Walking provides the exercise dogs need to stay healthy and to prevent behavior issues. However, walking a dog that pulls on its leash is stressful and painful for both the owner and the dog. So, let’s talk about how to prevent that painful tugging so those walks will become pleasant and enjoyable.
Teaching your dog to stop pulling on the leash also teaches him that you are in charge. Being in charge doesn’t mean you should punish your dog though.
Gentle, persistent training is more effective in getting positive results. Use of regular buckle collars, halter-style head collars or no-pull front-clip halters are recommended by professional trainers. Head collars are generally used with more aggressive dogs or for maximum control such as may be needed for larger dogs. These products allow for loose-leash training that is more humane.
Below are a few techniques for you to practice with your dog that will teach him to stop pulling on his leash.
- Tire your dog out with robust exercise before the training session, such as playing fetch. He’ll be more likely to obey and walk at your pace if he’s tired.
- Train in a location with as few distractions as possible.
- Training sessions should be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Reward your dog immediately for walking by your side. Rewards can be treats or a pat on the head.
- Allowing your dog off-leash freedom in a safe location or brief on-leash freedom to sniff and roam at his own pace and in any direction he chooses is a well-earned reward after a successful training session.
- If your dog runs ahead, turn around and walk in the opposite direction so you’ll be in the lead again.
Walking your dog is a great way to bond with him. Your diligence and patience will help your dog develop desirable walking habits.