Teach your dog not to pull on the lead

Going for a walk is one of the best activities for your health. Who wouldn’t find a good walk relaxing after a hard day? This activity is necessary for the physical and mental health of your dog, and it involves much more than just taking them out onto the street or into the garden to do what they have to do. When we accept the responsibility that a dog brings to our lives, we have to be aware that, to give them an acceptable quality of life, we will have to take them for a walk a few times a day. For this reason, one of the first things that we must learn when they come home with us, and especially if they are a puppy, is to calmly take them for a walk on the lead.

Dogs are naturally accustomed to walking off the lead, especially in a field, but lets not forget that in town they should be on the lead most of the time for their own safety. If you haven’t taught them to walk calmly and without pulling on the lead, these walks will become torture for both of you.

Here are two techniques to teach your dog not to pull on the lead:

  1. The first involves stopping each time your dog pulls and waiting until the tension in the lead lets up to carry on. By doing this the dog will associate this tension in the lead with not being able to get close to what they want and a lead without tension with continuing to walk. When we stop we mustn’t say anything, make a sound, pull on the lead or do anything else, just stop.

  2. The second involves walking in another direction when the dog pulls on the lead. This way the dog will associate pulling on the lead with not going where they want but in the opposite direction, getting further away from the fun.

Also, each time your dog doesn’t pull on the lead and walks in a relaxed way without pulling, reward them with treats, petting and calming words.

Aspects to take into account when walking your dog:

  • They must feel comfortable with the harness or collar they are wearing, make sure that your dog is ok with them and that they don’t hurt or annoy them.

  • Take a good amount of treats with you on walks to reward them when they do well.

  • Never use collars that choke them, with spikes or other tools that could cause the dog harm. Remember that punishments and pain can cause anxiety and worsen behavioural problems.

  • Start training them in a place where there aren’t too many distractions like the garden or in the street when there is not much going on. Little by little add distractions. If you begin in a place with too many distractions it will make it more complicated for your dog to learn to not pull on the lead.

  • The lead should be long enough to allow them to explore the world. We must be able to pick them up or have them walk next to us on narrow pavements or areas where dog are not allowed to roam free and give them more freedom when when they want to smell or interact safely with the surroundings.

Dog nose

  • If you have a dog that practically always pulls on the lead, barks or has some other behavioural problem, contact a canine educator. It will be much easier to resolve the lead problem when the dog’s other problems are under control.

  • Make the most of walks to dedicate yourself 100% to your dog. If you are glued to your mobile, focusing on the person you are talking to or doing something else, you won’t be able to pay attention to whether your dog is pulling on the lead or not.

If you are consistent and have patience, you will notice that these pauses are helping your dog to learn quickly and, little by little, walks will become enjoyable for both of you.

Remember that as a result of our busy lives our dogs spend much more time at home alone than they should do. At Gudog we have dog walkers with experience so that when you are working or out of the house your dog can enjoy their daily walk.

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