Leash pulling is a common problem that dog owners face. A leisurely walk in the park can quickly turn into a game of tug-and-war that you’ll often lose. That is why it’s important to correct this behavior as soon as it makes an appearance.
First, let’s dive into the question of why dogs pull their leashes. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not pull as a way of exhibiting dominance. Rather, the reason they do this is quite simple. They are excited, so excited in fact that they don’t want their walk to end and so they keep moving forward. Stimulated by everything going on around them, a dog’s desire to sniff and explore their surroundings takes over.
While this is a completely normal part of being a dog, it can be a pain for the owner. That’s where we come in. There are several steps you can take to correct this behaviour, making the walk a lot more pleasant for both of you. Even better, all it requires is a little bit of training (roughly 5-10 minutes per day).
First off, you’ll need to find somewhere quiet to train so your dog won’t be distracted. Your backyard is a great spot for this.
Second, have some treats handy so you can reward them for good behaviour.
Third, in extreme cases you may want to consider using a chest-led harness. This will take the pressure off of your dog’s neck, which can be especially important during the early training phases.
Once you’ve got all the equipment you need, it’s time to start training. Here are a few methods of correcting your dog’s leashing pulling habits:
1. When your dog pulls on the leash, immediately stop and stand still for a few moments. Your dog will begin to associate pulling with negative consequences.
2. When they pull on the leash, turn around and walk in the opposite direction. When they catch up to your side, tell them to heel and if they do so, give them a treat.
3. When your dog has stopped to sniff something, use an excited voice to get their attention so they will follow you. Once the leash is relaxed and they are by your side, give them a treat.
4. Position your dog sitting beside you while you stand. As you take off with one foot, tell your dog to heel. Repeat, and when your dog heels, reward them with a treat.
With any method of training, it’s going to take time. But if you’re willing to work at it, we guarantee you’ll be able to correct your dog’s leash pulling behavior in no time.
Dogs often exhibit pulling and overly excitable behavior due to lack of exercise. Dog daycare can be a great way to have your dog let off steam during the day so they’re ready to behave when you see them in the evening. Ask about our concierge service if your mornings are a bit too crazy to drop off your canine friend.