Dog ​​pulls on his leash: what solutions?

My dog ​​pulls on his leash: what solutions?

My dog ​​pulls on his leash: what solutions?

A dog that pulls on a leash can be difficult to manage, especially if its size is large. So that walks do not become a chore, it is essential to educate him from an early age to walk on foot and make him understand that he must not pull, which can be difficult and sometimes require help from an educator. There are also tips and exercises to practice yourself.

Why does my dog ​​pull on his leash?

A dog may pull on its leash for several reasons. First, it is an instinct that pushes him to adopt this behavior, which he does not identify as bad. Attracted by external stimuli and mainly by the smells left by other dogs, it is easy to be distracted and no longer think of the master you are dragging behind! A dog can also pull on his leash because he is too excited, this is particularly the case for those who do not exert themselves enough. Anyway, walking on a leash is a matter of education and it is by letting the dog pull that we let this bad habit take hold. A lack of rigor in dressage is often the cause. The dog, simply happy to be outside, will then ignore commands to do as it pleases.

What solutions to the problem?

If your dog overflows with energy during walks to the point of towing you, it is quite possible that he is not exerting himself enough physically but also perhaps that he is not sufficiently stimulated mentally. This first explanation should lead you to consider more frequent and longer outings, and at least one daily walk outside, even if you have a garden. Take your dog if you can to a park or the countryside where he can let off steam. You can also consider practicing a canine sport with him: agility, canicross...

At home, play a little with him every day and offer him activities to stimulate his intelligence, such as search games and dog puzzles that will keep him busy while you're away (Kong, Pipeline). Finally, his sense of smell must be stimulated: on a walk, give him time to "read" and "respond" to the olfactory messages of his congeners. You can also practice tracking, a very stimulating discipline for his sense of smell.

The second possible cause is that your dog has not learned to walk on a leash or badly, in this case, it is his education that must be resumed in this direction. You will need to arm yourself with patience and if possible get help from a professional behaviorist in private sessions or in a club. Go over your daily attitudes point by point with him and make sure you are consistent in all your orders and postures. Reinforce his obedience with adapted methods and exercises.

Pulling dog: what equipment to use?

Contrary to popular belief, the choke collar or the spiked one is only coercive and is in no way a solution to the problem. Only global and long-term work aimed at obtaining relaxed leash walking can improve things. However, there are special anti-pull harnesses, designed to reduce the pulling force of the dog and prevent him from getting injured as he can by pulling with a simple collar. Also, equip yourself with a sufficiently long leash (2 to 3 meters) and a 5-meter lanyard for the exercises. The use of treats or his favorite toy during the sessions can greatly help his concentration.

What exercises to put in place?

A certain number of exercises make it possible to educate the dog little by little to no longer pull on the leash. As with any notion of obedience, this is worked progressively and repetitively, gradually increasing the difficulty due to distractions present in the environment. So, to start the walking exercises on a leash, choose a place that is poor in stimulation. like your garden or a place well known to your dog. The sessions must be short to keep his attention but repeated very regularly. Once the exercises have been mastered, the idea is to reproduce them in environments always presenting a little more distraction: first in the countryside, then in the park, then in town... Practice these exercises preferably after your dog has been spent.

1) Teach him to follow you

For a dog to stop pulling on the leash, he must realize that he is not the one who is moving the walk forward and that pulling does not bring him anything. You must therefore take your position as a leader clearly and neutrally. To do this, the method of natural tracking often proves its worth by showing the dog that he does not get what he wants by pulling. Here's how:

  • equip your dog with a walking harness and a lanyard (3 to 5 meters)
  • place yourself in an area with a fairly defined perimeter: lawn, garden...
  • behave in a detached manner, without looking at him or talking to him, as inert as possible
  • leave the leash long enough, without exerting pressure on it; as soon as your dog starts pulling in one direction, go in the opposite direction without pulling or intervening with your voice
  • this ride can last a long time but don't give in or get upset until it starts to pay attention to you and your movements
  • if your dog is still not paying attention after a while, try to stimulate his motivation with invitations to play, treats, a pat on your leg...
  • as soon as he looks at you and follows you, reward and encourage him with your voice
  • after several repetitions, he should understand that he must follow you and you can then move on to the following exercises with a shorter leash.

2) Walking

This second step consists of making him understand that he will not get anything with a taut leash :

  • start by shortening the leash so that it forms a relaxed "U" shape
  • once again, adopt a detached and static attitude, the legs well anchored to the ground
  • as soon as your dog pulls, stay still without pulling on the leash until he stops
  • once he gets tired, he should give up and start relaxing; only when he redirects his attention to you should you switch to moving work
  • start by taking a step forward: if he starts shooting, stops and take a few steps back before leaving quietly; reward when the leash is loose
  • repeat until he understands that he can only move forward if he doesn't shoot
  • when he has understood this principle, you can make changes of direction, always without talking to him, then complicate the exercise on different routes (lines, squares, etc.)
  • if you lose his attention, remotivate him by soliciting him with your voice or with a treat
  • gradually, you can practice random pace changes and stops
  • once all these steps have been well acquired, increase the difficulty by changing locations and types of the environment; gradually lengthen the duration and distances
  • take care to always end the lessons with something positive: relaxation, play...

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