Leash Pulling: 4 Tips to Stop It

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December 6, 2010
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Does your dog take you for a walk or rather a stumble down the block every time you leave the house together? Some dogs are so excited to go out that they forget their doggie manners and want to explore, run, and drag you with them, even if it means they end up choking.

Dogs who pull on a leash can be hard to handle and it’s not good for their neck. If you need a few tips to help your buddy walk nicely try the following:

1: Switch from the basic collar to leash to something that offers more control such as a head halti or a body harness. Keep in mind the breed of your dog, some dogs are working dogs and a harness could mean they fall into a mode where they are pulling by nature, like a sled dog.

2: Set yourself up for success, your dog will enjoy the new walking technique and you won’t be frustrated. Use treats, praise, and make it fun for both of you.

3: Random directions can keep your dog on his toes. He won’t know where you’re going and without warning, he’ll have to change direction too. Try walking forward and quickly turn after 10 or 15 feet. Then after another 10 or 15 feet, make another turn, then another after 5ft, and another after 20 feet. Obviously, you’ll need some wide open space like a park for this to work well. The randomness of the directions will keep your dog from getting into a romp or pull mode. If he does start to pull, that’s the perfect time to change direction!

4: Walk and sit can work just as well as walking in random directions. Try taking 2 or 3 steps and then stopping. Ask your dog to sit and then start again after he sits with three more steps. Ask him to sit once again. Increase the increments to 6 or 9 steps and over a matter of time it’ll become a block or a mile.

If all else fails, try contacting a trainer to find a technique such as clicker training that may work with your dog. All dogs are different and respond to different training methods. Good luck!

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