If you often have a sore, aching shoulder because your dog pulls and drags you down the path while on walks, you are surely looking for info on how to stop your dog from pulling on their leash. You’ll also be comforted to know that you’re not alone – there are literally millions of folks who have to grit their teeth and endure a walk with their dog rather than enjoying it.
So, why not train your dog to walk by your side without pulling whatsoever so you can enjoy every walk without any struggle or stress? That’s the reasonable thing to do, after all. And the good news is that it’s not complicated at all! As with essentially everything that is worth doing, it can take some time to master, though it can also be a relatively quick process.
What to Remember in Order to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on Their Leash
There are in fact very many tricks to correctly walking your dog on a leash in order to ensure that they are walking besides you as opposed to in front of you, dragging you along. Note that if you have a very energetic and/or stubborn dog, regardless of his or her size, you may very well need to know all of these important tips and pointers before you are able master the art of the walk. So, let’s get right to it.
The most important advice for how to keep your dog from pulling on their leash is to keep your pup calm. If your dog is pumped up like a raging bull as you head out of your home, getting him or her to walk calmly on the leash is going to be a heck of a lot harder. That leads us to the first tip.
1. Calm your dog down.
Picture the usual routine that goes down before you and your pup leave the house. As soon as you bring out the leash, your dog jumps up excitedly, wagging the tail uncontrollably and racing around demanding that you put the leash on them ASAP. And as soon as you do put the leash on them, they somehow become even more overjoyed!
As a matter of fact, this sort of action actually reinforced their excited, hyper behavior with a reward – namely putting the leash on them and taking them out for a walk. Therefore, this excited behavior is prone to getting more and more extreme.
The exact same thing happens when your dog drags you towards the front door, pushing their way ahead so they can go first and then as they pull you down the path. All this excitement only gets your dog more and more excited.
Take It Easy
So, the next time that you take your dog for a walk, be sure to take it easy and take your time. Pick up the leash but then wait for your antsy pup to calm down. Just go ahead and carry on with what you were doing before and ignore your dog’s hyped up antics. If they don’t calm down after awhile, go ahead and put the leash away out of their sight.
This may take several tries or maybe even many tries, but your dog will eventually learn to be calm even when they see the leash. Once they are totally relaxed, then you can put the leash on them.
This whole process can be repeated all the way until you are on the path and ready to begin the actual walk. You can either wait, keeping your pup on the leash, until they are calm before moving forwards, or you can take the leash off and postpone the walk by a few minutes.
It may seem like the process is dragging on, but it’s far better to take some time to resolve this issue now rather than getting pulled along the streets for the next 10 years. The issue will not correct itself, after all.
2. Change direction
Before you begin the walk, take a look at which way your dog is trying to head. If they want to go left, then you should try to turn right. Take a step to the right and keep advancing until your pup notices and goes along with what you are doing. You can also change direction whenever your dog starts to pull ahead of you. If you try this, make sure that you head in the opposite direction as soon as your dog tries to pull you; do not wait until they are far in front of you. By doing this exercise, your dog will end up behind you every time and learn to not pull.
3. Choose an appropriate device
Take a look at some of the different types of devices available to help you get your pup to behave well on walks. For instance, there are special types of harnesses that attach under a dog’s chin. This is in contrast to a traditional harness, where the attachment is on the back, and the dogs end up pulling like a cart horse.
4. Remember that you, the pack leader, leads
During walks, the pack leader always leads from the front. Therefore, if you are not in the front, you will not be seen as the pack leader in your dog’s eyes, and they even more intensely aim for that spot at the front.
5. Extra tips
There tons of other little tricks and tips to help you with which you should familiarize yourself. For instance, learn how and when to give the leash a little pull instead of pulling back hard against your dog – this slight pull is more effective when done right. Also try to understand when and where it’s OK to let your dog have a bit of freedom to go sniff things and potty.
Everybody wants to enjoy walking their dog, so get cracking on this training on how to stop your dog from pulling on their leash! And remember that your dog will also benefit when things are going more smoothly.