Walks are a great way for a dog to get exercise, but many pups have trouble walking well on a leash. This issue makes it difficult for owners to enjoy this bonding time. Your dog can pull you in a million different directions, resulting in a slowed pace and potential injury to you. Fortunately, there are ways to help reverse this pulling habit. Follow these expert tips to keep your dog from pulling the leash.
Hold Your Ground
Stand still and be steady when your pup tries to pull on the leash. You probably want to drag your dog back to you or follow your furry friend, but that’s the opposite of what you should do. The best thing you can do is refuse to move until your pup comes back to you.
Holding your ground will help your dog learn how to walk on a leash correctly. Your pup pulls because they want to go faster, but this technique will help them understand that pulling has the opposite effect.
Pay Attention to the Surroundings
Does your love to chase after the wildlife in your neighborhood? If so, it helps to pay attention to your surroundings. If you notice a squirrel climbing up a tree, wait until the animal has disappeared to take your dog outside. Also, try beginning your walk in a quiet area, so your dog can get rid of excess energy before encountering a cat, a rabbit, or another dog.
Reward Good Behavior
Dog training should center around rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. Focus your time and energy on showing your pup what they should do instead of what they shouldn’t. Show your furry friend that walking next to you with a loose leash is the right way by providing treats and praise. Take plenty of treats with you on your walks and practice in your yard.
Use a Harness
One of the tips for choosing between a collar and harness is to use a harness for walking purposes, as collars can injure your pup if they pull. A harness—specifically a front-clip harness—is the preferred way to walk your pup. When your dog pulls, their weight distributes evenly, and there’s no neck harm.
A harness will also help with training purposes. Each time your pup pulls, it will cause your dog to turn slightly toward you. This will gently remind your furry friend who’s in charge.
Consistency is key to success. Apply these tips, and your dog will stop pulling on the leash before you know it. Then, everyone can enjoy daily walks!
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