Stop the Pulling: How to Train Your Dog to Walk Nicely on Leash
- by siteadmin
Dogs love walks, there’s no doubt about it. As soon as they hear the leash click they start jumping up and down with excitement. But for many owners, the walk is anything but enjoyable. They end up being dragged around by their furry friend instead of sharing a pleasant stroll with them. If you’re one of those people who “doesn’t walk the dog, the dog walks you,” here are some tips to help you put an end to it.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you allow them to pull when they’re on a leash, it’s only natural for them to continue doing it. Perhaps they see a squirrel and suddenly want to chase it, or maybe they just want to go faster than you do. Whatever the reason, the good news is that there are ways to correct this behavior.
Firstly, it’s important that your pet’s leash fits properly. The collar or harness should be snug enough to prevent slipping but not tight enough to cause discomfort. Make sure the leash is long enough to give them some freedom of movement, but short enough that you can easily control them, especially if they suddenly become excited.
Next, work on teaching your canine pal some simple commands. A good place to start is the “heel” command. To teach your dog to heel, you’ll need to move with the leash held short and use treats or a clicker for positive reinforcement. As soon as you click, give them a treat and say the command (heel). Be consistent, and practice often. Eventually, they'll understand what "heel" means and will stay by your side.
Another great method is to train with distraction. This means that you need to practice walking with your dog in environments where distractions abound like parks, markets, or where children play. You can use these disruptions as teachable moments to education your dog that they need to stay focused on you, particularly at great distances and during excitement.
Be sure to praise or offer a small treat for your animal’s positive behavior so that they're motivated to continue. If they pull, stop walking and turn toward them waiting for them to come back to your side before you start walking again.
Lastly, if your canine friend gets a bit too eager on a walk, reduce their excitement by definitively stopping (while holding the leash firmly). Hold off on continuing the walk and wait for them to calm down. As soon as they settle down, praise them and continue your stride.
Walking your dog should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both you and them. By using positive reinforcement training techniques and patience, you can teach your dog to walk at your pace without pulling, tugging, or dragging you around. Remember, it’s important to be consistent in your training, so practice often and soon people will be envying how polite your furry friend is while on a walk.
Dogs love walks, there’s no doubt about it. As soon as they hear the leash click they start jumping up and down with excitement. But for many owners, the walk is anything but enjoyable. They end up being dragged around by their furry friend instead of sharing a pleasant stroll with them. If you’re one…