One of the most common issues when walking a dog on a lead is the pulling the dog does. Sometimes it may feel like your dog is taking you for a walk and you aren’t too far of the truth. It makes for one of the most unenjoyable experiences and often it can cause people to stop walking there dog or limit the number of walks they do. It can lead to great stress in the dog owner and can lead to a feeling of immense frustration. The good news is that people do train there dogs to walk beside them and any dog can be trained to walk properly on the lead.
As we draw closer to the front door the dog may start to bark and spin around in circles in excitement. At this point we may get our dog to sit, even though it maybe shaking in excitement. We put the lead on our dog and pretty much as soon as the dog hears the click of the lead it stands up and heads straight at the door. It’s about this time that we start to get angrier and our first out-burst maybe here, where we yell at our dog and command it to sit. We open the door and as soon as it opens our dog leaps outside dragging us with them. This makes us even angrier so we pull the dog back to us and attempt to shut the door and maybe we yell out to someone inside that we’re are taking the dog for a walk. We start to head towards the road and all the way our dog is pulling us like a freight train, they may start to sniff a bush then mark it, giving us a little relief before they rocket to the next spot to mark or sniff.
It can be quite embarrassing especially when people start to stare at us and watch as our dog drags us down the street. It’s around this time we may either loose it and yell at our dog or just accept that this is what our dog wants on its walk. Often on the walk we can hear the dog choking on the lead which makes us attempt to reason with the dog by telling it to wait or stop, when all this fails we let out more lead which allows it temporary relief before it charges ahead and continues to choke itself. The only way we stop the choking is by walking at its pace. By the time we get home the dog has slowed down and perhaps it may not be pulling much on the lead. That is till we reach our home. When we approach the door our dog starts to again pull at the lead and drag us to the front door.
We then open the door and our dog charges in and we look exhausted and find the walk is not enjoyable, rather it’s a chore. From here we start to associate walks with negative thoughts and thus we start to become less incline to take our dog for a walk. It seems hopeless and all the tips our relatives and friends give us just don’t work well or only discourage us. So being a proactive person we start to look around for information on how to walk your dog properly. After Googleing “how to stop your dog pulling on a lead” we have found this article. Or maybe you found this other ways – it’s not important. What’s important is that this issue is very common and with some simple tips and consistent training your dog will be walking properly on a lead.
Your Walk begins before you go for a walk:
Dogs learn from being rewarded. The behaviour of our dog is a direct reflection of how we reward our dog for certain behaviours. If your dog jumps around in excitement it’s because you have rewarded this behaviour. A reward can be as simple as talking to your dog, touching your dog or even eye contact. It’s important to know a reward is not just a chocolate drop; it comes in many forms and often is associated with body language. Also, hugely important, is that the training of a dog doesn’t stop. There is no such thing as “training time” and then the rest of the time with your dog. You can teach a dog to sit and stay however once this stops your dog will still be learning – especially how to behave in different situations. Just like how kids don’t stop learning when they come home from school.
Our energy is often another large part of how a dog behaves. If you get up and jump around all excited your dog will mimics this energy. If you get up with no heighten energy, no eye contact with your dog, nothing said, your dog will most likely get up and walk around slowly (especially if your dog follows you around the house everywhere).
How on earth does all this relate to walking your dog properly? Well the walk begins as soon as you get up from your chair. In the scenario above when we got up from our chair to go for a walk we said to our dog “walk time” which alerted our dog to heightened its energy and thus it got excited. Often we have trained our dog to react a certain way to words or body language by accident and its these triggers which cause our dogs to react like nutters sometime.
So first thing, if you are about to go for a walk totally ignore your dog and don’t let on you are even doing anything. Don’t make any eye contact, say nothing and try to keep a well balanced energy. Often it maybe good to visualise a reason you are going for a walk, perhaps rather than taking your