Leash pulling commonly starts once a dog sees the leash. Contrary to what most owners believe, it’s very easy to stop dog leash pulling. Dogs normally start to pull their leash because they get excited with things they smell or see. Most dog owners easily give in by keeping pace with their dog instead of making it stop.
Setting the pace for the walk is very important. If the walk begins in an irregular pace, then you can expect it to continue that way. Lots of unused energy will also cause your dog to be restless during your walks. Stop dog leash pulling by training your dog to be calm when you’re putting a leash on it.
Before you attempt to walk with your dog, start with a short leash and sturdy collar. A long leash gives you minimal control on your dog’s movement. Keep in mind that constantly pulling your dog’s leash can cause serious injuries to your dog. Pressure also lessens your pet’s ability to feel the way you control the leash.
Here are my tried and tested tips to stop dog leash pulling:
1. Not all dogs know that they’re expected to walk beside their owners. A dog’s curiosity is easily peaked by scents, different sites and faces. The first thing you need to do is to ask your dog to sit or stay as you put on the leash. Don’t start with your walk until your dog is calm.
2. Clicker training – this is done by training your dog to expect a treat when he hears a click. As soon as he’s used to this setting, your pet will now focus his attention on you each time he hears a click.
3. Command and Reward Technique – This will only work if you start with a calm dog. Remember that seeing a leash will excite your dog. After you have put the leash, stand beside your dog and tell him to walk. Make sure that your dog matches with your pace, not the other way around. If your dog gets distracted for whatever reason, stop walking immediately. Command your dog to walk back beside you. If he does, he definitely deserves a treat! You can repeat the exercise as soon as your dog calms down. Try to add a couple of steps to your walk before you give your dog another reward. This method has effectively helped me stop dog leash pulling.
4. 90 and 180 Degree Movements – Walking with your dog can be really tiresome, especially if your dog keeps pulling his leash. Dogs are very excited to move forward. To stop dog leash pulling and keep your dog aware of the direction you’re taking, change your direction several times. Lessen your pet’s anticipation by adding 90 and 180 degree turns while you’re walking together.
Whatever tip you decide to use on your pet, keep in mind that you should never give in to your dog when he starts pulling the leash. Give your dog a sharp command. Be the Alpha Dog and make sure that your dog acknowledges that.