I don’t know about you, but I really do not like to walk dogs that pull on leash. I find that when this happens the walk just lost its relaxing quality. Perhaps other people do not feel the same about their dogs walking on a loose leash. Dogs pulling on a leash is so ubiquitous that I joke with myself that I will pay every person that I see walking with a dog on a loose leash. “I can do this,” I tell myself, because I will not be making a big investment…
So why exactly do dogs pull on leash?
There are several factors that contribute to this behavior. I am listing them here and not necessarily in order of importance.
1. Not pulling on leash is not part of dog’s natural (read genetic) make-up. There is no reason in their natural state not to pull, because they are no leashes stopping them
2. Restrain of any kind is aversive for animals in most circumstances. This goes back to having an opportunity to flee should they feel threatened.
3. Their center of gravity is just behind their front legs – so they are kind of already propelled forward.
4. Naturally they think that running or walking fast will get them where they want to go – who can blame them, right? See all the points above!
5. Okay, here is where you come in: NOBODY has taught them that walking on a loose leash pays big time, pulling stops the fun and it will take longer to get “there”. Another reason on the same vein as not being taught what to do is that someone (perhaps even one person) allows them to pull some of the time when on leash. Yep, even one person allowing some pulling will do the trick to teach your pup that pulling is a-okay. (sigh!)
Are you panicking already? Now, the truth is that while it is actually LOTS of work in the form of consistency and many, many repetitions of the dog walking without pulling, you can teach dogs not to pull.
If you are ready to take the plunge because you are motivated, tired of being jerked around, recovering from a dislocated shoulder, courtesy of your exuberant pup’s pulling habits I must congratulate you. Join my upcoming class on Loose Leash Walking which starts on Sep 4th.
We will practice different strategies to teach your dog that walking nicely on a leash pays big dividends during this one-hour workshop. Sign up or learn more here: https://chacodogtraining.com/event/walking-on-a-loose-leash/?instance_id=5675