Dogs love walks. It's one of the fundamental truths of our world. And with all the interesting smells and friendly people they meet on their walks, who can blame them?
And we love giving our dogs walks, don't we? But sometimes, our dogs like walks a little too much. They pull hard on the leash, which makes it a little less fun for everyone. They're harder to control, and all that stress on their necks poses serious health risks.
Leash pulling doesn't have to be a part of your daily walk. Here are five ways you can stop leash pulling and make your walks fun again.
It can be hard to control a dog that's just so excited to be outside. And, a dog on a walk is an excited dog. My dog can't even sit down when the leash comes out. Opening the door for a dog like that is a surefire way to get a pulling dog.
Teach your dog to be patient. Don't let him outside until he's calmed down. A calm dog is a much better walking companion, so your walks will be more fun for everyone.
It can seem like your dog is an endless ball of energy, but I promise: his reserves will eventually run out.
If your dog is too energetic on his walks, have a play session beforehand to tire him out. Pull out his favorite toy and go nuts. When he's already a little tired, his extra energy won't manifest in leash pulling.
When your dog pulls you where he wants to go, do you follow him? It's very likely that your dog has learned that pulling on the leash gets him what he wants.
If you want to stop leash pulling, you need to train your dog to unlearn this. When your dog pulls, come to a complete stop.
Don't start moving again until he stops pulling on the leash. This will teach your dog that pulling isn't how he gets where he wants. If it doesn't work, he'll stop doing it.
If you've tried the previous step and your dog hasn't stopped pulling, you might have to get mean.
Instead of stopping when your dog pulls, try turning around and walking in the other direction. This should drive home the message loud and clear.
Some dogs are stubborn. No matter how much time you've spent teaching them that leash pulling is counterproductive, they just keep on pullin'. Or, maybe your dog is just too strong and drags you around.
There's no shame in relying on a harness to help. There are a number of harnesses on the market that make it easier to control your dog. Some relieve pressure to the neck, while others make it harder for a dog to pull on the leash.
Check out our harness review guide to find the right harness for your furry friend.