Taming the Dog that Pulls

Narrated from: Dog Training

Leash walking is one of the most important things you will need to teach your dog. It is the safest way for you to maintain control of your dog when you venture out to the park or for a brisk walk around the block. Surely you know that walking your dog is vital to his health and that he needs the exercise and the stimulation involved in getting out there! When taught correctly it is a fun way to spend time with your dog and get him socialized. It is pretty good exercise for you too!

Start your leash training by allowing the dog to run around the house or yard under supervision with the leash attached to his collar. Once he is comfortable with the leash being attached to him and you have decided which side you want your dog on as you walk him, you are ready to begin the lesson. Grasp the lead’s loop in the hand opposite the side you wish to have the dog walk. Do not put your wrist through the loop, put your thumb through it and grasp it in your palm. The reason for this is that if you are working with a strong dog or one that pulls, it is better to end up with a broken thumb than a broken wrist, and many dogs can do just that! This is especially true with large breed puppies and breeds that were born to pull, such as a pit bull, or if you are trying to leash train a full grown dog who has never been taught to walk on a leash. With the loop planted firmly in your hand grasp the lead line midway, holding it across your body slightly in front of the dog. Attach the lead to the dog if you have not already done so.

As you walk add variations by slowing down, speeding up and occasionally making a right or left turn. Most dogs at this point will catch on to the fact that they must pay attention to you if they wants to know where they are going. If you have an easy going, well socialized dog your lesson will stop right here. You will be able to walk him through crowds without having to pull him.

In fact many dogs have issues with learning to walk on a leash. Most dogs either want to lie down, refusing to move at all, or they want to run ahead and drag you down the street. In some cases the dog will not stay by your side because he wants to go where he wants to go and not where you want to take him. Trainers often do what is called the “drunk walk” to get and hold the dog’s attention. It works like it sounds and you walk as though you were drunk, moving to the left and right randomly. Slow down and speed up at random and make right and left turns unexpectedly. Since he does not want to get stepped on he will begin to pay close attention to you and will follow along right at your side, not in front of you and not behind you! If you find that you have a breed that was bred to pull invest in a Gentle Leader. They are available at all of the major pet shops. The Gentle leader resolves all the problems you may have with leash walking. You can expect to pay $30 or more but it is well worth the investment if you are having difficulty getting your dog to walk by your side. When putting the Gentle Leader on your dog read the packaging directions for proper use. If he does not let you put the loop over his nose simply smear a little peanut butter in the palm of the hand you are using to put it on and he will be so busy licking the peanut butter you will be able to slip it on without him even realizing you have done it. The reasoning behind the Gentle Leader is that a dog will follow where his nose goes and it is very true! Happy walking!

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::