Who's Pulling The Leash, You Or Your Dog?

Hopefully no one is pulling the leash.
The ideal situation is that you and your
dog are equally enjoying the walk and
neither is pulling and tugging the other
in any certain direction.

If your dog tends to be pulling you off
into its own direction a large amount
of the time you are walking, you can
train the dog to stop doing this. What's
interesting is that you have actually
been training the dog to do this behavior
not only by allowing it but by supporting
it without realizing it.

There are various reasons that cause a
dog to automatically pull on the leash.
For example, when a beagle sees a squirrel
or other animal scurry quickly across
in front of him, he is going to go berzerk.
You can count on that. So be ready to hold
on strongly if you plan to keep the beagle
in tow in a situation like this.

Just holding the dog in tow is not enough,
though, since this will reinforce the dog's
desire to pull. Think of it as a training
opportunity! To use it as a training
opportunity, you will need to know exactly
how you are going to train.

Another example of the dog pulling on the
leash is when a dog wants to sniff out an
area, he will automatically go to the area
with no thought of you who are on the other
end of his leash.

Expert trainers have techniques to keep
a dog focused in the direction of your
choice. You want to take care not to
reward the dog when he goes off your
chosen path and expects you to go with
him. Since it takes you by surprise,
you may inadvertently reward him by
following him, impulsively reacting to
his sudden behavior.

Now you may take a look at what you are
doing that is rewarding this behavior.
You say, "I'm not rewarding him! I don't
give him a treat for doing this." This
is the time to consider what a dog
considers a reward, then.

To a dog a reward is when you give him
something which brings him happiness
whether you meant it as a reward or not.
As you know, treats are not the only
thing that brings happiness in a dog's
life. Consider that you are rewarding
the dog when he is allowed to pull you
off course at his whim.

Any dog can be trained to stop pulling
on the leash. There are no limits as to
age or how long the dog has been allowed
to pull on the leash. From what you
have read here and with some patience,
focus and repetition you can train your
dog to stop pulling on the leash.

The bad news is that this training takes
some education. The good news is that
this education is available and the
training is possible for anyone who
can physically hold the dog on a leash.

And more good news: there is no pain
or punishment involved at all, neither
for you nor for your dog! An expert
trainer can give you some basic steps
to getting the results you want by
following a specified formula.

About the Author

Mogens Elliasen of K9joy is an expert trainer with
30+ years of experience and author of the fabulous
resource at http://www.PullingOnTheLeash.com.

Juanita Bellavance, the author of this article can be
contacted at http://www.mycopywritingspecialist.com