My Dog is a Nightmare to Walk, He is Pulling on Leash…
Many dogs will pull ahead while walking on a lead, and this is nothing new to most dog owners.
Dogs pull ahead because they are excited and rearing to go, as most dogs will love their daily walk. Many people believe that they pull ahead to prove their dominance and to show that they are the alpha of the situation. However, this is not true; it is their excitement and the fact that dogs walk at a much faster pace than we do that causes them to pull forward. Walking at our slow pace is hard for them when all they want to do is to run around and explore their new environment.
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However, it is essential that you teach your dog how to walk on a lead for your comfort and your dogs, as they can easily injure themselves by pulling, especially if they wear a collar as this puts a strain on their neck. You should start lead training when they are puppies as they will be less likely to pull ahead at this stage as they may be wary of new environments and they are more likely to want to stay close to you. Furthermore, as they are puppies, they will also lack the strength of a fully grown dog and will be unable to pull you along.
If you have a big dog that you struggle to hold back, it is wise that you invest in a harness rather than a collar and lead. A harness will evenly distribute the pressure around a dog’s torso rather than their necks. This will also help you control them when they pull forward.
In my experience with lead training, I initially made the mistake every dog owner is at fault for. This being that I allowed my dog to pull ahead and instead of stopping and correcting her I followed where she wanted to go. Instead, it is important to teach them that pulling is not allowed. To do this I would immediately stop walking whenever she pulled on her lead, and I would only start walking again when the lead relaxed, and she had focused on me. I would be consistent with this approach. Patience was essential for this as it is easy to get frustrated and give up. Though it took repeated practice eventually, she began to understand that if she pulled ahead, her walk which she loves, would repeatedly stop.
You should also reward your dog for good behavior by letting him/her have some time off the lead so that they can explore at their own pace.
It is important that you keep training short and sweet. This way your dog will remain engaged, and you will see better results. Also, you need to be consistent with training there is no point using these methods for a few days and giving up when your dog does not seem to be grasping it. Keep at it and you will eventually see positive results. Finally, You should not get frustrated at your dog if he/she does not pick it up straight away. This type of negative behavior will only agitate your pet and may cause him/her to pull ahead even more.