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How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on the Leash

Updated on May 30, 2016

Making sure your dog is getting enough exercise is one of the basics of optimum pet care. But, without the right training, this fun activity could actually turn into a chore or an embarrassment - when you’re trying your best to control your dog in public. Worse, you risk injuring your pet’s trachea when she pulls at the leash. If she’s over excited and running around in circles, you risk falling over and hurting yourself when the leash gets entangled around your legs. This is why; a simple activity like taking your dog out with you needs special training techniques. Here’s how:

Begin Training at Home

The first step is teaching your dog to accept the leash. Begin by attaching the leash to his collar and let him walk around with it trailing behind. Issue commands like, “Sit” or “Stay” and at the same time take control of the leash. Remember to give your dog only a small bit of slack, but hold the leash doubled up, in both your hands. This is very essential, because when your pet starts to tug at the leash, you can release some of the slack so he does not hurt his trachea. Choosing a long leash is also a great idea.

Go for a walk indoors, up and down the hallway or around the living room. When your dog tries to walk in front of you or lags behind, stop. Wait until she catches up and is standing beside you. Reward her with a treat and praise, and then begin walking again. Stop several times so that your pet learns that she’s expected to walk patiently beside you and not take off in any direction she wants.

The trick behind training dogs is repetition. You have to go over the lesson repeatedly until your dog learns what you’re expecting him to do. Once you feel that your friend is understanding your commands, consider taking him out.

Prepare for the Walk

Being a highly intelligent creature, your dog is going to learn very soon, what your behavior patterns are when you’re preparing to go out. For instance, you might pick up your keys, and get your jacket and wallet. When she knows that a walk is coming up, she’s going to get very excited and is likely to start jumping around with happy yelps and a lot of tail wagging. Taking your pet outside in this condition is a bad idea because it’s going to be impossible to control her.

You need to give him time to play out his excitement so that he is a little tired before it’s actually time to go out. Experts also advise you to play a few games of fetch and catch the ball or any other game that expends his energy. When you feel that your pet has settled a little, take him outside.

Going Outside

When taking your dog for a walk, remember a few important points. To begin with, walking indoors and outdoors are two very different situations. While you have laid the basis of the training in your pet’s mind, chances are, she’s going to forget them as soon as you’re outside. This is because dogs have a highly advanced sense of smell and she’s going to be picking up all kinds of interesting scents and odors that she’ll want to explore.

When that happens, stay calm and follow the training steps and commands just as you have taught him at home. And, each time he tugs on the leash, stop. He’ll soon learn that tugging means no more walking. You could also try walking at a fast pace so that each attractive scent comes and goes before you pet is tempted to go exploring. In addition, keep his focus on you by speaking to him in a low, soothing voice, presenting treats and lots of praise.

Using these tactics, you and your friend should be able to go on long walks that both of your completely enjoy.

Have great day!

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