To train your dog to stop pulling and yanking is not as difficult as you think. There are many dog owners who have a story to tell of how their dog pulls and yanks when walking. Millions of people tolerate their walk rather than enjoy it, they also put up with sore arms or shoulders.
When I walk my dog, he rarely pulls. His leash is about a meter long and always slack, I rarely have the need to walk to heel as he walks by my side 99% of the time. The only time he’ll start pulling is when we’re a few steps from our home.
So, just how do you train your dog to walk at your side?
It is possible to train your dog to walk next to you and enjoy the walk without pulling and stress! Time is the only essence in training your dog to not pull or yank and it’s not as complicated as you think. Sometimes the turnaround can be in as little as five minutes.
It doesn’t matter what size dog you own, they all have the potential to pull and yank. Some dogs are stronger minded than others; so, let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how strong willed your dog is the most important factor is to remain calm. One of the key mistakes people make is losing their temper!
If your dog is supercharged up before leaving the house and acts like a raging bull before closing the garden gate, then you’re in for trouble. So, how do you keep your cool in these situations…
Train your dog to have calm the energy levels
Here’s a picture I want to portray of most households…
Your dog is sleeping peacefully; you bring out the leash and bam your sleeping beauty has turned into an excitable raging bull. Well, I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as an excited raging bull, but you get the point! Your dog is jumping, skipping, running around and maybe even demanding, but somehow, and this always amazes me, dog owners chase their dog to put their collar and leash on.
Putting a collar and leash on a dog when they’re in an excitable state is only reinforcing the excitable behavior. It’s the same when you’re heading toward the garden gate, if your dog is still pulling, then he’s going to be more excited.
I have explained some other good points in another article, this about the Benefits of Using a Dog Training Leash. This will help you further your training process.
Always take your time and be calm, wait for your dog to be calm – never shout your dog into submission. Dogs quickly learn what’s right wrong! If your dog is acting like a raging a bull, ignore him by doing other chores. Don’t worry if you only have an hour to spare, your dog will quickly learn that he’s not going for a walk unless he’s quiet.
When your dog is acting up put the leash away or on the table and when your dog is calm you can put the leash on. If he begins acting up again, then put the leash down. Keep trying to attach the leash when your dog is calm.
Don’t give up and don’t give in to your dog’s demands; it could take an hour initially, but eventually your dog will give in to you. If you don’t persist the issue will not self-correct itself, you have to demonstrate that you are the pack leader!
Train your dog to not pull and yank the lead
So, now you’re out of the house, out of the gate and onto the street. Notice which way your dog wants to drag you. Never let your dog drag you where he wants to go – you are the pack leader. As a leader you need to train your dog to go where you want him to go. If your dog wants to go right, then you go left.
Your dog may dig his heels in to resist your efforts; you could drag him but often I use the method of waiting and ignoring for a minute. This usually snaps them out of their stubbornness and so you’ll find dragging won’t be necessary. The benefit of waiting thwarts the embarrassment of dragging and if your dog is big, then it won’t be tough on your arms, shoulders and back.
Train your dog with appropriate tools
There are many tools on the market to train your dog not to pull. There are special headgear called Canny, Dogmatic and much more. There are harnesses to assist dogs to pull, but today there are also special harnesses to train your dog not to pull.
I would encourage every dog owner who is struggling with pulling to buy headgear and/or a non-pull harness. They are excellent, once your dog knows not to pull and yank, you can carry them in your bag just in case you might need them.
Train your dog to understand pack leadership
If you aren’t being the pack leader, then your dog will naturally take the lead. You’ll also have to be prepared that your dog may initially fight for the leadership position even if you’re acting as pack leader.
You can never fool a dog, they know you better than you think, particularly the stronger minded dogs. Some dogs will literally try to put a fight for the front spot, but you as the leader need to be assertive. Pack leadership is hot topic, once you’ve master the concept, you can get your dog to do anything.
There are many ways to leash train your dog, knowing when and where to tug the lead. After all, your dog will want to sniff the grass, flowers and track other dog pee. Dogs love to do these things because it’s in their nature; in their eyes it’s the whole reason for walking.
Enjoy your dog, don’t put up with the pulling, tugging and yanking any longer. Your dog will be glad for the boundaries you put in place!