Walking is great for you and your dog, but if they constantly pull against you then it can really feel like a chore. Perhaps you enviously watch those well-behaved pooches that walk to heel, but nothing will calm your sweetie down. Some breeds are naturally more energetic or strong-willed and are less suited for heel-walking, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to improve your dogs on-lead behaviour.
Here are some great tips for walking a dog that pulls.
1) Let your dog sniff
Dogs explore with their nose, so let them sniff! It stimulates their mind, which leads to a calmer pooch.
2) Tire your sweetie out
Does your dog drag you to the park and return home calm and content? A 10 minute play in the garden or living room may help them to burn off some of that excess energy before their walkies.
3) Watch your body language
Dogs can sense when you are scared, angry or worried, and it will reflect in their walking style. A confident posture will reassure your sweetie and help them to see you as a strong leader. Keep your shoulders back, take calm breaths and avoid raising your voice.
4) Learn their triggers
On-lead pulling may be a sign that your sweetie is unhappy about something. Is your dog dragging you away from a group of people because they feel threatened, or pulling you towards the tasty pile of leftovers?
Finding out their triggers will help you plan your walkies and avoid areas that may over-stimulate your pooch.
5) Reward good behaviour
Training your dog to walk to heel takes time and patience. Start in the home, away from distractions before you try heel training outdoors. If your dog pulls ahead, stop walking.
Pack plenty of tasty snacks in your Sweetie treat bag to tempt them back! They will learn that walking on a loose lead earns them a reward.
Clicker training will make your training sessions more effective.
6) Use a bungee lead
Heel training is time consuming, and a bungee lead is great for when you are in a hurry. It will give your dog 'permission to pull', and you can use a different lead/harness for training and heelwork.
Our bungee lead makes walking more comfortable for you and your dog. The strong elasticated cable acts as a shock absorber, so it will reduce the strains and pains you’ll know if you are used to walking a strong and stubborn pooch.