Most people who own a dog know that some dogs love nothing more but to pull on the lead. There are always examples of people who are being taken out for a walk by their dog, instead of the other way around! Dog harnesses are said to help with this, but is this true and, if so, how do they work?
Understanding Dog Pulling
There are two reasons as to why a dog may pull on their lead:
- They are really excited about going for a walk.
- It gives them a sense of equilibrium.
Either way, it is a behavior that must be corrected, as a pulling dog is a dog out of control.
How to Stop a Dog from Pulling
Harnesses are a perfect solution for pulling dogs. They usually have three attachment points, so that you can walk your dog, train your dog, and keep your dog safe in a car. The front part is very important, because this is what will correct your dog from side to side, rather than front to back as with a normal collar and lead. Hence, the need to create an equilibrium is removed.
It takes a lot of time and patients to train a dog to walk properly, particularly if they have pulled for a long time. Plus, the bigger your dog, the harder it will be. You must reward your dog whenever they are doing something right, while at the same time correcting them whenever they are doing something wrong. The harness will help you to stop your dog from pulling, but there are a few other things you can do to make it work for you even more. Those include:
- Make sure you train your dog when there are few distractions, so that they can concentrate on behaving properly.
- Don’t pull hard on the harness. Rather, give firm, snappy commands.
- Keep a short leash, but don’t keep it too tight.
- Be committed and don’t allow your dog to pull you anymore.
- Always reward your dog for anything good that they do, be that through a treat or an empathic “good dog!”.
- Listen to your dog and find something that works for them.
If you were to listen to the dog training gurus, what is required to stop your dog from pulling is to make a full stop yourself every time the dog pulls, before turning around and walking back in the opposite direction. While this may work on some dogs, it won’t on all of them, and you will need to spend hours and hours walking with your dog just to get this message across. This is why it is so important to also get to know your dog, and find out what does and does not work for them. Remember, as well, that a dog’s love is ALWAYS through their stomach, so treats will do the trick. However, you do also have to watch your dog’s weight, so don’t over-do it.