Taming the Tug: How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on the Lead
A dog pulling on the lead can turn a pleasant walk into a stressful experience for both you and your furry friend. Teaching your dog to walk politely on a loose lead can improve the quality of your walks and enhance the bond between you and your pet. In this article, we'll explore effective strategies to stop your dog from pulling on the lead and make your walks enjoyable for both of you. Doggy day care and the team at 84 Acres can help and train your dog.
Choose the Right Equipment and Right Doggy Day Care
Selecting the appropriate equipment can make a significant difference in your dog's walking behaviour. Opt for a sturdy, comfortable collar or harness, and a fixed-length lead. Avoid retractable leads, as they can encourage pulling. For dogs that pull excessively, consider using a front-clip harness or head halter for better control. You will also want to select a doggy day centre with a focus on training and dog development. At 84 Acres doggy day care dogs are frequently walked around the estate on leash to aid their training and maintain their onleash behaviour for already well-trained dogs.
Train the "Heel" Command
Teaching your dog to "heel" is an essential step in preventing lead pulling. Start by standing with your dog on your left side, holding the lead in your right hand. Use a treat to guide your dog into position, with their head aligned with your left leg. As your dog follows the treat, say the command "heel" and reward them for staying in position. Practice this command in a low-distraction environment before attempting it during walks.
Be Consistent with Your Expectations
Maintain consistent expectations throughout your walk. If your dog starts to pull, stop walking and stand still. Wait for your dog to turn back and make eye contact with you, then reward them with a treat and resume walking. Your dog will learn that pulling will not get them where they want to go.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Reward your dog with treats, praise, or affection when they walk without pulling on the lead. Positive reinforcement will help your dog understand that walking politely results in rewards and praise, motivating them to maintain good behaviour.
Change Direction and Pace
If your dog starts to pull, change direction or pace to regain their focus. This technique will teach your dog to pay attention to your movements and anticipate changes in direction, making them less likely to pull on the lead.
Practice in a Controlled Environment
Before embarking on walks in busy or distracting environments, practice your dog's walking behaviour in a quiet, controlled area. This will help your dog become comfortable with the lead and reinforce good walking habits without the added stress of distractions.
Address the Root Cause
Determine the underlying cause of your dog's pulling behaviour. Is it excitement, anxiety, or a desire to explore? Identifying the root cause can help you address the issue more effectively. For example, if your dog pulls due to excitement, consider providing more physical and mental stimulation before your walk to help them burn off energy.
Be Patient and Persistent
Teaching your dog to walk without pulling on the lead requires patience and persistence. It may take time for your dog to adjust to new walking habits, but with consistent training and positive reinforcement, you'll see progress.
Stopping your dog from pulling on the lead is essential for enjoyable and stress-free walks. By choosing the right equipment, training the "heel" command, using positive reinforcement, and practicing consistently, you can teach your dog to walk politely on a loose lead. With patience and persistence, you and your canine companion will soon enjoy pleasant strolls together.
84 Acres Canine Country Club (84acres.co.uk) is a leading, fully licenced, doggy day care provider for dogs in London. Specifically providing doggy day care in Paddington, Nottinghill, Holland Park, Hammersmith, Belgravia, Kensginton, Chelsea, Fulham, Sloane Square, Pimlico, Battersea, Acton, St John's Wood, Clapham, Wandsworth, Barnes and Putney, Richmond,