Don’t Get Into A Leash-Pulling Battle
This week we’re talking about leash pulling. This tends to be a huge issue in the dog world.
Let’s get started.
First tip — Walk quickly. If your dog is focused on keeping up with your pace, she will be less focused in getting ahead of you. I realize this isn’t always possible, but if you can do it, give it a try.
Second tip — Continue switching direction. If you always walk straight ahead and never veer off or turn around, she is more likely to want to pull and ‘show you the way.’
If you start switching directions quickly, she will pay more attention to you and what you’re doing. Some dogs catch onto this fast… other dogs still aren’t too keen on the idea of ‘you are walking them’ because they still want to ‘lead you.’
Third tip — Bring out the rewards and praise. When you’re on a walk with your dog, there is so much going through their mind. That smell. That noise. That scenery. That squirrel. You can bring the focus closer to you if your pup understands you have special snacks for him in that pocket of yours.
You might be asking now, “how can I reward her when she is pulling the leash?”
Well, if your dog is that adamant about pulling the leash, start rewarding her for more simple tasks. For example, when she looks at you. Reward her for focusing her attention on you.
Treats your dog can lick are usually the best because your dog can take a quick lick as a reward. Some of the best treats for this are liverwurst, cream cheese, and peanut butter.
Next, don’t tug at the leash. You often hear people say, “if he pulls, pull the leash hard.” Don’t do this. This can cause harm and potentially crush their trachea.
If you’re holding the leash that has tension, you’re also encouraging ‘a battle.’ Don’t engage in the ‘tug game.’
Release the Pressure
In an ideal situation, there should be a bend in a leash. Releasing the pressure will also relieve strain from your body.
Loosening up the leash will also improve your dog’s relationship with you and with other dogs.
If the leash is tight on your dog’s body, your dog won’t feel comfortable, and will blame the discomfort on your, someone else, or another dog. We don’t want this either.
Your bond with your dog can increase simply by using the leash properly.
The No-Pull Harness
I highly recommend the ‘no-pull’ harness. The no-pull harness has a front clip which is more comfortable to your dog and prevents injuries to the neck, spine, and windpipe.
The ring on their chest also provides you with added control of their leash-walking.
There are a number of different brands you can take a look at. Find out which is best for your individual dog.
The Bottom Line
Preventing pulling and enforcing basic obedience is critical in leash training. Remember to switch directions at random points in time, walk quickly, use rewards, and encourage loose-leash walking.
As always, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions at AmberLDrake@dogbehaviorblog.org.
You can also visit my blog at dogbehaviorblog.org and ‘like’ my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all of the latest dog world news www.facebook.com/specialistamberdrake.
Until next time.