One of the first exercises required in dog training is to have a dog that does not pull on a leash.
Indeed, a dog that pulls permanently is not necessarily the most pleasant dog in the world.
However, there are a few quick tricks you can use to make sure that your arm torn off by Titou is a distant memory.
FIRST OF ALL, WHY DOES YOUR DOG PULL ON THE LEASH?
The question to ask before even trying to solve the problem is “WHY” the dog pulls on the leash?
Does your dog get out enough on a daily basis? A general lack of exercise may be the reason why your dog will want to sniff all the smells on the path and enjoy his walk, forgetting that you are at the end of the leash.
Does he always go out on a leash and never get let go? A dog that is never off leash and is always on a leash can be frustrated and will likely have trouble staying put if his spending needs are not met. A dog that is physically and mentally exercised will be more likely to work and perform a relaxed leash walk.
In what situation does your dog pull? It’s up to you to analyze the context and the overall environment to find out why Titou pulls so much. Is it in front of other dogs? Is it at the beginning of the walk during the first 10 minutes of excitement at the beginning of the outing? Is it the equipment that is perhaps unsuitable?
The goal is not to find an excuse for your dog and let it go, but to understand why it has this behavior in order to adapt the work plan and the exercises to HIM.
Now that we have found out why the walk is not a pleasant moment, we will look at the appropriate equipment to use on the walk.
MY DOG PULLS ON A LEASH: WHAT TO DO
WHAT EQUIPMENT TO USE IF YOUR DOG PULLS ON A LEASH ?
First advice, do not use a choke collar or a torcatus collar. At Nature de Chien, we have chosen to work and educate in a dog-friendly way and this kind of tools has no place in our way of working and guiding the dog.
They are effective tools in terms of speed and results, but they will cause your dog pain and inhibition. We will avoid this and recommend H or Y harnesses so that the dog’s shoulders are clear and his gait is not impeded.
We also recommend a leash of at least 2 meters long or a 5 meter long lanyard depending on the environment in which you are walking, because if Titou has a mini leash of 1 meter, it will be difficult for him to never pull because the dog naturally goes at a faster pace than ours when we walk. The goal of the game is to have a relaxed dog that stays close to us and not to have a very strict walk with a robotic dog.
Equip yourself with treats that your dog loves and get to work!
So let’s see how to get a dog that doesn’t pull on a leash with some tips below.
MY DOG PULLS ON A LEASH: THE PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW
HOW TO TEACH MY DOG TO WALK ON A LEASH WITHOUT PULLING?
We will teach you 2 techniques that are effective every time:
Learn to positivize leash pressure:
Most of the time, dogs understand that if they pull on the leash, they move forward. This creates a vicious circle because the more the dog pulls, the more he will move forward during his walk.
The goal is to reverse the basic idea, that is, when the leash is tightened, he comes back to us. Take a treat in your hand and stretch the leash (without jerking it, of course) gently, and reward at the precise moment when the leash is stretched without waiting for a few seconds of tension. Then, move slightly away from your dog and put a slight tension, as soon as your dog will have given in to the pressure (behavior that should occur if you have respected the previous step), reward him immediately with a treat.
This way, your dog will have assimilated the tension of the leash to coming back to you and being rewarded.
MY DOG PULLS ON A LEASH: WHAT TO DO
Learn how to walk on a leash.
To get a dog to walk on a leash or heel naturally, you will stand in front of him, leash relaxed, and reward when your dog looks at you. Then take a step back, your dog should instinctively follow you and move towards you, reward him immediately again.
Still facing him, move back 2 or 3 steps this time. Is he still following you? Reward him!
The next step, once you have learned to walk in a straight line facing your dog, is to position yourself in a normal way as if you were walking like any human beside your dog in a forward motion. Your dog is next to you (left or right depending on your preference) and take one step forward. Your dog should move forward at the same time as you on this step, immediately reward again. Increase the difficulty progressively by taking 2 steps, then 3, then 4 while rewarding each step taken. You can then integrate turns and half-turns as Titou progresses. The most important thing in walking on a leash is not to burn the steps.
The most important thing in leash walking is not to skip steps. It’s better to go slowly but have reliable and lasting results, than to go too fast and come back to square one!
Here is a little tip to have a connected dog thanks to this Youtube tutorial:
Finally, I will add one last point that is very important. We walk at an average speed of 6,4 km/h against a dog that trots on a daily basis when they are outside. The dog goes faster than we do to walk, so it is important not to ask him to walk with his foot stuck to our leg for too long because it requires a great physical effort.
Don’t hesitate to work on your dog’s walking every day in short 5 minute sessions. It is by working regularly that the efforts will pay off!