Do you find it annoying when your dog keeps on pulling its leash whenever you go for a walk? Before you get mad at your dog for such an irritating behavior, you may want to learn some tips on how you can prevent your pooch from pulling its leash. Remember, you’re not alone. Leash pulling is common for dogs and a lot of pet owners out there have the same problem as yours.
Sure, leash pulling is annoying. But that doesn’t mean you just have to stop walking your dog outside. Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise too. Also, it’s too risky to remove your dog’s leash while on the street or it could be hit by a car or get lost somewhere!
Fortunately, it’s possible to train a dog not to pull its leash. With patience, clear communication, and consistency, it should be easy to train your dog to walk properly and avoid the constant pulling of the leash, which is irritating!
How To Improve Your Dog’s Walking Behavior
Here are some useful tips from experts when it comes to teaching your dog with proper walking behavior.
These tips can work for all breeds of dogs, from puppy to adult dogs.
Try the “Follow Me” Game
Consider using the “Follow Me” game when training your pooch. Dogs are playful by nature, and they would appreciate it even more if you add some fun to the training session.
To play this game, hold the leash and take several steps backward away from your pet. Your pet will find the backward movement somewhat inviting and will most likely follow you. When it does, say “yes”, and give a reward.
This game teaches your dog to stay focused and to follow you. After your dog follows you backward, move to another direction to entice your pooch to follow you again. When it does so, say yes again and give another reward. Do the same steps over and over again, until your dog learns to follow you whenever you take a walk outside.
Adjust The Attitude
As a pet owner, you need to be more understanding and patient with your pooch. Instead of being strict on your dog, why don’t you consider rewarding your pooch whenever it follows your order or when it pays attention to your command? This way, your pooch will be more attentive and will be encouraged to behave well.
Make your dog feel that you want it to walk right next to you when you explore the outdoors. So offer your dog some treats whenever you see it walking quietly beside you and not pulling the leash. Give special rewards that will entice your dog to follow you. Perhaps, you can offer small pieces of beef or chicken. The goal is to catch your dog’s attention.
Make sure you practice your game regularly. And whenever your pooch looks up to you and will walk beside you, say yes and immediately give it a treat.
Reward Your Dog
Giving rewards frequently is a great way to encourage your dog to correct its behavior. The key is to use very special rewards at first. Choose something that’s very enticing for your pooch so you can maintain a high level of reinforcement of your pooch. Try to reward more often. Perhaps, give the treat after 4 to 5 steps or whenever your pet displays a good behavior during your walk.
Eventually, once your level of reinforcement goes down, you can start rewarding your pooch less frequently all throughout your outdoor walks.
Consider Hiring A Dog Trainer
If your pooch has already become a practiced puller, it’s time to upgrade your leash. Consider getting a high-quality harness that you can clip on the front for extra added control on your pooch as you take a walk. Remember that teaching your dog to walk properly on a leash takes time. Regular practice is the key, and as a pet owner, you need to be more patient with your pooch. Once your dog finally learns the proper way to walk, you’ll realize that all your efforts are worth it!
But if your dog still pulls hard despite the constant training and practice, consider hiring a certified dog trainer that specializes in positive reinforcement.
Is A Retractable Dog Leash Recommended Or Not?
Using a retractable dog leash for your pet is a good idea as it gives your pet the freedom to explore wherever it wants too. As such, your dog will find it more enjoyable to walk outdoors with you. However, there are also drawbacks that come with using this leash, and it revolves around safety.
If you’re walking your dog in a busy street and the leash goes the full length, your dog could go towards the road and will be at high risk of getting hit by the passing cars. The retractable dog leash is therefore recommended only for pet owners who can pay close attention to their pooch.