How To Stop A Dog From Pulling On The Leash

How to Get a Dog to Stop Pulling on a Leash

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How to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Who’s Walking Who in Dog Training?

As a certified dog trainer, I can attest to the fact that being pulled around while walking your dog is one of the most common problems dog owners face. It’s clear that the issue isn’t minor. Leash-pulling can result in a number of other problems, including:
  • Being dragged in a dangerous manner.
  • Not being able to keep a potentially dangerous dog under control.
  • Injuring others as a result of a loss of control.
  • Not being able to provide the leadership and guidance that dogs require.
Of course, an obedience trainer could help with these problems, but not everyone has the financial means to hire one, or they simply don’t have the time. Some dog owners (and this is not uncommon) may refuse to attend a dog training school because they are too proud to seek professional assistance. They would rather deal with the problem themselves, even if they are unsure how to do so.

Training Classes Have a Lot of Benefits.

Nothing can truly replace the structured environment and socialization opportunities that a class provides. Despite high distractions such as other dogs and people, dogs learn to be under control. If your dog can walk nicely on a leash in this environment, he’ll almost certainly be in good control during your evening walk around the block! Taking your dog to dog training is a big plus that comes with a lot of benefits.

How to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash Properly

Your main goal is to train your dog to walk on a loose leash. Remember this goal: a leash is only required by law; your dog will follow because he simply wants to be with you and believes that your side is the best place on the planet!Of course, this may appear to be an unattainable goal, but you will succeed.
So, how do you get a dog to think like this? For the most serious cases, a combination of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and special tools is required. Let’s take a look at each of these elements individually.

conditioning in the traditional sense.

Do you remember Pavlov’s experiments with drooling dogs? If not, Pavlov was a Russian scientist who began ringing a bell and immediately offered food to dogs. Dogs began to salivate in anticipation of the simple sight and sound of the bell as time went on! This taught us how to understand like a dog and how to use that knowledge to our advantage.
What does this mean in terms of dog training? It’s very straightforward. We make a sound and teach the dog to associate it with something positive, such as food. The sound can be anything, including a whistle or a smack of the mouth; just don’t use the dog’s name!

Rewarding a Treat as a Reward

We will bring the treat to our eye level and then hand it to the dog once we have his attention. We’ll play the sound again and then treat, treat, treat… After a period of time, the dog will associate the sound with food and anticipate it. This is the epitome of classical conditioning!
We’re ready to start moving in a fenced area once things start clicking in the dog’s mind. We walk with the dog and make the sound with the treat at eye level, then give the treat when the dog looks up and makes eye contact. The dog will become attentive and heel like a pro with practice!
As the dog improves, he or she is introduced to environments with more distractions. This is where attending an obedience school is beneficial: the dog will learn to ignore other dogs and people in favor of making you the most interesting thing on the planet!

Conditioning in the field

When a dog takes to himself, “If I do this, I’ll get something.” This is known as operant conditioning. It prepares the dog’s mind for work. If the dog makes eye contact with you, he will quickly learn that eye contact earns him a reward. This will make your dog work and “operate” in exchange for a reward.
The majority of today’s training is reward-based. Rather than focusing on having a dog obey to “avoid pain or discomfort,” today’s aversive training methods encourage the dog to “operate” for rewards. Rather than fearing him and associating him with aversive techniques, this positive method teaches the dog two things: “If I work, I get something,” and “My owner brings good things, and I trust him.”

Identifying and resolving walking problems

So, your dog is walking nicely beside you, but what should you do if your dog looks up at you, takes the treat, and then lunges forward, pulling you away from him and returning to his antics? You must be more stubborn than your dog in this situation and refuse to give in.
Stop as soon as the dog begins to pull and choose one of the following options:
  • Turn around and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Come to a halt and reposition your dog next to you so that you can begin walking “together.”
The only thing you can do wrong in this exercise is to follow your dog when he pulls. When we deal with pulling dogs, we’re most likely not dealing with a dog who wants to be “dominant” or stubborn, but with a dog who thinks like this: “On walks, it works like this…” “I advance, and my owner follows.” To put it another way, the dog believes he has to drag his owner around because he has never been taught otherwise!
It’s just something that has worked once or twice in the past. Now the dog assumes that’s how things are. Not to mention the fact that dogs enjoy moving forward and can walk much faster than humans, so they easily assume the role of puller. When we stop walking because the dog pulls once, twice, or three times, the dog begins to think, “Oh, so it doesn’t work the way I thought” and adjusts accordingly.

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The ultimate goal is to walk with a loose leash.

Tools to Stop Dogs From Pulling

If you have a large dog and lack the strength to control him, you may be wondering if there are any training tools that would at the very least prevent you from being dragged along the path. There are a variety of training tools that may be useful.

The use of a prong collar is not recommended.

The prong collar was once recommended for dogs who lunged and pulled, but it may be too harsh for sensitive dogs or dogs who are afraid or lunging out of defensive aggression, the “I attack first to avoid being attacked.” I would not recommend this training device because most people are unaware of the emotions that go through a dog’s mind.

Body Harness or Head Halter?

A head halter and a front attachment harness are ideal training tools. Head halters are similar to the tack worn by horses. It gives owners more control because it encircles the entire head, and dogs seem to respond to it better than a standard leash.
The front-attachment harness, a harness with a front ring that allows for more control and pressure on the chest area that teaches the dog how to respond correctly, is the other option. To work effectively, the dog must first learn to stay by the owner’s side while being rewarded with treats. This tool appears to work well with dogs, and many people are pleased with the results.

A device will never be able to take the place of adequate training.

Of course, training devices can assist in gaining control, but keep in mind that they are just that: tools. Nothing can substitute for actual training, which takes time, patience, and perseverance. If you stop allowing your dog to pull you and implement a “no pulling policy,” it may take an hour the first day to walk a block, but in the long run, your dog will understand that if he is ahead of you, you will not go anywhere, and it will become tedious. If you are more stubborn than your dog, you will win!
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Teach your dog to walk as if he or she is not wearing a leash.