Taking your dog out for a walk is one of the most joyous things that you can do with your furry pal. Taking a dog out to walk also gives a dog owner a chance to soak in all the beauties that being outdoors has to offer. However, the outdoors world is prone to distractions for dogs For one, a dog may be attracted to another dog that he/she sees during the walk and wants to run over to that dog and hang out with him/her.
Smells are another distraction for dogs outdoors. During a walk, a dog is bound to smell something good and may want to inspect what makes the smell good. These kinds of things can motive dogs to pull on leashes. Even though it is joyous to walk a dog, more often than not, there is only a limited amount of time that can be dedicated to dog walking. So, you will want to learn how to teach a dog not to pull on leash so that you can focus on walking your dog with minimal distractions.
Before we get started, you will want to have a few things to help ease the training process. You will want a leash that is six feet and is easy on your hands. This FunTags leash is a great option and comes in twelve different colors. You will also want a harness to wear on your dog, especially one with the front clip because it is designed to help you to deal with your dog’s sudden pulling while at the same time preventing neck injury to the dog.
Now with the leash and the front-click harness in hand, the ideal situation is for your dog to walk right alongside you, not in the front or back. You will also want to hold the leash in a J or smile shape as you walk your dog. Oh and let’s not forget about the yummy treats for your dog. If you are wondering what treat to get your dog, I would suggest you at least take a look at the Good’n’Fun triple-flavored chicken treat. It certainly looks like a treat your dog will love.
So, let’s get on with the steps for preventing your dog from pulling on the leash, shall we, ladies and gentlemen?
1. Getting Started
Here, I am going to walk you through the first steps of getting your dog to walk right on your side. Start out by having your dog sit down by your side. Show your dog the treat so that he knows it is in your hand. At the very moment that you start walking, say the word “heel” to get your dog moving alongside you. After you have walked some steps, turn around and walk in the opposite direction.
As soon as your dog catches up to you and get on your side, immediate say the word “heel” and reward him/her with a treat. That will ensure that your dog associates the word and treat with walking right on your side. After practicing this at least a few more times, place the harness on your dog and attach it to your leash.
Now, walk your dog around and if he/she strays away from you, say the word “heel” to command him/her to return to your side. Remember to reward your dog with a treat when your dog is back on your side. To get the best results possible, you will want to start in a place with the least amount of distractions. So, start out by walking your dog inside your home.
Once your dog gets the hang of it, move outside to your yard to practice leash walking with your dog. Once you feel confident, you can move onto the sidewalk right outside your home. Also, start out with a brief walk with your dog, then gradually increase the length of the walk.
2. Walking Your Dog Outside
Now that you have practiced walking your dog on a leash at home, the real challenge lies in taking your dog out for a walk on a leash. Here are a few tips to help you as you walk your dog in your neighborhood.
Make Your Dog Walk Unpredictable
You are going to want to make yourself unpredictable for your dog during a walk. That will help your dog to keep his/her attention fixed on you as you go. So, walk forward, then randomly make a turn into a different direction and then make an unexpected turn into a different direction, and so on. You also may want to vary the speed of your walk. It is more difficult for your dog to pay attention to anything else when he/she can’t anticipate your movement during walks.
Treat Your Dog Upon Signs Of Pulling
As you are walking your dog on a leash in the surrounding neighborhood, you will want to watch out for signs that your dog is getting ready to pull. So, if your dog looks like he/she is getting ready to lunge on something or is becoming distracted, it is a warning sign that he/she is about to pull on leash. At that point, you will want to be proactive and give him/her a treat to distract him/her from pulling on your leash.
Give Your Dog The Heel Command
In the first step, I mentioned about the heel command. This is going to be especially useful when leash walking your dog outside. If you followed the first step of this training, your dog should already associate the heel command with walking right alongside you. So, if your dog pulls on your leash during a neighborhood walk, give him/her the heel command and then reward with a treat if he/she complies.
Do the same if your dog moves ahead of you or stay behind you. Remember, you want your dog to be walking right at your side. If for some reason your dog disobeys your heel command after pulling away, stop walking and stand still until he/she returns to your side. Once your dog does so, reward him/her with a treat and then resume the walk.
These are the steps for how to teach a dog not to pull on leash. What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy taking your dog out for a walk? Feel free to leave a comment below.