How To Stop Your Dog From Tugging On The Leash
One of the best parts about having a dog is that you can take them with you everywhere—to the park, to the store, and out to have fun. But, if your dog tugs on the leash when you try to walk them, it can quickly diminish all the fun you imagine having with them and discourage you from taking them out anymore. You might look at other dogs and their owners and think, “Why can’t my dog behave like that?” The truth is, no dog is born “obedient.” Despite being domesticated, they still have instincts that tell them that (one) they need a pack leader and (two) exploring and adventure are super fun!
These instincts are what make your dog great, but since they are living in a world with laws, regulations, and manners, you need to learn how to hone into their instincts so they behave more appropriately and so they see you as their confident and trusted pack leader.
The solution to stopping your dog from tugging on the leash is kind of a catch 22. For instance, letting your dog pull on the leash is telling them that they are in charge and that they are leading the pack. However, in order to teach them not to pull on the leash, you have to get them learning that you are the trusted pack leader.
Before you invest in all sorts of collars, leads, and gadgets that are out there to help you tackle this issue, you’re better off looking at the bigger picture. Having your dog walk properly on a leash is just the first step in positioning yourself as the pack leader. The training has to go beyond just walking—you need to be reinforcing your position as leader all the time and you’ll begin to see results across your dog’s behavior, not just when you’re outside.
Think about it like this: your dog knows someone has to be the leader. If they don’t see you as the leader, they’re going to take that position. You might not notice all the little “cute” things they do, but having them pull on a leash is definitely one of the places you’ll see them begin to express their feelings that they are in charge.
So, how do you teach your dog not to pull on the leash? Here are some tips:
• When you bring out your dog’s leash, wait for them to calm down until they are ready to go. Never rush through the excitement stage and try not to provoke them to get too excited.
• Practice at home first.
• Walk around your home and outside until they can behave in familiar surroundings.
• Begin to venture further out, coming back home when they misbehave.