No Need For Force: How To Stop Your Dog From Pulling On The Leash And More
Could you kindly stop my dog from pulling so hard on the leash? It is among the most popular demands made on dog trainers.
If dogs could hire human trainers, they would urge them to “just stop him from pulling on the leash so much.” “Now that I think about it, could you please stop him from constantly groping my body when a simple, courteous request would suffice?”
It often seems more practical to train your dog to do what you want using your superior physical abilities (or training tools that help you control your dog physically) than using your superior brain. How often do you have to raise, push, pull, or tug at your dog to get him to do something that he couldn’t do on his own? You could use his collar or harness as a steering wheel or his leash as a grip.
You shouldn’t feel too bad; even people who consider themselves fully committed to utilizing force-free training techniques occasionally pick up a slow, little dog. It’s normal to be impatient!
Suppose your dog often uses his body to get what he wants by bumping into you, pawing at you, jumping on you, or pulling on the leash. In that case, I kindly ask you to take one day to comprehend that this dynamic is reciprocal. People, your dogs are teaching you to learn the rules of this planet.
The way is superior. Instead of relying on force, use that enormous brain of yours. How many times can you get your dog where you want him today without using the quick and easy way instead of beginning to start a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship? Try to let your dog know what you want him to do and how much you value his cooperation by using your voice, body language, treats, and relationship with him.
Describe your dog’s communication style and provide a warning.
As a great tip, start by using your words!
Take a walk from walking your dog to chatting with a friend or waiting for the signal to cross the street. When you finish chatting or the crossing light becomes green, you shock your dog out of his daze and get him to start walking once more while he is patiently waiting, sitting, or standing calmly, perhaps watching some youngsters cross the street. Rude!
Your dog will discover the following from that unexpected tug: He will no longer find it strange when he applies that pressure to himself by pulling or dashing since it underlines the idea that strange and sudden leash pressure is a way of life. Second, it teaches him to always be on guard for one of those yanks when you are out for a walk. Your walks will now consist of pulling and yanking, along with some anxiety. That is not a minor issue from my perspective.
It’s pretty easy to do better. Give an alert to your dog before leaving the house. I’m done now. Give your dog a cue to move before you do. It’s as easy as saying, “Okay, let’s go,” to Spot. To involve your dog in the concept, you may even pat your thigh or make a kissing, clicking, or other noise.
Even though this change might seem modest, it creates a team when you see it in action. It’s large.
Use your brain, not your hands, to move your dog.
One of my favorite clients just today mentioned that her dog becomes agitated if her collar is grabbed. Why are you firmly holding onto her collar?
While it may seem simple to us to grab our dogs by the handle, doing so ultimately interferes with the behavior and bonding we want them to exhibit. Try using your brain to move your dog rather than your muscles.
- Would you prefer that your dog get off the couch? Instead of grabbing his collar, say “touch” while extending your hand. (If you haven’t yet, start teaching this most valuable of all cues right away!
- Do you require your dog’s immobility to put the leash on? Don’t grasp his collar; ask to sit down.
- Would you like to put an end to your dog chasing the cat? Move away from holding a toy and call him exultantly without grasping his collar. Reward him whenever he approaches.
Like the leash yank, the collar grab is an intuitive, lowest common denominator way people adopt to take charge. It’s easy to get into the daily routine of using this meager amount of physical strength. If you don’t give it any thought, it seems normal.
But please give it some thought, I implore you. The more you do it, the more strange it seems that we use our superior physical strength so casually and often to force our closest friends, who are aware, intelligent souls who can learn even the most complex behaviors, to put their bodies in the exact positions we want.
When they can’t seem to get away from these unpleasant physical invasions, many dogs psychologically shut down. Yet, some dogs tolerate this constant touch with resignation. Some dogs even start to depend on the constant barrage of yanks, pushes, and pulls. Some attempt to stop the assaults by snarling or acting in other ways of protective hostility, like the dog that belongs to one of my clients.
Always remember that every connection we have with our dogs is an opportunity to model our personality for them. Consider the tone you wish to use to educate. I’ve observed many indicators that confirm my notion that dogs share my way of getting along with them in a pleasant, pleasurable, responsible, and respectful way.
Set a goal for yourself when communicating with your dog!
One of the most enjoyable dog-training courses I’ve ever attended asked us to tie a loose knot, possibly four inches in diameter, in the middle of our leashes. We strolled around the property in a line for the next ten minutes, passing each other frequently. The one with the loosest knot emerged victorious after all that.
We accomplished this with cheerful voices, kissy noises, and dancing gestures. The cues “touch,” “look,” “heel,” “side,” and “walk with me” were all fully utilized by us. There was cheese, there was chicken, and there had been a lot of positive reinforcement in the past. It was a ton of fun. Why? Because it showed how far we had come from the times when we, too, thought it was customary to pull our dogs about. It validated how much more pleasant and rewarding our interactions with our dogs had become.
Then give it a try. Try talking to your dog first to see what occurs instead of using your more muscular body to watch the dog somewhere or do things with him. I think you’ll find that spending time with your dog is easier and more fun quickly, which is how it should be when you live with a trustworthy friend.