Raise your hand right now if you’ve got a sore arm or shoulder because your dog won’t stop pulling on their leash. Actually, if you’re already hurting you probably don’t want to do that, but keep reading and together we’ll learn how to put an end to it!
So, you’re probably saying: “why is it me? Why my dog?” You’ve seen so many dog owners in your area happily walking along with their pup, enjoying the fresh air together with no struggling or pulling. “Why can’t that be us?”
It can! You just need to learn how to teach your dog to walk by your side without pulling once and then you’ll be able to head out and enjoy a pleasant walk with your dog whenever you want!
And the great thing is that it’s not even a complicated problem to correct. Like anything, it will take some time before you and your four-legged friend have it mastered, and some dogs will learn faster than others.
Sometimes, you will get a quick turnaround in like 5 minutes, as you’ll see in this demonstration video from Doggy Dan:
(If you found the above video helpful, Dan has some more free videos you can take a look at by clicking here.)
More often, though, teaching your dog not to pull on their leash will take more time. Let’s get started by talking about…
Key mistakes people make when walking their dog
As I said earlier, there’s lots and lots of tricks to getting your dog to walk on their leash beside you. And we all know that whether they’re a huge Great Dane or an adorable little Yorkie, some dogs are very very dominant, meaning you’ll need all the tricks in the book.
The most important thing you’ll want to remember is to keep your dog calm. If your dog is revved up like they’re ready to shoot out of a cannon when you’re both about to head out the door, then obviously going a pleasant walk is going to be difficult.
“But, how do I calm them down?” Trust me, you’d be unusual if you weren’t lost when it comes to that question. But we’re going to fix that.
How to calm your dog
Think about what happens when you’re getting ready to go out on a walk. Just pulling out the leash brings them right to attention, with their tail wagging, and probably lots of spinning around for no particular reason. Then you put the leash on and your dog is even more excited!
Why is that? Because you are rewarding their overly excited behavior by placing the leash on them. Naturally, their behavior will only become more and more extreme.
You head out the door and the same thing continues. They’re dragging you down the front steps, pulling harder and harder. By the time they start to approach the actual path your four-legged friend is practically about to burst!
Here’s what to do: next time you go out on a walk, make sure to be patient and take your time. Pick up the leash but do nothing until your dog calms back down. Go on with whatever you were doing and ignore your dog until they calm down. If they don’t, put the leash away.
This could take some time — from a few attempts to a more extended period — but eventually your dog will learn to calm down. Once they are totally relaxed and have calmed down, you can go ahead and try to put the leash on.
You’ll repeat this process again as you head out towards your walking path. Stop and wait calmly with your dog still on the leash until they have calmed down, at which point you can continue. If not, take the leash back off and try it again in 5 minutes or so.
It might seem like you’re getting nowhere, but think of it this way: either spend a little time getting this sorted out now or spend the next 10 years getting dragged around the streets. This issue isn’t going to just go away.
Change your direction
Once you’re just about to head out, pause for a moment and see which way your dog is wanting to head. If they want to go left, then you should turn right. Take a step in the direction opposite what your dog wants and keep doing so until your dog has noticed.
If you’re already on the path and your dog begins pulling, then simply change direction and head the other way. Do this right away when your dog begins trying to lead, don’t wait until they’re already out ahead of you on the path. As soon as they take a step in the wrong direction, you take one heading the opposite way.
By changing direction as soon as your dog tries to take charge, your dog will always end up behind you. And it will take some time, but eventually your dog will understand.
The pack leader stays in the front
On a walk, the pack leader will always lead from the front. So if you do not establish yourself as your dog’s pack leader, they are always going to fight you for that spot up front.
It really is as simple as that. You can’t get around this, especially if your dog is particularly strong and determined. Learning to become your dog’s pack leader is hugely important, and the basis of Doggy Dan’s world-renowned training method.
Dan has developed 5 Golden Rules that when followed daily help you become your dog’s pack leader — all in a calm and gentle way. On his website, The Online Dog Trainer, he makes it clear that before any progress can be made you must become pack leader using these 5 rules.
It really is a crucial step in solving pretty much any dog behavioral issue you’re going to come across.
How to lead your dog
There are many other helpful things to learn, like when it is okay to give a gentle tug on the leash and when it’s okay to let your dog have a little freedom to sniff and pee where they want.
If you’d like to learn these things and lots more, I highly recommend visiting Dan’s site The Online Dog Trainer where he has more than 250 videos to teach you everything you need to know.
Right now, he has 7 incredibly helpful videos on how to walk your dog correctly which cover ever possibly issue and question that might pop up for you. There’s even a 30-minute audio so you can listen while you’re out on your walk!
Going out on a pleasant walk is one of the greatest joys of having a dog. It’s time to learn how to no longer make your walks a struggle! You’ll be happier, and your dog will be too. Start watching Dan’s free video series now by clicking here!
P.S. Make sure to pin this so you can watch the video again when needed! Good luck!! 🙂