We all know how excited dogs gets when they hear the word “walk” but often that excitement can ruin the fun for the owner. Dog walking is a super beneficial exercise for both the owner and the dog however, sometimes you don’t feel like being dragged behind an over-excited animal for half an hour. Lead pulling is not only a bother for the owner but it also causes major discomfort for the pet through the consistent restraint and jerking around their necks.
While it’s not easy to teach dogs how to be less excited, there are several options to fix the issue.
If the dog is too large or you feel as though they are not dealing well with the neck lead then switch to a chest harness. This gives you more control over the dog as the restraint is evenly spread around their body rather than directed in one spot. If the chest harness clips on the front then changing the direction of the dog when necessary becomes a much simpler task. It will also stop the wheezing or coughing sounds that come from dogs who pull on neck leads and will allow the owner to easily train the dog without discomfort.
Teach your dog that lead pulling will not be rewarded. If they begin to tug against the lead then stand still until they calm down and return to you. Only start walking again once they are back where they should be. Don’t forget to reward good behaviour as well. If your dog has had a perfect walk then make sure to treat them when you get home so they know what they should be doing all the time.
You should also use a shorter lead for better control as that will force them closer to your body throughout the walk. Staying away from retractable leads is also a smart idea especially when dealing with medium or large dogs. These leads are way too long and are known to be unreliable, it’s better to have full control over your dog at all times especially if you find yourself walking by heavy traffic areas or near other dogs.
Allow your dog to stop and sniff occasionally but try to keep up a brisk pace so they are not stopping every couple of metres. If you don’t allow your dog to smell anything then there is no point taking them out of the house however, restricting how often they stop is beneficial. If you are walking at a fast pace they will be happy to keep up with you.
If you still find your dog is causing you trouble then possibly look into professional dog training. An alternative is to take them to an off-lead area and allow them to run around without restriction as their exercise instead of daily walks.