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  • Positive Dog Power

Training Your Dog To Stop Pulling on the Lead!

Updated: Mar 17

Loose lead walking can be a really tricky thing for our dogs to master. Why? Well for a start, they have 2 more legs than us and a naturally faster pace!

However, for the sake of safety (and our arms!) training our dogs to walk on a loose lead is a crucial life skill.


First of all, why do dogs pull?

As mentioned above, dogs do have a naturally faster pace, but there are other things that can affect lead skills.


· Injured or physically uncomfortable dogs. These dogs tend to struggle more with keeping their pace as they are more focused on trying to reduce discomfort to certain areas of their body. It’s always good to rule this out as a first port of call.


· The environment. Pulling often occurs with dogs that are fearful or over aroused by their environment . The sound of traffic or expectation of seeing a dog are just a couple of examples that may make a dog “put the blinkers on” and start pulling.


· Our pace! The faster we walk, the faster our dogs learn to walk! Sometimes we just need to stop, take a breath and sloooooow down. It’s amazing how much our dog will start to read and respond to this!


So now you’re aware of the above, how can we help our dogs further?

Dog that is walking on a nice loose lead

Equipment

Make sure you have the right equipment on your dog. If equipment is uncomfortable for your dog (I’m looking at you, slip leads!) then that may exaggerate the need to pull. Opt for a nice Y shaped harness and lightweight longline. If your dog is uncomfortable in a harness, use a standard flat collar and longer standard lead.

Remember! Equipment is not there to stop pulling. It is there to help our dogs feel more relaxed and ready to learn.



Rewards

Use high value rewards e.g. cheese/chicken/ham. The higher the value, the more likely our dog will respond to us.


Start Easy

Don’t head straight out to the spot your dog pulls the most. Start in the garden, practice rewarding your dog when they are walking on a nice loose lead. Keep rewarding fast and often initially, slowly phasing out the rewards between steps. Only increase difficulty when you and your dog are doing well!


Take Breaks!

Everyone needs a sofa day, and so do our dogs! You don’t need to practice every single day to see results, you just need to be consistent. Having a break and spending the day at home/in the garden playing and doing enrichment will enable your dog to start the next walk relaxed and refreshed!


If you’re struggling with your dogs pulling on lead, get in contact today!

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