Dogs love walking outdoors. The daily and anticipated walks stimulate their senses. It is understandable how forward they might behave the moment their paws hit the ground. However, believe it or not, humans are poor walking partners for a dog. The pet’s walking pace is much faster than yours, and they tend to be more comfortable walking at their natural speed, as opposed to slowing down for you. Further, our approach to walking is to get from Point A to Point B. A dog’s definition of walking literally involves stopping to smell the roses (and the grass, and the fire hydrant, and the tree stump…). It takes a lot for a dog to restrain themselves during a walk, and their patience is tested when they are forced to walk by an owner’s side.
With that in mind, dogs need to walk with a leash on in a way that makes them comfortable. Restricting a dog too much can put a strain on their bodies physically, and take a toll on their emotions as well.
HOW TO STOP YOUR DOG FROM PULLING ON ITS LEASH
An owner can regulate the dog’s behavior during a walk with this effective loose leash walking method:
1. Take your dog for a walk with his leash on. When he pulls you in a particular direction, come to a complete stop. Stand totally still until the dog stops yanking on the leash. The dog will either turn around to see what the holdup is, or decide to go in a different direction instead of the initial one.
2. Treat your dog after he returns to a loose leash position. When your dog walks close to you, provide them with a treat to encourage walking by your side.
3. When your dog does anything to loosen the leash, be patient and observe what they’re up to. The dog may sit, lean back or change direction. Continue walking when the leash is once again relaxed.
4. Your dog will learn to obey you by repeating this process each time he pulls on the leash. The dog will also be trained to remain by your side or follow you while they are on a leash.
Suggestion: Attempt to mix leash-walking with some time without a leash. Give your dog the treat of running around and sniffing away without limits. This will train the dog to know when to behave when he is leashed-up.
Your dog will learn that pulling on the leash ruins what is supposed to be a fun walk for him, and behave accordingly. His behavior will develop over the course of multiple walks, it won’t happen overnight. Loose leash walking demands a high level of restraint from your pet. If this approach doesn’t prove effective, consider the following alternatives.