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How to stop my dog pulling on the lead

I am commonly asked which type of collar or training device should I use to stop my dog from pulling? In short, there are hundreds of different devices and gizmos which are designed to help aid you in reducing your dog from pulling, some of which are better than others. Without proper training and instruction some of these will only provide short term results at best.

First let’s start with why dogs pull on the leash; there are a multitude of reasons as to why this occurs, a few of which I will list below-

  • Most dogs learn from an early age that pulling on the leash gets them to where they want to go faster, with the owners dragging behind.
  • A lot of owners inadvertently cause a great deal of excitement in their dogs by giving lots of pre walk cues- such as excitedly asking their dogs on multiple occasions “Are you ready for your walkies”.
  • Clipping on their dogs lead whilst they are in an overly excited state of mind, jumping up and whining. By clipping on the lead and going out the front door you are rewarding this behaviour.
  • By allowing dogs to pull from pillar to post, jumping on people and greeting dogs all on a tight leash. The dog quickly learns that if it wants to greet people and other dogs pulling on the leash is the only way to get there.

All of the reasons above, are by no means fault of the dog. These all occur because we allow them. In my experience, although many of the tools and training equipment available will aid in reducing your dog’s pulling on the leash, none of them are a substitute for time, commitment and most importantly good quality training.

Teaching your dog how to walk on a leash can be taught in many ways and should be done under the guidance of a qualified trainer to ensure you don’t imprint or teach bad behaviour. For your viewing please enjoy the video I have attached of teaching a young Old English Sheepdog puppy how to walk on a loose leash at a recent puppy school training session.

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