Dogs that pull while walking are frustrating to train and taking them on a walk can be an unpleasant experience. If you do not know how to stop your dog from pulling while walking, you probably return home exhausted from your outing, dreading the next time you have to put the leash on and venture outside again. It can be equally as frustrating for the dog, especially if you spend the entire time yelling at them and pulling on the leash.
To make matters worse, if your dog breaks free from your grip, he could be dangerous to both himself, you, and other people around him. The leash could get caught on something or trapped under car tires, or your dog could run out into the street, endangering both him (or her) and the people driving.
If you have a dog that likes to pull while walking, there is hope. With a little bit of leash training, and a lot of patience, you can stop this terrible habit. One day, you will be able to enjoy your walks with your dog and revel in your dog-walking skills. Learn more about how to stop your dog from pulling while walking.
Get Your Dog to Pay Attention to You
The most important thing to do when training your dog to not pull is to get your dog’s focus all on you. Making sure your dog pays more attention to you than other distractions is among the most fundamental of dog-walking skills.
One of the first steps you should take is to change your attitude. Rather than trying to stop your dog from pulling, try instead to teach your dog to walk nicely beside you. Focus less on pulling and more on trying to get him to walk with you, and the easier the training process will be.
Additionally, the point of getting your dog to pay attention to you while on a walk is not to just stop them from pulling, but to help the two of you walk together and bond. The better your relationship with your dog, the less he will pull on the leash.
Reward Your Dog
In the past you may have found yourself trying to fight you dog as he or she pulled by pulling back. Not only is this counterproductive, it is also dangerous, as your dog could potentially slip out of the collar and run away.
Instead, whenever your dog walks nicely beside you, or shifts his attention to you, use positive reinforcement: give him a treat. Treats like small pieces of boiled chicken or roast beef work wonders, but pieces of your dog’s dry dog food can also be effective.
Play “Follow the Leader” With Your Dog
Play a game of “follow the leader.” While holding the leash, turn around and walk backwards away from the dog. Every time your dog walks towards you, praise him with a “Yes!”, then immediately reward them with a treat.
When you take backwards steps away from your dog, it is inviting to them and they are then compelled to walk towards you. Try walking backwards in various directions and remember to praise and reward them each time their attention is on you.
Consistency is Key
Remember: for this to work, you must be consistent with this. On every walk, every single time your dog looks at you, walks nicely beside you, or somehow focuses his attention on you, you should reward by praising and giving him a treat. If you remain consistent, your dog will do everything he can to please you, if only for that reward.
Do not expect overnight results. Some dogs are easier to train, while others are more hardheaded. It may take a few days to a few weeks for your dog to get it. Just remember to stay consistent, and you will soon see results.
If Needed, Get Outside Help
Some dogs can be so set in their ways that the behavior has become a part of them. This is usually true if you have an older dog that might have had previous owners who did not train him properly. Although the old saying goes ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ that is not necessarily true. Before you try using a choke or “no-pull” collar, consider instead working with a certified dog trainer, specifically one that uses positive reinforcement.
Speak With Paw Pals Pet Sitting For Extra Help
If your dog is a puller while on walks, he is not a lost cause. It is possible to train him to stop pulling so that your walks together can be fun and relaxing for you both. For more information about how to stop your dog from pulling while walking, please contact Paw Pals Pet Sitting online today. We also offer walking services that can help keep your dog active while you are out of town, or if you are not able to get home in time to walk him.