Your dog is pulling on a leash? Are you tired of running after them like a flag in the wind? No wonder! Especially if your pup is a large breed dog. In this case, their strength is dangerous. After all, they can knock you over, knock your teeth out, break your arm, or drag you under a speeding car. This cannot be the case! A walk should be safe and pleasant for both of you.
How to achieve this?
1. Replace the short leash with a longer one.
The recommended length is 5 meters. It will give your pet more freedom. Dogs have a different pace than humans. Sometimes things will interest them and make them move faster. Sometimes they want to stop to examine some smell and mark the area. If you keep your dog on a short leash, you restrict their freedom. They probably want to reach a certain place, but the leash makes this impossible. Therefore, they try to use their strength. This is how the problem with pulling begins.
2. Do not use an automatic ”flexi” leash.
Do you know how this leash works? To extend it, your dog needs to create resistance, i.e. simply pull. When they pull, the lead unfolds and the dog reaches the chosen place. Then this “self-resistance” occurs. Your four-legged companion reaches their goal by pulling the leash. This way, they realize that such behavior pays off.
It is better to exclude bad habits right away. You can change the “flexi” leash to a classic long one. If for some reason you do not want to invest in a new gadget, you can completely expand the flexi leash and block it. Then you will have the old but new leash.
3. Never follow the dog when they are pulling.
What happens when a dog pulls a leash and you follow them? You reward them for their behavior. You teach them that they will achieve their goal when they pull you to them.
Do not give in, try to change your strategy:
Stand still, hold the leash in your hands close to your body.
Do not pull the dog towards forcefully. Encourage your pup with something cool – you can use their favorite toy or treats.
Praise them enthusiastically as soon as they approach.
Take a few steps back, continuously rewarding and praising your pet, your dog should follow you.
Smoothly turn around and go towards the place your dog wanted to go. At the same time praise and reward your dog when they go right next to you on a loose leash.
By doing so, you show your dog that they can get to the desired place together with you. They do not have to do it using their force. All you have to do is show your dog that walking together is something attractive and the coolest in the world!
4. Praise your dog heavily and reward them every time they walk on a loose leash.
Catch any moment when your dog is not pulling. Praise them and reward them. After a while, your dog will give up pulling on a leash. It will become more beneficial and pleasant to stay close to you.
Remember not to punish your dog when they are pulling on a leash. By doing so, you will provoke negative emotions in your dog and discourage them to work with you. This will only make the problem worse.