Dog Pulling on Leash

A common question trainers are asked  is  “How do I get  my dog to stop pulling on the leash ?”

Why do dogs  pull? Most  people walk too slowly  for most dogs. It is very hard for your dog to walk slowly enough to stay beside you . There are really  interesting sights and  smells just ahead they cant wait to get to . Most  dogs don’t get enough to do at home so they are bursting with energy when they get out . And lots of owners inadvertently rev their dog up when  they get the leash out. “Want to go for a walk?”And reward  the resulting excitement by putting the lead on  and going for a walk!

There are 2 kinds of walk-social  (dog  can be ahead  but don’t pull)  and heel (stay beside my heel  no matter what). Because it is  very hard for most  dogs  to walk as slowly as most people , it is unfair to ask your dog to heel all the time.

How do your get your dog not to pull on the lead ?  Most owners   and unqualified  trainers punish  the dog for pulling . The problem with punishment is 1 it doesn’t  teach  your  dog what to do instead,  2  it makes being near you very unpleasant  for your  dog  so it will choose not to be,  and 3 your dog will when emotional make associations  with whatever was happening when the jerk on the leash happened-  eg see a dog, pull towards it , get  punished, now your dog expects  to be punished when it  sees a dog – now it hates dogs!  I have  had many clients  whose dogs were taught to be aggressive  by  leash jerks . In addition your dog’s throat is a delicate  area and dogs can be seriously injured or killed by pressure on the throat .

So what  do you do ? if you already have a problem   with a strong or aggressive  dog pulling on the lead and you cant  hold it , the right equipment  used the right  way,  and the right way to hold the leash,  will  make KINDLY  holding your dog much much  easier ! Chokers are NOT the right equipment ! We can do better than that ! 


The answer to a pulling  dog is  to teach your dog  to WANT to stay by  or near  you .Rewards  happen here - not over there! When I teach recall and heel to dogs in  consults  I have to get their owners to hold them so I can walk away from them  because they want to be beside me!

There are a number of positive  techniques  I use to teach the dog  to focus on and stay beside me  but they boil down to this – beside me, focus on me,   is where good things happen.  And so the dog chooses to be there.

Call me to sort  your walking problem now ! 

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