Why do dogs pull on the lead? A quick answer is because they can (they like to get where they’re going as quickly as possible) and because some owners persist in allowing them to.
Goodness knows why. You see them being dragged along with their arm outstretched horizontally, virtually running to keep up with their dog. It’s so uncomfortable and really stressful.
If your dog is taking you for a walk rather than the other way around, then it’s not under control. You can easily cure this by showing it who’s the boss.
Firstly, make your dog sit while you fit the collar. Don’t let it jump around or get too excited. It’s important for you to be in command from the outset.
Have the dog to your left side and start your walk.
Use a short amount of lead and when he pulls you, stop, wait a few seconds and move off again. Try this a few times before stopping and turn around, walking back from the direction you came. Your dog will not like this but when he starts pulling, turn around and change direction again. Your dog will soon get fed up of this and will begin to watch you to see where you are going next.
Whilst you are doing this, pull him back gently on the lead saying “heel’” and guide him to be level with your feet. When he stops pulling, praise him. If he looks like he’s going to start pulling again give the command “heel” and tighten the lead slightly letting him know you are in control.
Patience, persistence and determination are vital here (many dogs can take weeks or even months to become good walkers). Don’t lose your temper or jerk your dog back too harshly as this could injure it and cause stress.
Many owners find a dog harness to be a great solution. These usually fit across the dog’s chest and back, giving better pressure distribution. The lead attachment is offset to the right and designed to gently guide your dog into you as it pulls. This also proves to speed up the training process, getting results quicker.
Whatever method you use, remember the points about patience though, it’ll be worth it in the end – and save you getting from an aching arm!