When your dog constantly pulls on the leash, it can often mean what should be an enjoyable walk, can quickly turn into a battle of wills. But the good news is, no matter how young or old your pup may be, with some training and patience you can start teaching your pup that walks are much more enjoyable without the tugging.
Generally, when your dog pulls at the leash it means they’re excited to hit full stride and run about, which is completely normal. With all the new sights and smells, it can cause them to become overly curious and SO excited to go out and explore them all. This means that pulling shows they’re happy and naturally curious, so the reason they’re doing it is usually nothing to worry about.
However, if your dog is lunging or barking when they’re on the leash, it could mean that they’re scared of something nearby and they’re trying to get away. If this is the case, then make walking into a positive experience by rewarding their calm behavior.
It doesn’t usually hurt your pup when they pull, even if it makes them cough, so don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Do avoid sharply jolting the leash though, as this can hurt them and make them jump.
Leash skills are a very important part of puppy training, and positivity, patience and treats are the best and easiest ways to start training.
‘Heel’ is a great one to introduce when you’re teaching your pup leash skills, or one to use if your older dog is pulling too much. Heel brings them back to your side when they run off or pull away too much.
When your dog tries to run off, say ‘heel’ in a clear, calm voice
When they look back at you, the leash will go slack
When it does, reward them.
This might look a little odd when you head out for a walk, but it’s definitely worth it!
When your dog pulls at the leash, say ‘stop’ in a clear, calm voice
Stand still until they stop pulling and the leash goes slack
Is your dog hyperactive all the time? At the Petlab Co., we recommend providing your dog with one Total Calm Chew a day, a 100% natural and drowsy-free treat to keep your pup calm and happy! Click through to our blog to find out our ingredients.