Is Your Lab Walking You? Train Your Dog to Stop Pulling On The Leash
Trying to walk a dog that is pulling you all over the place can be very frustrating, and can leave you with a pretty sore shoulder by the end of it… Or sore palms from trying to grip the leash! Ouch! Leash training is best trained from the beginning, as a puppy, while they are still small and easy to manipulate. However, some acquire their Labrador at an older age, and some are dealing with bad habits learned as a pup. If you find yourself being dragged around the block, this post is for you!
Puppy Tip. The first mistake most new puppy owners make is putting the leash on their pup and immediately dragging them all over the place. And now you have completely soured them to it. Let your puppy walk around with a loose leash in a safe area so they can get used to the feeling of being on the lead. Let them play with it! Then as you are encouraging your pup to walk with you on the leash, be sure to use lots of praise and verbal encouragement to get them to walk along side you. Try holding a treat out in front as you are walking to encourage them to move yet stay NEAR to you.
Pulling on the leash is a fight for control. Fido wants to go where he wants–to investigate some interesting smell or look at the nearest–Squirrel!!! He wants to go sniff that fire hydrant (or that Poodle’s butt), and meet that little cute Boxer over at the playground, or he just wants to go at a faster pace than you.
So what do you do to show him that YOU are, in fact, the one in control? What do you do when he pulls on his leash?
You STOP. Stop right in your tracks. Wait for him to turn around and look at you like, “Dude what’s the hold up?” Then ask him to come sit next to you. He may do it begrudgingly at first. After she obeys this command and sits nicely next to you for a minute, proceed with your walk. Each and EVERY time your dog pulls on the leash, repeat this. This teaches him that when he pulls on the leash, the walk stops. That’s NO fun! Your walks may be pretty stop and go, and a bit annoying, for a little while… but if you’re patient and consistent, it WILL work.
Another approach would be to stop, let your dog get to the end of the leash, then, plant both of your feet, squat, and pull back. It is a little uncomfortable, but they will learn they they sure want to keep a little bit of of a loose lead between you and him–or else–OUCH!. This is better taught when you are training a larger dog with bad habits on a leash.