How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Lead
- by Rufus and Coco
Dog loose lead walking can be a challenge if your puppy hasn’t been trained yet. Teaching your dog to walk by your side can take a lot of time and patience.
In today’s article, we look at a number of tips and tricks that can make the task easier and will make lead pulling an occasional event.
How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Lead
Use safe and comfortable equipment
Dogs aren’t born with a collar and a lead attached to their bodies, which means that it can take a lot of time for them to get used to these accessories. For this reason, and also because it can hurt them, the equipment you invest in needs to be as comfortable as possible.
The Rufus Collar is very easy to put on and take off and it’s made of durable and quality materials. Since every dog is different, it’s a good idea for you to pick a collar that’s sized correctly. You should be able to fit one finger between your dog’s neck and the collar itself.
Using a rigid lead is a no-go if your pooch tends to pull and you don’t want to be subjected to many jolts. A good example of a lead you might want to use is our own Stop Jolt Stretch Lead, as it is made from a flexible and shock-absorbing material and it boasts a comfortable handle. It’s even got reflective stitching for night-time walks.
A harness is better than a lead and collar
If your canine friend has never worn a collar, you might want to start walking them with a harness first. This is because if a dog pulls, they can accidentally inflict harm on their neck, whether on their larynx or trachea.
The Kings Cross Harness is a great example of a safe option. It’s comfortable and secure, and it even comes with reflective stripes, which yet again, give you peace of mind when walking your mate at night.
Assess your dog’s energy levels
If you’ve been away from home for the past eight to ten hours, it’s safe to say that your dog is going to want to go for a walk as soon as possible. Should you be lucky enough to live in a house with a small yard, you should first allow your dog out in the yard and only then take them for a walk.
Another method of making your dog calm down a bit is to tire them out with a couple of games of tug-of-war or fetch (in your yard). It can sometimes take just ten to fifteen minutes for a dog to become less excited about a walk if they’ve already had a bit of fun.
Keep your walks short and frequent
You can’t expect your pet not to be enthusiastic about ‘going to the bathroom’ after a whole night of being cooped up indoors.
If you’re lucky enough to work from home, you can take your puppy out for a walk three and even four times a day, even if you don’t have more than 10 minutes available each time.
It’s widely known that dogs respond to positive reinforcement more than anything else when it comes to training, and you can use this information to your advantage. One way of doing this is to use treats to reward your dog whenever he or she ends up walking by your side.
But treats can sometimes be a luxury or they can add to the number of calories that a dog should get in a day. You can also forget them at home. As such, we recommend using a Training Clicker & Whistle and a treat to reward good behaviour.
Establishing a daily walking routine is important for all animals, not just for dogs. If your pet knows what to expect, erratic and overly enthusiastic behaviours will be something that they’ll experience less and less often.
Besides implementing a routine, you should remain firm in your training. For example, if your dog starts pulling ahead, you should stop walking right away. Call your dog and use the treats to lure them by your side, but don’t reward them until they begin to actually walk by your side.
Talk to your dog
Some pets tend to listen to commands a lot better if you constantly communicate with them. Your dog already knows the sound of your voice from simple routines such as when you call them to come and have a meal or when you want to go out and play.
Some dogs find their owners’ voice soothing, so it can calm them down and make them less prone to pulling on the lead and running around incessantly.
Create an association between going out for a walk and a specific word. Do the same for when you give your dog treats for walking by your side. Verbal triggers sometimes work just as well as the treats themselves.
Choose a quiet area
If you want to take your dog for a walk in the park on the weekend, there's a huge chance that there will be a lot of other people, children, and even dogs, which can make any pooch get overwhelmed with excitement and lose it in no time.
It’s a far better idea to go to a quiet place instead. Some owners prefer walking their dogs at night because it makes them less likely to go running around. For safety purposes, make sure you use a Light Up Lead, which not only comes with reflective stitching but also with flashing LED lights.