Does your dog pull when he walks on leash?
"Help! My dog pulls the lead all the time! How can I stop it?" is perhaps one of the most common questions you see in any dog training related forums or groups of social media. How about your dog? Does your dog walk nicely on a loose leash?
If you have trouble walking your dog on leash, you may have been advised to stop or turn when the leash is tight. In fact that is one of the most effective training methods to teach a dog not to pull the lead. However, some of you may have found that those techniques are not working well for your dog. Have you thought about why they aren't?
Why does your dog pull the lead?
If your dog simply doesn't know how to walk on a loose leash, "Stop or turn when the leash is tight" is a very effective method to teach him not to pull. However, if your dog can walk on a loose leash at home but cannot do it on their walks, there may be other issues that you need to address first.
If your dog pulls simply because he cannot ignore things or smells around him, what your dog needs is so-called "focus training" or "training with distractions". Start your training in a location with few or no distractions, such as your living room. Then, you can move your training location to your backyard, your front yard, a quiet location with few other dogs or people, a location with easy distractions, and so on. As dogs learn from successful experiences, don't start your training in a location full of distractions. You need to increase the level of distractions little by little.
However, among dogs who tend to pull a lot, there are certain types of dogs who require a different training approach. They are nervous, anxious, or fearful dogs. In fact a big percentage of leash pullers are these types of dogs who just cannot help surveying the environment because they feel insecure, and they need a little more help to improve their confidence so that they can actually think about what they are doing. I hope to share some ideas for improving our dogs' confidence in a future issue of our newsletter.
If you need help with your dog's leash pulling, feel free to contact us! We are happy to help!!!