There are few things in life as rewarding as spending time with man’s best friend. They are loyal to a fault, they’ll protect you and make you feel happy, and they’ll even help you cope with life in general if you need them to.
But they also require a patient approach, because as loving and important as dogs can be to the family, they can get out of hand.
From early-on dogs should be trained with love and respect, because that’s the only effective way they’ll learn. Plus, they’ll make your life even better once you understand each other’s habits. In this case, the training will focus on how to make your dog stop pulling on the leash, a prevalent problem many dog owners deal with.
Understanding The Situation
Before getting into some tips on how to make your dog stop pulling on the leash, it’s essential to understand their perspective on things.
Firstly, they don’t really have a goal when going out for a walk. They literally live for the moment, and that moment can simply be to get to a cat on the other side of the street. While you’re thinking you just want to walk around the block, they’re wondering what comes next.
Secondly, dogs are wired to resist constraints. This isn’t because they are naturally aggressive or anything of this nature. With the leash around their neck and pressure coming from the other end, it’s common for them to feel edgy. However, it’s something they’ll get used to quite quickly if they enjoy the experience.
Last but not least, there’s variable reinforcement. This happens every time you allow your dog to drag you to a certain point, and it reinforces your dog’s confidence to pull.
Now, how do you stop your dog from pulling on the leash in the first place?
Set The Boundaries
As mentioned earlier, you are going to need a lot of patience for this, but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences as well.
Before taking your dog around the neighborhood, make it used to the leash. Put it on while at home, and do a few practice runs.
For example, place your dog’s favorite treat a few feet away. Now, start walking towards the treat and stop halfway. If your dog pulls, use a distinct word like “Oops” and go back to the beginning.
And while it might work just to stand still and let the leash relax from the dog’s side, they still think that pulling brought them a little bit closer. Taking your dog back to the starting point establishes a cost for pulling on the leash.
If you want you can reward your dog with small treats for every three or four steps they don’t pull.
Once you’ve established the ground rules and how the leash relationship is going to work, it’s time to go into the neighborhood.
Given that it’s a new environment with millions of smells pulling your dog in each direction, it’s your job to take away those distractions. Now you have to reinforce good behavior if you want it to stick.
For instance, if the dog walks parallel to you a few feet, give it a treat and use another distinct word like “Good boy.” Believe it or not, they take notice.
And if they wait for you to let them go to a spot of interest, it calls for another reward.
Some Final Thoughts
These are two basic ways and very effective ways you can make your dog stop pulling on the leash. But remember, it takes patience and dedication. If it’s not something you’re good at, approach a professional. You can find one at this website.