There are several reasons why dogs pull on the leash for a walk. First, they walk faster than us. Secondly, we go out for a walk to a greater extent to rest, and the dogs need to get to the lawn as quickly as possible, sniff everything, catch up with everyone, and go everywhere. It’s natural for dogs to rush.
However, in reality, it is we who train the dogs to pull the leash, and we do this unconsciously, but with great success. So, almost a third of dog owners complain that the dogs are pulling them.
The Reasons for This Behavior
While the puppy is small, his attempts to pull with him in no way interfere with the owner’s life. Where can such a crumb move an adult from its place! Therefore, we do not pay attention to the fact that the puppy pulls the leash, thereby allowing him to do this. We often go wherever he pulls us. And since this happens every day for 5–6 months, a specific image of a walk is formed in the puppy at this time: on the street, you have to pull the leash with you. So this manner of walking is fixed. As a result, it becomes normal for the puppy to feel the pressure of the collar on the neck. And this is actually the case. Some owners, for example, complain that the dog pulls only on a leash, and as soon as the leash is unfastened, the pet immediately calms down and walks calmly beside him.
We notice that dogs are pulling us as they grow up and get strong. And at this age, to teach them not to pull is to retrain, and to retrain, as well as to reeducate, is always more difficult. So be patient and prepare yourself for challenges.
In addition, remember that dogs have a need for physical activity, and failure to meet this need can even lead to the death of the animal. Do not forget that dogs are descended from wolves – animals that hunt by the corral. They hunt for a long time and pursue prey before satisfying their hunger. For example, European wolves cover 35–70 kilometers per day. Therefore, when starting a dog, you should keep in mind that the pet needs to move a lot, active games and training are useful for him.
Ways to Wean Your Dog From Pulling the Leash
When you start weaning your dog to pull on the leash, you must ensure that your dog walks until tired.
The most effective way to get rid of the dog’s habit of pulling the leash (this technique will not require the owner to possess physical strength) is a method of uncontested behavior. But it takes time.
So, you went for a walk with your dog on a leash. Naturally, she begins to pull the leash in order to quickly get where she wants. As soon as the dog pulls on the leash, that is, feels the pressure of the collar on the neck, you should stop and stand until the leash sags and the pressure of the collar on the neck does not release. After that, you must give the command “Let’s go!” and start moving. You should only move as long as the leash remains slack. As soon as the dog begins to pull it, you should silently stop and continue moving only when the tension on the leash again loses. You must first give a command to move.
Over time (how soon – depends on the intelligence and learning ability of the pet), the dog will understand that first, the collar begins to press on the neck, and this is followed by a stop. Then she will begin to avoid it, if, of course, she wants to get to the desired destination.
To speed up the process, you can put on a noose collar made of silk rope instead of a regular collar – this will enhance the effect of a taut leash.
An even more effective way to wean the dog from pulling the leash (or rather, to teach the dog to move on a sagging leash) is to select behavior using a positive auditory conditioned reinforcement – the clicker. Those familiar with clicker training should only click the clicker and feed the dog when it is walking without pulling on the leash, that is, when the collar is not pressing on its neck. You can focus not on the tension of the leash, but on the pace of movement. If the pace of movement of the dog coincides with the pace of the owner, then you can reward with clicks and treat with a treat. If the dog is walking faster than you, then he will not see the click as his ears.
In order to wean the dog from pulling the leash, you can also use strict metal collars – they are plate and wire. Some dogs actually stop pulling on the leash when they are wearing a prong collar. But it is worth changing the “stretch” to a regular collar, and the dog starts to pull again. And many dogs quickly become accustomed to the pain caused by the chain collar and continue to pull as before.
There is also a muzzle-like device called a halter. If you put it on a dog, it will quickly stop rushing forward. But then the pet will have to be walked in a halter throughout his dog’s life.
There are also methods that involve unpleasant or painful effects on the dog, but they should only be resorted to with the participation of a dog training instructor.