My dog pulls on the leash. What can I do?

An interesting lady dog or a good smelling male dog catches the attention of your sniffer nose and - bang - suddenly your furry nose takes you out for a walk and not the other way around! That dogs pull on the leash is not uncommon and can occur in various situations.

But if your darling pulls permanently very strongly on the leash, not only your harmonious togetherness suffers, but also your shoulder and the larynx of your dog, which are quite stressed when pulling. Which tips could help you with leash training, you can find out here!

Why does my adult dog pull on the leash?

Whether your four-legged friend meets other dogs, follows a scent trail or wants to inspect the undergrowth as quickly as possible - there are many reasons why dogs pull on the leash. The fact is that our curious adventurers on four paws like to follow their natural urge and romp, explore and play to their heart's content. A collar and a dog leash that somewhat restrict their urge to move therefore feel unnatural for your four-legged friend. Nevertheless, a leash is necessary in today's society, especially in densely populated places with lots of traffic.

Sometimes, though, as a dog owner, you have to ask yourself how you can accommodate your nose on your walks. Because humans can also do their part with behaviour patterns that can encourage pulling on the leash:

  • Dull, repetitive walks: If the dog owner sees the walks as a quick task to be worked off the to-do list, your furry nose will also notice this. Many four-legged friends get bored with short, identical routes without any new stimuli - by pulling on the leash, your dog may be showing you that he wants to move on quickly in order to explore a new area.
  • Lack of mental exercise or games: Without mental exercise in everyday life, your four-legged friend will be looking for a challenge himself. However, if you regularly give your furry nose a mental workout in everyday life, for example through man trailing or obedience, the urge for mental distraction should not be quite so great.
  • Low speed for fast dogs: Especially fast dog breeds wants to achieve with the pulling that their dog owners increase the speed when walking. Dogs notice when their mistress or master walks faster as soon as they pull on the leash. This way, your sniffer can learn that pulling becomes a necessity to keep things moving along briskly.

Our tip: Make everyday life with your furry nose as varied as possible! Instead of seeing the walk as a kind of duty, a change of perspective is worthwhile, because for your furry nose a walk with you is the absolute highlight. Here she can interact with her fellow animals, experience an adventure together with her favourite person and relieve stress.

Getting the dog out of the habit of pulling on the leash: Exercises

It is important that you stop pulling in dog training as early as possible - preferably as a puppy. But for many dog owners this is not possible, for example if they have adopted a small furry nose from the shelter.

With a command like "by foot" you cannot train the pulling, because this communicates to your dog that he should walk strictly next to the leg of his owner. For a large walk, the command requires a lot of concentration, so commands are unsuitable to permanently wean your dog off the strong pulling on the leash.

Rather, try the following 3 exercises and tips to show your nose that pulling on the leash is not successful.

  1. Associate the leash with positive feelings: Use a well-fitting dog harness that does not pinch and relieves the sensitive neck of your furry nose. Because if the collar or harness does not fit well, your four-legged friend could already harbour an abomination against the leash.
  2. Act sovereign: Stop as soon as your four-legged friend pulls on the leash and do not pay any attention to him. It's best if you look in a completely different direction. When your dog stops pulling, call him to you and shower him with lots of praise!
  3. Change the direction: With this training method, you abruptly go in the other direction as soon as your four-legged friend pulls on the leash while walking. Note that you only pull on the leash, but do not tug your pet. Repeat the change of direction when he pulls on the leash again.

Dog pulls on the leash: Aid

Dominance on the part of you as the owner or even the use of a prong collar are not suitable methods to train your furry nose not to pull. Instead, work with loving consistency and patience so that you can reach your goal step by step. These tools can also help you:

  • Treat: To ensure that relaxed leash walking works, always have a treat ready to reward your pet for desired behavior.
  • Much praise: Also, lots of praise and caresses signal to your furry nose that her behavior is good and she should repeat it.
  • Clicker: Try a clicker, like the ones used in dog sports or training, instead of scolding or roughly tugging on the leash. You can easily reward desired behavior with a click.

Conclusion: Pay attention to your pet's state of mind and body language during training. If your nose is stressed or restless, you should postpone the training to another day. But keep at it! Because a good leash walk with your furry nose is an investment you won't regret. You can expect relaxed walks without annoying pulls on the leash and a joint success, which ultimately strengthens the relationship between you and your four-legged friend.

How was your way to leash walking? Share your experiences with us!

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