Have you ever tried to walk your dog and had your dog pull you down the street? Or does your dog try to pull your arms out of your sockets? Maybe you feel like you’re playing tug-o-war with your dog when you go for a walk? Or does your dog run around and wrap the lead around your legs? These are all signs that your dog is taking you for a walk instead of you walking your dog. Fortunately, you can teach your dog to stop pulling on the lead. Your walks will be much more enjoyable — and safer — with just a little training.
Most dogs can be trained to walk politely on a loose lead but it takes a little practice. There are two methods for teaching your dog. With the first method you should practice your skills as a statue. That means that when you take your dog for a walk, if your dog starts to pull on the lead or walk ahead of you, you should stop moving and stand still. When you stand still, your dog will reach the end of the lead and not be able to go any farther. At that point he should look around and wonder what happened to you, and he should come back to you, at least to see what’s going on. When your dog returns to you, you can continue to walk forward. If you do this each and every time your dog pulls on the lead or walks too far ahead of you, then your dog will start to get the message that he only gets to walk when he stays by your side on a loose lead. You should be warned that at first you may have to stop and start with almost every step. Your dog is used to pulling on the lead so he has to learn an entirely new way of behaving. But if you keep at it, your dog will learn to walk on a loose lead and stay close to you.
The second way of teaching your dog to walk politely on a loose lead, and stop pulling, is to take your dog for a walk in a park or somewhere so that your dog won’t know which direction you’re going to take. Start walking in one direction, then change direction at random after a few steps. Keep doing this every minute or two. Your dog will have to watch you and stay close to you because he has no idea when you’re going to change direction, and no idea where you are headed. This exercise is very taxing because you and your dog have to concentrate so you should only try it for about 10 or 15 minutes at a time, but it can work wonders for teaching a dog to pay attention to you and stop pulling on the lead.
It’s not hard to teach your dog to stop pulling and walk on a loose lead but it does take some practice. Try these exercises with your dog and you will probably be amazed at how fast your dog learns to walk politely on a loose lead.