One of the most common questions we get asked here at Fetch is how do I get my dog to stop pulling on a lead? Here is some advice:
The best way to persuade your dog to walk on a loose lead is to use positive reward-based methods, such as clicker training. Instead of punishing your dog for pulling, using ineffective checking, teach them an acceptable alternative. Try rewarding him/her with a high-value food treat every time they walk on a loose lead. If he/she pulls ahead, stand still and say nothing, bracing your hands against your body to prevent further forward movement. Wait until your dog remembers that you’re on the other end of the lead and then turn away and walk off, rewarding them when they are walking beside you.
At first reward every two or three strides as they walk with you and gradually extend the distance he/she can stay with you. Each time they pull, stand still and repeat the above. Never allow your dog to get the reward of arriving where they want to be if they are pulling. It should take longer and longer to reach the park unless they can do so beside you.
Headcollars make it difficult for your dog to pull and can be used when you aren’t able to train, or if you feel you can’t hold your dog because of his size. When wearing a headcollar, your dog should be on a plain lead.
Every dog is different so this is one aspect of training that I have used many times with various dogs. There are other techniques that may suit your dog. We are always here to walk,train and be your dogs best friend!