Does your dog pull on their leash? Leash pullers are more capable of breaking away from your grip, which can be a danger to you, the dog, and others around. Having proper leash manners minimizes the risk that you will be tripped up in a moment of extreme leash yanking and will make more time for peaceful walking and less about tug-of-war. So here are 4 ways to stop your dog from pulling if they pull on their leash. 🐾
1. Remember it’s all about the rewards
One of the easiest and most effective ways to start teaching your dog to walk properly on their leashes is to reward them for paying attention to you and for walking beside you when out for a walk. As your dog learns that walking next to you is a pleasant and rewarding experience, they’ll spend less time pulling and more time walking close beside you. In the beginning, try using very special treats such as small pieces of cooked chicken or roast beef to get their attention. If you do so, use small pieces to prevent them from being overfed.
2. Play the “follow me” game
To play the “follow me” game, hold on to the leash and take several backwards steps away from your dog. The backward movement is inviting, so your dog is likely to turn and follow you. Give praise as they approach you and immediately reward them with a treat when they come to you. This game helps your dog focus and move with you. Repeat this game a few times, until your dog is actively pursuing you when you move away.
3. Resist their urge to pull on the leash
You can encourage your dog to stop pulling by simply avoiding it. If your dog starts pulling, stop and try to shift their attention back to you. By doing this, you might not get very far on your walk, but you condition your dog to expect that their pulling is not rewarded by moving forward.
4. Remove the pressure from their neck
Regarding your dog’s safety, their health can be more negatively affected than yours as a result of leash pulling. With constant pressure being put on your dog’s neck by a collar, it’s really not a good idea to attach a leash to it. If your dog experiences prolonged pressure on their neck from a collar and leash, they become more susceptible to tracheal collapse. That’s why it’s better to skip the collar on walks and switch to a harness, especially for pullers.
NOTE: Results may vary depending on your dog and its temperament. If you continue to struggle with your dog’s pulling, consult with a professional dog trainer to review options for you and your dog.