Let’s be real: Who here currently has a sore shoulder because their dog has been yanking and pulling them down the road?
That’s me! I hear your faint voices cry out (We’re probably a long distance away, but I have this ability to hear dog owner’s cry for help from long distances). There are millions of people who are having to struggle through walking their dog, even though it should be a fun exercise for both parties involved.
Instead of having to endure this pulling on every walk, why not train your dog to walk by your side without yanking once and enjoy walks with your dog?
It is much easier than you might think! Of course, as with most things worth learning, it takes a little time, but near as much as some people think.
Sometimes it can even be a 5-minute process, as expert dog trainer Doggy Dan demonstrates in this video:
Let’s look at some of the mistakes that dog owners are making when they take their dog for a walk. You haven’t thought of some of these things, I promise you!
There are multiple tricks out there for getting your dog to walk with you on the leash without pulling, not all dogs will require using them all, but some do! If you have a really determined dog (and they can be big or small), you may need to implement all of these strategies before you can master the art of the walk!
Regardless of the training level of your dog, these tips will offer something for each dog owner out there.
Let’s jump right into the training!
The number one rule you need to remember when trying to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash, is that you need to be calm. If you dog is rushing out of the door and already dragging you along before you even start the walk, you are going to be in for a bad time!
Here is how you can effectively calm you dog down, plus some other tips for mastering the walk.
Calming Your Dog Down
Take a second and think about your build up to leaving the house and starting the walk: You bust out the leash and BOOM! Your dog changes from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hide in an instant! They jump up, with their tail wagging around everywhere, and basically demand that you put the leash on them. When you do finally put the leash on them, they usually get even more excited!
Many dog owners love this reaction (and I’ll admit it, I used to as well), but think about this for a second. You are reinforcing their excited behavior by giving them a reward (the leash) when they are acting the craziest. Over time, this behavior gets more and more extreme, as your dog thinks that this crazy behavior is leading to their reward.
Next time you take your dog out for a walk, take your time and do not rush the matter. When you get the leash, give your dog some time to calm down before you place the leash on them. Just continue with what you were doing and ignore your dog’s antics. If they refuse to calm down, simply put the leash away or down on the table, and wait until they are calm.
At first, this may take a little while, but do not give up. Your dog will eventually understand and will figure out that they need to be calm before you will take them on a walk. Don’t give up, this is a process but it is well worth the effort.
This method can be used all the way up to the actual walk. You can either wait calmly with your dog on the leash until they calm down, or you can take the leash off and delay the walk a few minutes to get the point across to your dog.
At first, it may seem like you aren’t accomplishing much of anything, but trust me, this process works. It is better to start now and fix the problem, because this issue will not “self-correct”. Take the time and deal with this problem now, or you’ll have to deal with it for the life of your animal!
Step 2 is another great method, and it involves you changing direction when you dog starts to pull.
2) Change Direction
Before you start walking your dog, take a second and see which direction they are going to head in. If they are trying to go left, go right instead. Take a step to the right, and keep repeating this process until your dog sees what you are trying to do. If your dog starts to get ahead of you and pull on the leash, change your direction then and go the other way.
For best results, you need to do this early and not wait until your dog is far away from you. When you perform this exercise, your dog will be behind you every time, and eventually your dog will understand what you are trying to do!
3) Look Into Special Leashes, Harnesses and Other Gizmos
Take a look at some of the gadgets and gizmos available in the marketplace that will help train your dog to walk beside you. For example, in the video above you can see Doggy Dan using a special harness that attaches under your dog’s chin. This is in contrast to the typical leash, which attaches at the back. Using this type of harness will make a walk so much easier.
4) Be a pack leader
When dogs are in a pack, the pack leader naturally leads from the front. If you are not seen as a pack leader to your dog, they will fight for that spot at the front. It really is as simple as that. You can’t cheat a dog, especially if your dog is determined and strong minded!
Learning to become a pack leader is a whole topic in and of itself, and forms the foundation for Doggy Dan’s world-famous training method. He’s spent multiple years developing the 5 Golden Rules, which when followed daily, help you to become the pack leader in a calm and gentle way.
On his online dog training website, The Online Dog Trainer shows us that before any real training can take place, you need to establish yourself as the pack leader. Using the 5 Golden Rules helps you to achieve this goal, and understanding how to become a pack leader is crucially important in solving almost all dog behavioral problems.
5) Extra Tips
As I said earlier in the article, there are tons of extra tips and tricks you can use, such as knowing how and when to give the leash a little pull and understanding when to back off. Also, it is important to understand when and where to let your dog have some freedom on the leash so they can explore or go to the bathroom.
If you want to master the walk today, look no further than Doggy Dan’s video website, with over 250 videos that cover tons of puppy and dog training topics. It really is the best dog training site around. On the site today, there are currently 7 videos on how to walk your dog correctly, showing you how to deal with each issue you might encounter along the way.
You don’t have to deal with your dog pulling on the leash everytime you go for a walk, it’s time you enjoy taking your dog out.
Your dog will even be happier when he is walking by your side and not being pulled on by the leash every moment!
To get your 3 day trial to The Online Dog Trainer’s site for only $1, click this link.