At first pops up the question, why do dogs pull? And we all know some of the reasons like for example:
- Dogs naturally walk at a faster pace than we do.
- Dogs, especially young dogs are happy and excited to be outdoors. This makes them want to get to as many places as possible, in as little time as possible.
- Dogs pull to get to people or other dogs that they see walking on the road. Usually they just want to examine the new people or dogs, and smell them.
- Dogs pull when they see prey because instinctually, they want to chase and catch it.
- Dogs pull when they are afraid of something and want to run away.
Contrary to what some people say, dogs do not pull because of dominance or to show their owner who is the boss… Dominance, power, and control are very human motives that we often incorrectly overlay onto normal and instinctual canine actions.
So How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling
One of the most effective ways to get a dog to slow down is to teach him the following:
The fastest way to get to where he wants to go is by slowing down and walking with you. As soon as your dog starts to pull,and the leash gets taut, just stop walking. Initially, your dog may continue to pull and may even pull harder. Just ignore him and stand still. As soon as your dog stops pulling, you can start moving forward. In this way, your dog learns that pulling = we stop moving, and not-pulling = we get to where we want to go. For this method to work, it is important to be consistent with your starts and stops. Do not let your dog pull sometimes, but not at other times. Make sure to stop every time the leash gets taut and start again once your dog has stopped pulling. In the beginning you may find yourself stopping a lot and may not get very far from your front door. But that is fine and part of the learning process. Keep going at it consistently, and your dog will quickly learn that it is in his best interest to slow down and walk together with you.