When it comes to the pulling on the lead, it’s an obvious A for effort and enthusiasm. But the reason why they act like they have 2 minutes to make the park before it closes forever might blow your mind. They think you started it! That’s right, in their mind, your pulling on the lead causes them to pull forward even harder as a way of staying balanced and not falling over.
But no matter who started it, there are a couple of surprisingly easy ways to fix it.
Step 1: The first of all, when you’re out walking and the pulling begins, just stop. Seriously. They need to realise the pulling doesn’t get them to the park quicker.
Step 2: Then as the tension comes off the lead and they come closer to you, give a small piece of a treat (breaking pieces off the School Snacks treats work well here).
Step 3: Then slowly start walking again. The moment they start pulling again, stop again. And then reward again…once the tension comes off the lead. Be patient here. They will get it.
Step 4: Repeat this again and again. Throwing in some changes of direction they weren’t expecting can also help to ensure that you’re ultimately in charge of the direction and the speed you walk. Rather than them pulling you the way they think you need to go.
Your ultimate goal is for just the loose pressure of the lead to be the only steering wheel and accelerator you need…
Oh and the type of walking gear you’re using can also have an impact. Dogs will typically pull more if they’re just in a collar…and if it’s too loose. A harness can distribute the weight more evenly and the Halti collar can also help with control.
So there you have it. Free and easy walking IS possible. Just imagine getting to the park without that intense strain and casual shoulder dislocation. The dream is alive!