Why Dogs Pull Their Leashes
Dogs love walks because it allows them to explore the world outside their home. Unlike home where they probably know every inch of it, a walk provides a journey that feeds their curious nature. So, why do they pull on their leash?
The fact is dogs pull on the leash because they can. It gets them to where they want to go rather than waiting. It also allows them to pick their own pace rather than letting you decide.
However, they aren’t dragging you to be dominant, they are doing it because it works for them and they were not trained properly. Many pet parents have used a popular training method called “The Tree Method” to eliminate leash pulling.
The Tree Method
The tree method is standing firm next to your pup as they begin to pull. This lets them know that you’re not moving and not “standing” for that behavior. While this can work, some pups that experience excitability will continue to pull, hoping you’ll move along with them.
Again, the key to success is consistency. If your dog observes that you are strict on some walks and lenient on other walks, that sends out a very confusing message to your four-legged buddy.
The first step in training your dog to stop pulling on its leash is to go for a walk. While collars can be used for identity tags such as medical information and emergency contacts, we recommend adding a harness on your dog when you go for walks.
Collars put stress on the dog’s neck when there is excessive yanking or pulling causing preventable neck injuries.
Choose A New Location
Start your training in a new location your dog is not familiar with. If you choose a location you normally go to, your dog will immediately fall into the same routine and do its thing.
We recommend taking a short drive so you can start the training before the walk begins. When you put them in the car, make sure they are contained in one spot, and not allowed to roam free.
Show them you are in control of their space as soon as you are outside the house. Allowing them to roam free in the car is dangerous and also teaches your dog that they have no boundaries.
Bring Training Treats
Each time your dog responds to your method, reward your four-legged buddy. Give them a tasty treat and show them how happy you are that they did what they were supposed to do. Tell your dog how awesome they are, and give them a hug. A reward is one of the biggest motivators for animals and will encourage their behavior, so use it.
Consistency breeds familiarity, and that is needed when it comes to training dogs. Our four-legged buddies are highly intelligent animals and they will understand what we want from them, as long as we are consistent in our message to them.
If there are other people walking your four buddies, alert them to the training method so they can use it when they are out with your pooch. If that is not possible, be rock solid in your own approach so your dog understands that with you, no leash pulling is accepted.