How To Get Your Dog To Stop Pulling On The Leash
By Pat Doyle
It is really miserable walking a dog when he is constantly pulling on the leash. You can’t really take a relaxing walk when your arm feels like it is almost being pulled out of the socket and you are constantly yelling at your dog. I had this problem with my dog, and here is what I found out.
1. Use a harness or halter, not a collar.
This is very important, both for your dog’s health and for your peace of mind. I didn’t realize until I found out in obedience class, that pulling on the leash is very bad for the dog’s neck and can leave lasting problems. Duh! I guess I should have figured out that it can’t be good for the dog, but I truly did not realize it. So I went right out and got a harness for my dog.
Right away, I had more control of her, and she did not pull nearly as much. The way the collar chokes the dog itself causes the dog to pull more. With the harness, things went much better.
2. If the dog pulls, walk in the opposite direction.
Just turn around and start walking the other way. Don’t get angry or even say anything. The dog will soon realize that you are the one who controls where the two of you go, and how fast.
You will have to repeat this a lot. For a while, I had to do this a few times at the beginning of every walk, until the dog remembered. But it sure made the rest of the walk very pleasant.
3. Hold the leash close to your abdomen.
If your arm is stretched out, then a sudden pull by the dog will have you feeling like your arm is about to get pulled out. If you keep your hand close to your body (just above the waist seems to work fine), then you have much more control. If necessary, use both hands at first. But keep them close to your body.
4. Be matter-of-fact about it all.
Don’t get upset and yell at the dog. Just matter-of-factly, go along where you want to go. The dog will have to follow. The dog will soon learn to go where you want.
If you get all upset, you give a lot of control to the dog. She could be just trying to get a rise out of you. If she pulls, just calmly walk in the other direction. Don’t even look back. If she lags behind, just keep going. Keep your hands close to your body and this will be pretty easy to do, especially if you are using a halter.
It would be a real shame if you avoided going on walks with your dog because of the pulling. Dogs need walks. They need the exercise and the variety of seeing something other than their own back yard. And the exercise is good for you too. So try these tips, and I think you will see a big difference.
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