We have all been there, you are taking your furry friend out for a pleasant stroll, dreaming of a calm walk, when suddenly, it feels like you are being pulled into a high stakes tug of war contest. Why does your dog feel the need to drag you along, and more importantly, how can you teach them to walk by your side without turning every walk into a wrestling match? Blitz K9 Club will share the reasons behind the behavior of dogs that pull and how to address this behavior.
Why Does My Dog Pull on the Leash when I Walk?
The outside world is a wonderland for dogs, filled with enticing smells, sights, and sounds. The eagerness to explore can make them pull their owner’s along the path toward discovery. Another reason behind pulling can quite simply be that dogs often walk at a faster pace than us. They might be pulling just to walk at their natural speed. Dogs have a predatory instinct. Moving objects, such as cars or bicycles, can stimulate this instinct, causing them to chase. If a dog has not been taught leash etiquette or if pulling has been inadvertently rewarded in the past, the behavior is likely to continue. Sometimes, dogs might pull to get away from something scary or unsettling.
How to Stop You Dog from Pulling on the Leash
• Start Early: If you have a puppy, begin training as soon as possible. It is easier to instill good habits from the beginning rather than trying to correct established behaviors.
• Use the Right Equipment: Blitz K9 Club only uses a flat collar and choke chains. We do not recommend harnesses as they reinforce pulling.
• Teach the “Heel” Command: Train your dog to walk by your side using the “heel” command. Reward them when they are walking next to you without pulling.
• Change Directions: If your dog starts to pull, abruptly change your walking direction. This unpredictable movement will require your dog to focus more on staying by your side.
• Stop and Stand Still: Another technique is to stop walking the moment your dog pulls. Only continue walking once the leash is slack again. This teaches your dog that pulling will not get them where they want to go faster.
• Positive Reinforcement: Always carry treats on your walks. Reward your dog when they walk without pulling, teaching them that good things happen when they stay by your side.
• Stay Calm: Dogs pick up on our energy. If you are tense or frustrated, your dog will sense it, making the walk even more challenging. Deep breaths and calm energy can go a long way.
• Consistent Training: Consistency is key. Ensure that everyone who walks your dog follows the same rules and commands.
• Seek Professional Help: If you are struggling, do not hesitate to consult a professional dog trainer. They can provide personalized strategies and techniques tailored to your dog’s behavior.
Dog Obedience, Socialization & Behavioral Training in Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Pontiac, Commerce Township and other areas within an hour of our home base of Waterford, Michigan
Walking your dog should be a joyous occasion, a bonding moment between you and your furry friend. By understanding why dogs pull and using consistent, positive training techniques, you can ensure that your walks are peaceful and enjoyable for both of you. Remember, patience, consistency, and love will lead the way. If you need help training and instilling good behavior in your canine friends, contact Blitz K9 Club today.