Does your dog pull you from pillar to post?
Do you get pulled on your walk?
Does your dog decide where you will walk?
If you are being pulled on your walk is not nice for you or your dog, especially if he pulls suddenly sometimes.
However, you do not have to put up with it, there are a variety of methods to help you teach your dog to walk along next to you with a nice smile in your lead. But you have to be determined and consistent too otherwise your dog will win.
Things to think about:
1) If you have something tight around your neck, pulling you in one direction, what is your natural response? Do you go with the pull or do you pull against it? Most pull against it and so does your dog.
2) Do you jerk the lead back at the same time as issuing the command? Many do and I was one of them too. But this is like telling someone to cook you a meal and expecting them to have all the ingredients ready and everything cooking the moment you say the word. Doesn’t sound fair to me. Stop jerking the lead and also give your dog time to respond.
3) Is everyone calm before they exit the house? If your dog is excited, how on earth is he going to listen to you? If you are stressed, how are you going to be thinking correctly?
4) Do you go out for a walk or a training session? If your dog pulls, go for training sessions rather than walks. This means having a plan, the necessary tools, changing your mindset and having a good supply of patience.
Plan, Practise and Assess
So if you want to change those walks from an uncomfortable pull for both of you into a nice relaxing trip, create your plan, give it a week, which has a couple of short practise sessions every day, and then reassess.
If there is an improvement, continue, if not alter the plan and start again.
Ask for advice if you need it.
There are a number of nice ways to teach a dog to walk beside you on a loose lead. You won’t need to shout, jerk or get cross/stressed.
Reading the local newspaper
Remember to give your dog sniffing time. It’s his way of finding out what is going on around him, much like us reading the local newspaper.
If he is used to dragging you from sniffing place to sniffing place, use the sniffing as a reward and get your dog to walk one or two places next to you and then let him have a sniff for a while. Then repeat. Gradually you can increase the number of paces he has to walk before he can sniff again.
Reward is the way to go and reward often to start with – don’t be stingy
You should reward your dog often to start with, either by food, play with toys, getting to where he wants or sniffing. Choose the reward most appropriate to your dog at that moment in time, not what is easiest for you.
You should avoid distractions that will upset your walk.
I realise that it can be annoying or difficult for you to avoid them, but if you can, it is better to avoid distractions, at this stage.
You could turn around or cross over.
Make it easy for you and your dog to stay calm.
Once you have the walking sorted, then you can start on the lower level distractions. But take advice. There are some really good and successful methods to help dogs overcome these problems now without pulling or shouting, so if you do not know
There are some really good and successful methods to help dogs overcome these problems now without pulling or shouting.
If you have a puppy, start the practice at home and in your garden, on lead and off and then, when your puppy is allowed out, go for very short training walks so you puppy never learns to pull.
Do not think ‘good my puppy can go out’ and then proceed to take him on a specific walk. Your first walks need to be training walks.
It doesn’t matter if your first walks only last 5 minutes and you get no further than the first lamp post. These are short training sessions and will pay off handsomely in the long run if done properly.
Help is available
If you would like some help to stop you getting pulled on your walk by your dog. I promise, no jerks or painful methods used.