A dog pulling on leash is a definite signal that they believe they are running the show and that you’re only there to follow their lead. As a result, they’ll often pay attention to squirrels, other dogs, new smells, bicycles, kids on skateboards…basically everything else that’s going on around him instead of you.
This is a very common issue, but it’s also very easy to fix.
If at all possible, you should really try and watch videos of experienced trainers and watch what they do so you can repeat their techniques.
We’ll cover more on this in just a bit.
First, let’s go over three extremely easy fixes for your dog pulling on leash problem.
1. The Pack Leader Harness. One of the problems with just about every dog collar on the market is that they actually encourage your dog to pull harder, rather than working with his natural instinct to keep him calm and by your side.
Instead of a typical collar, a choke chain, or a prong collar, try a different method such as a Pack Leader Harness. This device fits around your dog’s body and applies pressure when you tug on the leash exactly where it needs to be to refocus your dog’s attention back on you.
On the Internet, this type of harness is very easy to find. If you do a quick search on Google you should find places that sell it.
2. Learn what you can about training with a clicker. Clickers are a great tool, kind of like the duct tape of dog training tools. It can really help you in training your dog to avoid a whole host of unwanted behaviors, so it’s worth considering learning how to use one.
In a nutshell, the way it works is that you train your dog to expect a reward whenever he hears the sound of a click. After you plant this expectation in your dog’s mind, he’ll instinctively start to focus his attention on you as soon as he hears the clicker sound.
We can’t cover everything there is to know about using a clicker for training here, but there are plenty of resources and even entire books written on the subject that are easy to find.
When correcting leash pulling, a clicker is useful because you can use it to stop a dog who is focusing on something other than you, and redirect that energy back to you, his handler.
3. Food rewards. Any dog owner knows the power of the food treat to mold a dog’s behavior. When using treats to stop a dog’s leash pulling problem, what you basically want to do is introduce the food to your dog, and then let the dog use his naturally powerful sense of smell to direct his attention and his movements in the direction you want.
It’s obviously a lot simpler if you can just watch this in action, so let’s get to that now.
It’s a fairly easy process to stop your dog from pulling on his leash. I’ve been on a lot of TV programs where I’ve shown dog owners these very same techniques, so I’d like to show you a complete video that reveals exactly how to do this in less than half an hour.
First, check out this dog pulling on leash video on my website, where you’ll find a full video that teaches you how to use a pack leader harness, a clicker, or food rewards (or all three) to teach your dog to walk calmly right by your side and always pay attention to what you want her to do.