I love nothing more than taking my puppy out for a walk. But it is not fun or safe for you or anyone to have a dog take you for a walk, as pulling while wearing a collar can actually damage your dog’s throat. Plus when your puppy is no longer a puppy, especially if they are a large breed dog, the pulling will not be good for your body either. Training your puppy to walk nicely on lead without pulling will be better for everyone.
Also consider using a front clip harness for your dog instead of a flat collar. It is a much safer option to look after their neck and their trachea.
Why do dogs pull?
To get to whatever is out ahead: Great smells, other dogs, open spaces, fun and adventure. Pulling gets dogs to what they want faster. As a strategy, it works. This is why it is best to teach dogs loose-leash walking as early as possible. Pulling is rewarding to the dog, so the more he does it, the harder it is for him to give it up. If you have an expert puller, however, don’t despair. Any dog can be taught loose-leash walking.
When do I start?
Training your Puppy to Walk on Lead – without Pulling!
Step 1: Your dog learns to stand calmly next to you without pulling away.
- Load one hand with treats.
- Praise and treat when your dog is calm and/or looking at you.
- If your dog pulls away from you, don’t yank the leash and don’t reel him back in. Stand still and wait until he returns to you. If he is very distracted, call his name.
- When he comes back to you, praise and treat.
Step 2: Your dog learns to stay close to you while walking.
- With your dog standing calmly next to you, say his name and, “Let’s go.”
- Praise and treat after the first step, as long as your dog doesn’t dash forward.
- Keep walking and praise/treat every other step.
- Gradually increase the number of steps in between rewards.
- If your dog starts pulling, stop and wait until there is some slack in the leash again. Then take a step with him and reward him quickly for walking near you.
- Keep him guessing. Sometimes reward after 1 step, sometimes after 5, then again after 2, then after 7.
Let your Dog Sniff without pulling
Disclaimer: Cooper and Kids will not be liable for anything that happens to you, your dog or children by following the advice and tips in this article. If you have real concerns or worries about your dog and/or safety of your children, please seek out a professional to come and assess the situation asap.