How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Lead
Apr 25,2023 | Petbobi
“Go for a walk with your dog,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said. Of all the other things that we do with our dogs, walks make up for the most time and effort.
Yet, it is highly misunderstood and ends up becoming a matter of frustration for so many of us. This article aims at simplifying the process of leash walking for pet parents so they can enjoy a tail-wagging-worthy walk with their pooch.
Here’s why your dog is pulling on the leash
The simple answer to “Why do dogs pull on the leash?” is to get to a certain point faster. Dogs have unlimited curiosity and very limited time outside to fulfill it. They just want to make the most of it. There could be more than one reason why your dog may be pulling on their leash, such as
-They want to sniff and explore all the interesting scents around them
-They are very excited to be outdoors
-They have never undergone formal leash-walking training
-There may be a lot of pent-up energy that needs an outlet to be released
-The leash pulling may be causing you to act frustrated and annoyed, something that they may choose to walk away from
-They may want to interact with a stimulus like another person, dog, or a squirrel
Regardless of the reason, a dog pulling on the leash can make walks a nightmare. Read on for some tips to simplify your walks with your dog.
Train Your Way Up From Low to High Distractions
For your dog to be able to focus and walk better in a distracting, outdoor environment, it is imperative for them to first learn to do so in an environment with low to no distractions.
When training your dog, always start at the easiest level, gradually increasing the intensity of difficulty. Doing so will ensure small and consistent wins along the way, thereby setting your dog up for success in a smooth leash-walking experience.
The Importance of High-value Rewards
Every living being needed the motivation to do anything, be it humans or dogs. The more difficult the task, the higher the motivation needed. Your dog’s meals consisting of dry kibbles may suffice to get them to perform several tricks at home because of the familiar environment and known distractions if any.
However, the outdoor environment poses a bigger challenge because of the mere presence of hundreds of stimuli, visible and invisible to the naked eye. Dogs are not so great at generalizing cues. They do not respond to a certain cue the same way in different situations unless taught otherwise. High-value rewards like raw meat, boiled chicken pieces, liver treats, etc. help in retaining the dog’s attention for a longer time and make up for excellent motivation.
Provide More Outlets During the Day to Release Pent-up Energy
When it comes to low-energy breeds like Maltese, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, etc, two walks a day are generally enough to keep them tired and happy. However, the same may not suffice for high-energy breeds like Huskies, German Shepherds, etc. They need more outlets for physical and mental stimulation to keep them fulfilled.
Investing in puzzles, interactive toys, and other mental stimulation games is a good idea to provide your dog with healthy outlets for enrichment. This will ensure that your dog is in a comparatively calmer state of mind before stepping out in the morning and evening.
If your dog is more of an outdoorsy being, getting a durable tie out would be a great idea. Tie-outs are a great way to provide liberty while ensuring safety. The best part about tie-outs is that they are portable and can be used in a variety of outdoor situations.
The Petbobi Dog Tie-out Cable makes for an incredible buy for puppies.
-It is strong and super lightweight
-It has options from 20 feet to 40 feet long, thereby ensuring ample freedom for pups
-It comes with a PVC coating, which makes them weatherproof, rust-proof, and chew-proof.
-The cables are easy to connect and can be secured to multiple areas like trees, posts, pillars,etc
-This tie-out cable has a Tangle Free Swivel Buckle that prevents the dog from being entangled by the cable
Work on Improving Engagement
The easiest tip for getting your puppy to walk beside you is to give them a solid reason to do so. However, this is easier said than done. Here are some tips to make sure to keep your dog engaged with you on walks -
-Proactively mark and reward good behavior on walks
-Practice simple training cues like sit, look, stay, etc and reward your pup heavily for small wins
-Rather than constantly correcting undesirable behaviors, focus on teaching new, alternate ones
-Engage your dog in mental stimulation games like finding treats in the grass
Allow Your Dog to Sniff as Much as They Want
Sniffing is the most basic and instinctive need of a dog. Dogs see the world through their nose. No amount of running or physically intensive exercises beats the enrichment that a good amount of sniffing can provide.
Allow your dog to sniff to their heart’s content on walks. Keeping the dog leash slack and allowing plenty of sniffing opportunities ensures plenty of physical and mental stimulation and also helps hyper dogs calm down faster.
There are innumerable pieces of information available out there on leash walking. Successful leash training can take up to several weeks or months. No matter what technique you choose to apply, staying consistent with it is key.