Want to go for a walk?
Most dogs just love those words. They bounce around, hunting for their leash and head for their door. Now that spring is just around the corner, you’re no doubt itching to head to the park or just around the neighborhood, ready to enjoy warmer weather and some sunshine. So now’s a good time to brush up on leash manners so it’s a pleasant outing for everybody.
One of the biggest requests we get is help for pulling on the leash. It’s natural for dogs to pull on a leash. Their gaits are faster than ours, they are excited, and it’s olfactory overload because there are so many amazing things to smell. So of course they want to hurry up and get moving.
But to make it pleasant for both of you, it’s no fun if you’re constantly being yanked around and it’s no fun for your pup to be pulled either.
Here are some tips to help:
Start with a front clip harness. You won’t hurt your dog’s neck like you can yanking on a collar or quickly changing direction and jerking the dog, and it constricts their chest, a place they’re not used to getting resistance. But be sure it’s sized properly.
Reward your dog with high-value treats as he stays by your side. Then give him breaks to sniff and just be a dog.
When your dog is walking and he starts to pull, pull down on the leash toward the ground to stop his forward motion. Then change directions. That way, you’re close to your dog so he can see you’re getting ready to change directions instead of just changing direction constantly and the dog doesn’t know you’re turning. That doesn’t teach them an alternative way to walk.
Get a long spoon with squeeze cheese or peanut butter and lure your dog to be right by your side and he can lick a little when he’s right where he’s supposed to be.
If you’re still struggling a little, please feel free to give us a call. We’d be glad to do a lesson with you and show you more.