Going out on walks with your dog may be the most exhilarating part of your furry friend’s day. It is not hard to see why your dog might pull on his leash to get to where they want to go quickly. It is not natural for dogs to be chained and restrained while they walk. That is why teaching your dog to walk calmly is an excellent idea to prevent you from getting pulled over.
Among the most frequent reasons dogs tag on their leashes is that they have observed that they propel themselves forward to better interact with their environment.
Whenever your hound tags on their leash, taking a single step with them indicates that leash pulling works.
Lead training your dog requires a lot of time and patience, and persistence, but the outcome will be worth it when you can finally stroll calmly with your best bud.
Whether your dog is fully grown or is still just a puppy, these five ways will help you improve their behavior on the leash.
Choose a Comfortable and Safe Equipment
There is plenty of dog equipment that promises to ‘cure’ tagging. Some of the gear causes discomfort and pain by imposing tension on sensitive areas when a dog pulls. This type of leash training is unnecessary, unpleasant, and can be confusing to dogs. Pick out a piece of equipment that is safe and comfortable for your pet, like a collar or a flat harness.
Start Training Indoors
Walking your dog outside is a fun and exciting activity. However, it can be distracting to walk your dog outside while training them because the external environment contains many distractions. Begin lead training for your dog in a safe, calm, and controlled environment like your house. Clip the leash and walk around the house with your dog.
Use Rewards and Punishment System
Reward your dog with a treat or praise when they slow down while walking beside you, return to your side or look back at you. In doing so, your dog gets to learn that it is a positive thing to look at you and slow down as they walk by your side. Keep reinforcing this habit when you do leave the house. It helps your dog to focus on you instead of tagging on the lead. Carry some treats with you to ensure that your dog’s attention is on you.
Conversely, do not reward them when they pull. Following your dog after the tag on their leash is recognized as a reward because you let your dog do whatever he wants. Ensure that you stop walking when your dog pulls. You can even turn around and act like you are walking back in the direction you came from to nudge your dog to follow you.
The bad leash behavior reduces as your dog recognizes that pulling does not get them what they want.
Avoid Pulling Back
When your pet dog pulls on its leash, pulling them back may seem like the obvious reaction. Dogs, however, do not understand this action. On the contrary, pulling back makes your dog want to tag even harder. Your dog will think that it is involved in a fight and will pull hard in an attempt to win the struggle. So keep calm when your dog pulls and reward them when they stop.
Seek Professional Assistance
If your dog is a seasoned puller and all your training efforts seem not to be effective, it might be time to consider getting help from a professional dog trainer. Look for a certified trainer whose training method is based on the practice of positive reinforcement. Ensure your dog takes a couple of training sessions with the trainer every week. Feel free to ask your dog trainer for pointers on best practices to implement while you are out with your dog.
Consistency is critical when it comes to lead training. Constantly train your dog every time you go out for walks. It may take up a lot of time, but your efforts will be rewarded in the end. You should anticipate the walks to be longer during the period when your dog is still learning. Remember that lead walking is a skill for pets and pet parents as well. And just like any other skill out there, it can be taught, learned, and mastered with enough practice. Stick with it, and you should soon be able to enjoy lovely walks with a dog that no longer tags on its leash.