As dog owners, it is a must to take your dogs on a walk and for your dogs, that’s the most exciting part of their day so you better not let them down and skip! But sometimes walkies can be a pain, especially if your dog is a puller. This results in your dog walking you instead of you, the owner, walking your dog.
Though this is a troublesome behavior, and embarrassing as well, it can be fixed once you understand why your dog does this and what are the methods and techniques in leash training a dog that pulls.
Why do dogs pull on their leashes?
Our dogs pull on our leash because we walk slower than them.
Your dog’s walk schedule is something they look forward to throughout the whole day. It is something exciting for them, being able to walk around and explore the neighborhood and smell, hear, and see everything.
Owners don’t always share the same level of energy as their pets. They are moments where they tend to walk slower because of exhaustion from work so dogs would pull on their leash in order to get to places at a faster pace.
And when dog owners do nothing about this leash pulling behavior, they are only encouraging their dogs to practice this. They will always pull on their leash, seeing it as an act that is rewarded by getting them to places where they want to be.
Some might argue that this is an act of dominance but it’s not. Dogs pull on their leash because it works and it gets from place to place at the pace they want.
Tips in Leash Training a Dog that Pulls
If you want more calming walks at the park with your dog, here are a few tips you can try and use when it comes to leash training a dog that pulls.
One Walking Method
Dogs are smart creatures. They are highly trainable and they love routines. Routines are established when they are done consistently so you have to consistently teach your dog what are the behaviors you want from them during walk time.
First, you need to figure out what are these behaviors you want for your dog. While you walk, do you prefer them at your right side, left side, or a few steps behind you? Pick what’s best for you and be consistent. If you have other people walking your dog, make sure to remind them of this as well.
Start in an uninteresting area
Your dog’s leash pulling behavior is the result of its excitement. To curb this down, start with a place that doesn’t cue any excitement and interest. For training, pick a quiet time of the day, with a few to no people, and walk your dog down the street. This could be during the evening where people are already inside their homes or at a specific hour at the park where there are no people.
If you start training at a crowded place with a lot of dogs and kids running around and noisy with the bustle of adults, you are setting up your dog for failure. They’ll be too distracted to listen to you. So for starters, start in a quiet area.
Reward your dog
If your dog has mastered the basic obedience training, fixing its leash pulling behavior is a bit easier compared to if it hasn’t fully grasped what it means to listen to you. But even the basic of all basic dog training techniques always somehow revolves around rewarding your dog or positive reinforcement.
As mentioned above, start the training in a quiet place where there are little to no distractions. Then reward your dog for sitting or standing beside you. The point of this training method is to show your dog that being beside you, their owner, cues rewards, like treats and praises.
At the start, you might need to bait and hold treats to get your dog to stand or sit beside you but as they learn and understand you’ll be doing this less. But don’t ever forget the praise and rewards.