Updated: Dec 6, 2020
Learn to control your dog on the lead for a pleasurable walk for you both.
When a dog pulls on the lead it can really ruin a walk, it sucks all the relaxation and bonding aspects out of a walk with your companion. Go out and by a slip lead, a lead that doesn’t attach to a collar and place it very high up the dog’s neck, right behind their ears and under their jaw. This will give you the most control over your dog. By having a lead that clips to a collar you are battling with the strongest part of your dog’s body and you aren’t going to win. Do not use a harness. What were harness’s made for? To enable strong dogs to pull heavy things without hurting themselves but giving them a great stance and having them use the base of their necks and shoulders which are the strongest parts of the body. So if your dog pulls don’t help it out by giving it a harness. Please don’t use a Halti, the most important part of a dog face and interaction with the world is its nose, don’t restrict his smelling experience by redirecting his nose and shutting his eyes every time he is walking. A Halti may be the easiest thing for you but the slip lead is just as easy, whilst allowing him to follow his nose and interpret the world though his nose. Remember your dog has been living in your environment inside all day and now this time outside is his time to be a dog so give him the means to get the most out of his walk with you!
When using a slip lead place it where I have demonstrated in the photo and just do sharp checks every time he pulls. Do not pull to the side or back. Pulling to the side can teach a dog to avoid oncoming things which we don’t want to encourage, pulling back, can make the lead slip down the neck reducing control and can invite your dog to pull against you and react in a defensive way. So, pull up and be quick with it so the second the dog stops pulling the lead will release and reward the dog for healing. Your dog will learn fast this way as dogs learn from associations and slips leads reinforce associations for you without you really having to do much. By pulling up, you raise your dog’s head and neck which helps your dog adopt a confident stance when approaching oncoming situations. You can chose to accompany the check with a verbal command, it is not necessary but can help when teaching your dog to heel without a lead.
If you need help then Dogtor Grace is at hand, take a look at the training plans for either online or in person and we will be sure to give exactly what you need to get the behaviour you want!