Stop leash pulling forever
Pulling on the leash is a common problem. Many dogs are currently dragging their owners down the street at this very moment. You are not alone. Gaining control on walks doesn’t have to be a lifelong battle with your dog. Below are some practical tips to help you take charge of your walks and start enjoying them!
Be UnpredictableMaking quick and abrupt turns in the opposite direction anytime your dog starts to get ahead of you will teach him to pay attention to where you’re going. Don’t turn when the leash is already tight, turn BEFORE he reaches the end of the leash and then encourage him to catch up to you. If he hits the end of the lead, oh well, that’s what happens to dogs that don’t pay attention. Praise him lavishly when he returns to your side and even reward with a small treat if your dog is food motivated. The idea is to stop the pulling before it even starts by catching him off guard. Be calm, no need to scold him, he’ll figure it out.
You may have to turn around forty times in the first session and barely make it half way down the driveway, but don’t worry, it will get better the more you practice. Many dogs catch on quickly to this game and start to watch thier owner closely to see what they’ll do next. A dog that’s paying attention to you isn’t pulling on the leash.
Set The RulesAnd stick to them! Decide once and for all that you will not allow him to pull and then react anytime he tries to move ahead of you. This means you’ll have to be watching him closely during the first couple sessions. Allowing him to pull sometimes but not all the time will only confuse your dog. Look at your next couple walks as training experiences, not exercise. Once your dog gets the hang of it then you can start to plan on moving past the driveway.
Practice, Distract, and Practice Some MoreTeaching good leash walking skills is an ongoing process. You may always need to ‘be unpredictable’ every once in a while even after your dog understands what you expect. Keep him on his toes and keep practicing. Don’t be stingy with the praise, let him know when he’s doing the right thing and you’ll start to see more of that behavior.
Using A Training toolIf after trying this technique your still have trouble controlling a large dog then you may want to try using a training tool to help you. There are many tools on the market and all have their uses. Head halters, gentle leaders, prong collars, easy walk harnesses, the list goes on. The best way to find out what tool will work for your dog is to consult a trainer who is well versed in the use of ALL of them. They can show you how to properly use the tool to get the best results. What works well for one dog may not work for another, so keep an open mind and let your dog tell you what works.