Imagine walking with your dog side-by-side, your dog walks according to your pace, there is no pulling and no running away, she just focuses on you and follows your every step. How would you like to do that?
Wanting a dog to walk side-by-side is something that every dog owner wants to accomplish.
However, this can be a very challenging training and it may be difficult to achieve, depending on how you train your dog.
If you want your dog to stop pulling on the leash, there are a few things you have to understand…
First, do know that they are dogs and dogs are animals. They just do not like people to pull them unless you gained their respect and they focus on you.
Just think about it, do you love to get confined or people put you on a leash? The answer is obvious. Nobody wants to get on a leash; the same goes to your dogs unless they are willing to do it.
Second, dogs especially the younger ones will walk faster than people. We walk differently than our dogs. We use our 2 legs, while dogs use 4 legs. Thus, it may be difficult to be in sync in the first place.
Third, your dogs will get distracted and just wanted to walk away. When you bring your dog outdoor for a walk, it is like bringing your kids to the playground; they love it.
And because they love to walk or run out there, they are happy and tend to get distracted by other things around them.
Their smell senses are much better than humans. They can sense and hear noise further away than us. Probably they just want to get away from you to chase the squirrel or check out the fire hydrant.
It is their nature to check things out because they are dogs.
These are some of the reasons why stopping your dog from pulling on a leash can be challenging.
You have to understand that you are going to train your dog to do something out of their natural instinct and to put their focus on you.
However, if you are committed and are willing to learn, you can walk your dog on a loose leash without her pulling or running away.
You will be able to have her walk side-by-side with you and have her to stay by your side and follow your steps.
So here are the 7 golden tips that you can apply…
1. Change Your Mindset
You may think that this has nothing to do with training your dog not to pull the leash, but let me tell you, it has everything to do with it.
When you understand that they are dogs and that is the way they behave, trust me, you will feel much better when they pull the leash or not listen to what you tell them.
You will not feel frustrated because it is just the way they are. Most dog owners do not understand this point and they always get angry or feeling frustrated with their dogs’ behavior.
So first thing first, change your mindset and change the way you think about your dogs. Yes, they can be your good friends, but they are still canine and dogs will behave like dogs unless you train them.
2. Reward Your Dog
Dog just loves to eat and you have to use foods as rewards to train them well. You want your dog to associate walking along side with you is something fun and rewarding.
During the training, whenever your dog walks next to you or near you, you should reward her with treats. Get her attention and let her stop pulling.
Even when she walks in front or trying to walk away from you, she will want to look at you to check if you are going to give her treats.
Make her focus and put her attention on you.
3. Play “Follow Me” With Your Dog
When your dog is on a leash, try to play the “Follow me” game with her.
Walk a few steps backward. Usually, your dog will notice you are walking backward from her and she will come to you.
This is because the backward movement is inviting her to come to you. When she approaches you, reward her and praise her. You can repeat this as many times as you want in a different direction.
Once your dog has learned this, the next when you move backward, she will want to chase you and play with you.
4. Reward Along The Walk
At the beginning, you may want to reward your dog at every few steps as long as she is with you. For example, you can reward her whenever you take 4-5 steps forward.
You can slowly decrease your reward and do it less frequently. This way, you will make your dog keep an eye on you.
It is said that when you reward your dogs heavily, they will learn the behavior and try to understand what you are going to teach them.
Dogs are smart and never underestimate them. They study our moves and try to understand what we want them to do.
5. Use A Harness
If you are using a dog collar, I would suggest you use a dog harness instead. A harness will wrap around your dog’s body instead of just the neck. Therefore, when your dog pulls, it will not hurt her so much.
Here’s the best-selling and top recommended Arikon adjustable and heavy-duty harness from Amazon.
Make sure you get your dog a harness before you bring them out on a leash.
6. Handling Distraction
What if your dog sees a squirrel and chases after it while walking with you on a leash?
You can choose to either ignore your dog or just call her name to ask her to come to you. And when she comes to you, reward her.
It is very normal to get distracted while walking with your dog outdoor. There are distractions like other small animals, cats, dogs, squirrels, cars, motorcycles, strangers, etc.
If it is the first time your dog gets outdoor, then it will be a new world to her.
Thus, have patience with your dog and start small and slow. Try to start with a quiet place and train her to walk on a leash. Increase the challenge by increasing the distractions.
7. Walk Your Dog More Often
This is something easy to do but requires your commitment. You have to bring your dogs outdoor more often.
The more they are outdoor and walk with you, the more they will get used to it.
If you walk your dog in the park once in a month, please do not blame them if they are like monkeys on the loose.
You have to walk with them, bring them to the park, jog with them and play with your dogs more regularly.
It will make you healthier and at the same time, it will make your dogs happy too.
Try to put more attention and focus on your dog when you walk with her. If she always pulling the leash and wanted to get away, try to make her tired and then walk with her and teach her.
If your dogs are having behavioral problems that are causing your problems, check out the Online Dog Trainer Course from Doggy Dan.
You can learn a lot from him and I believe you will be able to interact and understand your dogs better.
He is currently offering his course at a trial at $1 ONLY. I believe every dog owner should grab it. And I’m glad that I did. 🙂
So did your dog still pulling while on the leash? Let me know and share your thoughts with me on the comment section below.