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Why Your Dog Still Pulls On Walks

We’ve all been there. You know, that feeling you get when it seems like your dog is going to pull your arm out of the socket while you’re on walks. You’ve tried some tips, you’ve tried the tricks and it never sticks. And although it happens to almost every pet parent at some time, it doesn’t have to. We have some excellent reasons why your dog still pulls while walking.

You missed some important steps in training

Training doesn’t just happen on the walk. You need to train while in the home as well. Help your dog learn that staying beside you while walking around a room (off leash) is not only fun, but a great learning experience. You want the dog to choose to be close to you. Give them treats freely as they walk close to you and it will pay off when you move to leash walking.

There are too many “no’s”

It is better to hear what is expected of you rather than hearing “no, no” every time you misstep. Verbalize what you want from your dog. Tell them to stay by your side and reward them for it with praise and treats. When your dog knows what behavior you desire from them, it goes a long way in stopping the behavior that you do not want to see.

They need more encouragement

In general, for every negative comment it takes 5 positive comments to counteract it. That’s why it’s encouragement is key when training your dog. Just like us humans, your dog thrives on positive feedback.

You are using the wrong leash or collar

It’s entirely possible that you’re using the wrong equipment for your dog. Or you may want to try different types of no-pull harnesses that can help them learn how not to pull. If you are not sure if you’re using the right equipment, check out this list from the American Kennel Club. Avoid high neck collars that pinch or pull the neck. All dogs have a much more sensitive neck than we do; some breeds with long thinner necks (like Italian Greyhounds) and are very susceptible to injury from tight or high neck collars. At the end of the day, the best collar is what works best for your pup.

The walks are being rushed

We all have busy days and we want to make sure that our dogs are getting the most exercise they can during the walk. However, there are TONS of smells they are dying to check up on. This can easily lead your dog to pull you along from one smell to another in fear for missing out on one of them. Letting them roam and smell for the first few minutes can help ease them into a faster pace. Give them visual cues as you move on to the next smell, making it easier to follow your lead. You can also try working with a trainer to teach your dog when it’s okay to sniff and when to “heel” so they know the difference between the two. 

Pet parents and pets alike want our time walking together to be enjoyable. Which usually is not the case if you dog still pulls on the leash during walks. These tips should seal the deal for your future walks, making your time together pleasant for you both (and your shoulder too)!  If you are still having trouble, contact us and we’ll walk your dog for you. Visit our dog walking page for more information.