Daily walking can quickly become overwhelming if the dog constantly rushes forward and pulls on the leash. A dog should get used to the leash as early as possible and learn to walk next to you. But you can still teach your dog to stop pulling the leash later. Read here how you can do that.
It is safe, but also time-consuming and laborious, to teach the dog to be on the leash again with stop-and-go training. To do this, proceed as follows:
As a matter of principle, always stand still without a word when the dog is tightening the leash. That irritates him. If he turns and comes up to you, reward him. If he continues, do not follow him, but stop and stop him on the leash.
If it continues, it will probably pull again and you will have to stop again. Even if it is tedious, this strategy should be persisted. Because your dog will ultimately understand that it only works if it doesn’t pull.
Use your hand to brake your dog. A palm in front of your nose clearly sets the pace. This is how you signal to your dog: Up to here and no further!
Get your dog’s attention by making himself more interesting than his surroundings. Small tasks, alternating with a ball or a rope in your hand, make being close to you more exciting than tugging (in vain).
Delicious walking on a leash makes the walk more relaxed. © shutterstock / encierro
A dog that works hard and puts excessive strain on the leash will not hold back a collar. On the contrary: it damages the larynx and the neck vertebrae. Spiked collars and stranglers should be a thing of the past anyway, because they do not teach the dog anything, but cause pain and injuries.
The flexi leash is also counterproductive because it minimizes the impact you have. Until the leash training is in place, it is best to use a harness that fits optimally and distributes the pressure on the chest.
Use treats to get your dog to walk loosely on a leash. On the side you walk your dog on, be sure to keep fragrant treats in a bag. The dog is allowed to sniff these before leash training. Then let the leash sag and lure with a tap on the bag. If the dog is on a loose leash, it has earned a reward.
Go ahead, turn around immediately if the line becomes too taut and walk in the opposite direction. Sometimes quickly, then creeping. Each time the dog begins to pull, either change direction or pace. This confuses and requires concentration from the dog. But also from you, because under no circumstances should you bend over to his change of pace or direction.
Even such a walk can be fun if you develop enough imagination. Fill every change with words: Laaaangsaaam, speed, back, forward, left around, right around, Dreeehung, and now in a circle! All of this in an encouraging voice, in no way strictly as an order, but like a game that just occurred to you.
Especially small dogs that you can keep up with will soon find a dance walk exciting and try to read the next steps with your eyes. As a reward, there is unlimited free run or a sniffing round, in which your dog can determine the breaks.
If your dog pulls on the leash again despite the training, you should not be put off. If you stick to your strategy consistently, your dog will learn that there is no other way for him than to walk on a loose leash. Because only then is there a sense of achievement for him, in the form of a praise or a reward. Give him a dog-friendly pace as soon as he understands.
You should adapt the training time to the age of your dog so that it does not become overtired. Then he should be allowed to let off steam or play with conspecifics.