Nowadays, it is rare to even see a dog owner that walks their dog without difficulty. You might have observed that most people are being pulled by their dogs while they have those outstretched arms and stumbling bodies at almost every step.
As the dogs drag them, you might even hear them say “my dog is very eager to go to the park” with a smiling face.
Let us first review on why we get a dog. It is to have a companion, right? That is what most people would answer when asked with that question. If you have a dog as a companion, then is it very “companionly” to walk like that? The answer is no.
It is much more enjoyable and rewarding to walk hand-in-hand or in the case with your dog, side-by-side. You and your dog should be able to reach this level of companionship, and both of you deserve it.
Training your dog should start from being a puppy
Many people don’t have the ample knowledge and persistence to train their dogs in puppy age. Once your puppy has grown into a mature adult, it will now be more difficult to train it.
Given the chance to train your dog to stay by your side while walking, you should take it immediately.
Most people would be glad to see their puppy run and pull along with their leash, which gets you to follow afterwards. Your good intentions to follow your puppy and somehow make him feel that you want him to go to places, this is wrong.
Your puppy will learn from now on that whenever he pulls, you follow. If he pulls harder, you will follow faster. The companionship between you and your puppy could very well be lost.
8 Basic Steps To Make Your Dog Walk With You
1. Use a long lead
Using a long leash of about 2m is ideal for this training. You might also want to add some body harness or a proper collar for your dog’s comfort. Try to pick a good, long-lasting leash that he would be able to recognize easily that it’s for walking time.
2. Stand still
Before starting to walk, you should stand still first. Let your dog go and pull the end of the leash. At the beginning, your dog might stay first for a while if you are just standing still.
Once you have started to step your first foot, some dogs might immediately run off and start walking away to pull from the end of the leash.
This might make another bad impression in your dog’s mind and disrupt his training. If this happens, make sure to stop and stand still and let him pull and pull.
3. Hold the leash handle close to your hips
This is to keep your hands that are holding the lead close to your hip, and you may even have to tuck your thumb into the belt. This is to add support and grip to the leash.
If you are standing still, this is the step that should be done after. Once the dog goes at the end of the leash, he might pull harder and harder.
Staying at this posture would allow you to fix your position and make it more stable so you would not fall over. Be firm and steady and let your dog observe you.
This waiting game is fairly short, actually. You would have to wait until the leash relaxes for a bit. You will be able to spot this easily if you are observant.
Most of the time, your dog will stop and come back to your side. If your dog sits and stays at the end of the leash, that means you have to wait for a little while longer. If he still sits, then move on to the next step
If he stayed successfully, call your dog and reward your dog with a tasty treat at knee level. Make sure that he stayed well for a while. Don’t reward after your dog pulled the leash.
Although the rewarding step was already introduced, you have to reward your dog every time that the pull on the rope weakens. Prepare a lot of treats for this.
Let your dog improve by calling your dog every time he pulls and reward him as he stays closer while walking every time. If your dog seems to improve and get closer to you, reward him well.
8. Rinse and Repeat
Things That You SHOULDN’T DO While Teaching Your Dog To Walk With You In Comfort
You have to remember and follow the mentioned steps to make your dog walk with you in comfort.
However, there might be some actions that would cause your dog to still pull instead of learning not to. These might worsen the situation and could cause even more bad behavior for your dog.
- Pulling back while jerking the lead
Absolutely do not attempt to do this. Most beginners would even wrap the nearer end of the leash around their arms in order to have more grip while holding it.
Instead of teaching your dog not to pull, it will do the opposite. This is because of the opposition reflex. Your dog will start pulling once you start to pull back.
It’s like how anybody starts to pull your arm and your body pulls back, making sure that you stay upright.
The same principle applies in dogs, and it might even cause injuries especially if your dog only has a neck collar on him. Remember to avoid this behavior and instead teach your dog to walk with you well.
- Rewarding wrong behavior
Do not reward your dog if he pulled, especially if the training started. It will give your dog mixed signals and could cause your dog to get frustrated and confused while learning.
Your dog could be mentally sensitive at puppy training age, so what he learns should be substantial for his well-being. Observe properly when to reward and when to not give a treat.
Do you wish your dog would walk on a leash calmly and quietly without pulling? CLICK HERE to watch this FREE Step-by-Step Video from Doggy Dan’s Program!