Who’s walking whom? When you take your dog for a walk, is he actually taking you for a walk?
Some dogs pull on their leash excessively, which can cause problems. Here are some possible scenarios:
- Your dog can pull the leash out of your hand (rope burn!), get loose, and possibly get hit by a vehicle or run away and get lost.
- If you don’t have control, your dog could knock someone over if he’s big. Or trip someone even if he’s small. You don’t want to be liable for hurting anyone or anyone’s property.
- You might start to have arm and shoulder pain after repeatedly trying to pull your dog’s leash back.
Besides those scenarios, it’s bad manners for a dog, and it’s just plain annoying. You want to be able to take an enjoyable stroll with your furry best friend and enjoy the sights around you.
So how do you get your dog to stop pulling?
The best way to solve this problem is to start training him as a puppy. I believe that every new puppy parent should enroll their pup in obedience school. You will be a much happier parent, and your dog will grow up knowing what’s expected of him, so he’ll be happier, too.
This post won’t go into specific training methods, but any obedience school teaches the basics of proper leash behavior.
If you adopted an adult dog, it’s still not too late to take him to obedience school, or get the help of a professional trainer.
Suppose your dog has been to obedience school or has otherwise worked with a trainer and still pulls. Some dogs may never fully stop pulling, no matter how much you try to train him and how much progress he’s made.
Our Labmatian (Labrador Retriever/Dalmatian mix) is very well behaved, but she has a ton of energy. She just wants to go, go, go – even at 10 years old now. I wish I had some of her energy!
My husband and I have tried a few things to make our walk with our Katie more enjoyable:
First, we tried a cinch leash like the one below. That helped a little, but she pulls so hard that it didn’t really do the trick.
Then we tried a no-pull harness. These usually have D-rings to clip your leash onto the back or the chest. Clipping it onto the chest causes the dog to turn a bit sideways when she pulls.
This did help considerably – we could definitely feel the difference, but I still found it hard to control Katie in some situations.
The final item we have tried so far, and have stuck with, is a Halti Head Collar. It almost entirely keeps Katie from pulling.
She’s not a huge fan of it – sometimes she’ll try to rub it off. Because of that, we have loosened it more than it should be if she were the type of dog who would run off – she slips out of it sometimes. No fault of the collar; like I said, it should be tighter on her, but it annoys her a bit.
Even so, she walks very well in it, and we all enjoy our beautiful walks!
Let me know in the comments if you have a dog who pulls and if you have found a solution that works for you.