your dog and should only be used in more extreme cases such as aggressive dogs.
Take some tasty treats with you and reward for not pulling, especially if the lead is relaxed. Dogs love treats, and who doesn’t. So if they realize that if they stay close then they can get food then they learn pretty easily to stay close. And this means a nice relaxed lead and reduced speed.
How to train your dog to stop pulling
These few steps are extremely effective at helping to control your dog and stop them from pulling. Like all dog training, this takes a little time and patience but is worth it.
When out walking and you dog is pulling then stop in your tracks. Stop for a few seconds then start walking again. If they do it again repeats the process. If your dog is very excitable then make them sit and calm down before setting them off again.
Another tip to add in your walk is the sudden change of direction. If they pull then do a turnaround and head back fro where your heading. Again keep doing this until they stop pulling. This confuses the dog a little and makes them pay attention to you more. Concentrating on you rather than pulling full steam ahead.
Let them know you are in charge. And you decide the pace and direction.
what not to do
Reward pulling, do not confuse the dog at this point by rewarding the dog for pulling. Rewards should be when the lead is relaxed or when you have stopped. Calling the dog whilst they are in mid pull and giving them a treat is giving them a positive signal that pulling is ok.
Do not Pull back or tug on their lead in an aggressive manner (do not lose your temper) this may hurt the dog and they mean no harm in what they are doing. A walk should be an enjoyable experience for you both. Do not get cross simply apply the tips from above and start getting the dog to learn to walk at your pace.
Not exercise them enough, some dogs pull because they simply do not get enough exercise. May be the owner can’t get out as often as they would like because of work or ill health or maybe because some are lazy. Dogs need exercise every day and you should do your very best to give them the opportunity to stretch their legs and take in some fresh air. It does you good too. If not there are plenty of people who could walk your dog. Dog walking businesses are extremely popular now. See if there’s one in your area.
I hope this article has given you some ideas for helping to stop your dog from pulling on the lead. try them and be persistent. It takes time and depends on the dog also. But keep at it and you will see results and start enjoying your walks.
Check out this great video for more tips