You might have heard that your dog is pulling the leash because they want to show you that they're the “alpha” of the pack. That's an old myth that is just not true, according to experts nowadays; dogs are not trying to continually show us who's the leader and take over the world - although maybe the world would be quite brilliant if dogs were in charge.
But no, the reason is slightly more straightforward than that – your dog is pulling because you're walking too slow! Yep, you got it right, you might think that you are in good shape and keeping up a brisk pace – but that's still nothing in comparison to your dog's natural speed.
The outdoor walks are the highlight of the day for your best friend, and therefore they will naturally be very excited about it and in a constant hurry to keep on exploring.
But here we are, unfortunately for your dog, he or she is stuck with you hanging on to a leash.
You both have to learn to have to make this work together, so it'll be enjoyable for everyone, right? Down below are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
Make it a routine that when you walk together, the leash hangs slightly slack between you and isn't stretched out. However, whenever your dog pulls, stop to show your dog that it's not okay. Do this every time it tugs to teach your dog that pulling is not a successful method of moving forward.
Make Time for Rest
To truly soak up everything you're teaching it, your dog will need some time to rest as well - this will make a big difference for your dog when it's time for leash training.
One trick is to use a collar and a leash when it's time for the actual training, i.e., Practicing walking with a lead. The rest of the time, use a harness so that both of you can have a pause in the training.
Make Sure to Keep the Walk Interesting
So, the biggest reason your dog is pulling is that it's too excited?
Make sure that your walks are exciting enough! Keep your dog occupied with toys and treats to let your dog know that when it's around, you fun things are happening. You can also try new roads and routes; don't just stick to the same old path - explore!
Don't Use a Choke Leash
Do your dog a favor and skip the choke leash. Some people use it in the hope that it'll make their dog stop pulling on the rope, but funnily enough, it has the opposite effect. The should be obvious; if someone strangled you every time you went for a walk – would you be happy to stay with that person? It actually makes the dog trying to pull away from what's bothering them, in this case, the choke leash.
The Earlier You Start, the Easier It'll Be
Try to start as early as possible when training your dog. You can begin as soon as 14 weeks old, and the earlier you start, the faster your pup will learn that it is entirely possible for you both to co-exist on a nice walk together!