Doggos pulling on their leash during walks are a fact of life, but they don’t have to be. That’s right, your doggo doesn’t have to end up walking you, no matter how lorg or smol your heckin excited doggo is. Let’s review some weird, but effective, ways to stop your dog from pulling on a walk.
Why Dogs Pull on the Leash
Before we can talk about how to get the dog to stop pulling on the leash, we first need to look at why the dog might be pulling on its leash.
It turns out that many of the reasons a doggo may pull on the leash fit in one equivalence class: the doggo is heckin excite and can’t wait to get moving!
- Being outside is oftentimes, the doggo’s favorite part of the day.
- A dog typically has a much faster natural walking pace than a human. We simply walk too slow for them to tolerate sometimes.
- Some doggos are bred to be pullers. It is literally in their DNA. Notably malamutes and any doggo whose breed were raised for pulling sleds (for example).
- Doggos will often pull because they can. Since they naturally move much faster than us, it is itch for them to pull on the leash til they see us at least make attempt to go faster. Just the sight of “ok doggo, I’m moving as fast as my body will let me right now”, is enough for them to be satisfied.
- The doggo may be ecstatic about exploring the other doggos around it or whatever is on the ground away from it.
- In the opposite case, the doggo may do a heckin startle, and want to scramble away from, things that may scare it. This includes, but isn’t limited to, other hoomans and other doggos. They tend to especially want to get as far away from hoomans on bikes. This has happened to me much more than I want to admit. (and I just wanted to give the good boyes and gorls pets and treats!)
- Doggo instinctively wants to resist you pulling it
“OK, now make it stop!!”
There are many tricks to making the doggo stop, ranging from inhumane and outright horrible, to godlike and super effective. Let’s look at both.
The bad ways to stop dog pulling
These are terrible ways. Don’t try them if you respect yourself and your doggo.
- Prong collars. These contraptions can dig into your doggo’s skin, and even puncture their neck. Don’t take my word for it, though. Read what the ASPCA and chapters of it have had to say about the issue.
- Choke collars. These are worse than prong collars. These can choke and strangle your doggo without you being able to do anything about it. That’s right: there’s no way to control how much a choke collar tightens around your doggo’s neck. I don’t need to state any further how bad that is.
- Shock collars. These things are atrocious. They’re so bad that your poor fur baby is likely to yelp the first time you use it. I’ve written about these extensively here.
All three of these aversive methods of getting your doggo to stop pulling have some troublesome things in common. They’re designed to punish your poor pupper, without any chance of teaching them what is right, let alone rewarding them, let alone building bond with them.
The BEST ways to walk your doggo
The best ways have the following in common:
- they are positive, rewarding techniques that reassure your doggo what is the right behavior
- they involve copious bonding with your good boye/gorl
- they do not cause fear or stress in your doggo. Fear is a terrible teacher, of hooman or doggo.
These range from techniques to change your doggo’s behavior, to techniques to change your behavior. All are guaranteed super effective.
- Don’t think of it so much as “how to get my dog to stop pulling me”, but rather “how do I get my dog to want to walk right beside me”.
- Think “backwards”. Hold the leash, walk backwards, and play game to have your doggo aim to walk back to you. They’ll want to walk back to you. Reward them when they do, both verbally and with a treat. Every good boye and gorl deserves a treat!
- Ditch the collars, especially the aversive ones, and go for the harnessses. When you use a collar, and attach leash to it, it applies force to the doggo’s neck, which the doggo will naturally, instinctively want to respond to with an equal or stronger force in the opposite direction. It’s like pushing or pulling a hooman!Harnesses, however, are made such that there is NOT this strong upsetting force acting on the doggo’s body. Check out some awesome harnesses, such as the Freedom No-Pull Harness, here.
- Exercise with your doggo beforehand. Getting in some play time will wear that anxiety to get outside and go do the stuff as soon as possible out of them, making walking with them a lot easier.
- Give the good boye a treat every time he is walking beside you. This will make him want to stay close to you.
- Use short-lead leash. This means the doggo can pull a lot less, hence won’t do it as much, especially if you follow the previous tips.
- Use your excited voice. This is sure to catch your fur kid’s attention, and get him to follow you, and not the other way around.
Dog walking: the chore that doesn’t have to be
Walking a doggo, especially a woofer, is poster child of complaining about owning a dog, especially since they can get pretty unruly and outright aggressive on the leash. But with these techniques, you can insure those annoyances will be a thing of the past!
What do you think of this list? Have any tips that work for you? Have you tried any of these and they didn’t work? Let us know in the comments.