Although most dogs naturally walk quietly, they must be trained to do so. You should also keep in mind that when a dog is excited about an activity, such as going outside, it is normal for him to want to run. Therefore, you should not take this as a bad behavior, but patiently teach him that you want something else from him.
Teaching your dog not to pull on their leash while walking is key to being able to enjoy walks with them. Many dog owners have trouble understanding why their dogs pull on the leash. In this article, a dog trainer explains how to teach this exercise to your dog. That way, you can both enjoy pleasant walks together.
Tips before taking your dog out for a walk
Before leaving the house, it's helpful to play with your dog inside for a while so they'll be more tired and less anxious when it's time to go out. Try throwing a ball or toy for them to catch a few times.
Then it's time to put him on a leash; if your dog starts jumping and barking, stay still and quiet until he has calmed down. It is important that he understands that he must be still so that when he goes out his mind will be more relaxed. Repeat this as many times as necessary before hooking the leash and opening the door.
Once we go out in the street...
There are different methods to control a dog once it is in the street, depending on the dog's size and behavior. The best way to train a dog is to use treats. Give the dog a treat every 3 or 4 steps while walking, using small, soft treats that are easy to swallow. Doing this will help the dog focus on you instead of looking around.
Don't forget to congratulate your dog and give him a cuddle when he does something you've been trying to teach him. After repeating the lesson successfully for several days, you can start to space out the treats and replace them with words and petting until he gets used to walking along with you.
If your dog is already trained in basic commands, you can begin working on leash-walking etiquette. Every time your dog starts to pull ahead of you on the leash, stop abruptly and make him sit. Once he is calm, start walking again. Repeat this process if he begins pulling ahead again.
If the walk goes more or less well, instead of sitting him when he pulls, you can give him a sharp but brief tug (something that doesn't hurt him) on the leash and tell him NO. When he comes back to your side, you congratulate him and continue. With this, the dog learns that every time he pulls, you force him to stop in some way, and it takes longer to get where he wants to go. Remember that it is much more effective to give short tugs than to pull constantly, because the dog gets used to walking this way and pulls harder.
It is important that you walk at a good pace because if you go too slowly in this learning stage, it will be very difficult for the dog to slow down to follow you.
What I need to train my dog not to pull on the leash
First and foremost, the leash should be sturdy enough to resist your dog's strength, and no longer than 2 meters. Once he has learned, you can use a longer or extendable leash, but you will not have good control over your pet during training if you use one of these models.
You should also carry a supply of treats. A practical but not essential accessory is a bag to keep them that hangs around your waist.
A simple nylon collar with a buckle can be used, with the collar being high behind the nape of the neck, but not too tight. This will allow the dog to walk comfortably. For "untamed" dogs or impatient people, the Easy Walk front fastening handling harness can be used to prevent dogs from pulling.
If you want your dog to stay off leash for the entire walk, there are five additional steps you need to take:
- Change directions without warning the dog
- Work in a straight line and with changes of pace
- Don't let the dog pull on the leash on the way home
- Ask the dog not to pulling throughout the walk
- Working with distractions
- Eliminate treats
The goal of dog walking is for both you and your dog to enjoy the experience. To make this happen, adapt the following information to your dog's specific tastes and personality. Be patient with your dog during the learning process, and avoid getting angry. Remember, it will be very difficult to teach your dog anything if you are angry.
Let us know how your training went in the comments below!