HOW TO STOP A DOG FROM PULLING – IS WALKING A STRUGGLE WITH YOUR DOG?
If you’re not sure how to stop a dog from pulling on the lead while out for a walk then take a look at this Doggy Dan video where he talks about the basic principle and underlying reason why your dog does what he does.
The main behavioural issue most people seem to be struggling with, is when they are outside, in that they loose control and the dog either pulls on the lead, gets over-excited, barks at moving objects like cars, runners and bikes, or runs away when they are let off the lead, or indeed any combination of these…
Things seem to be generally okay inside, but outside it's a different matter – I know I used to find that with Oscar… perfect at training inside, but outside, he was a law unto himself!
Learn how to stop a dog from pulling with just 1 thing!
What people need to know (as I did) is that any behaviour where they don’t listen to you and do their own thing, is not because they are ‘naughty’, it’s because they truly believe they are the pack-leader, are in charge, and will do what they see fit, paying no regard to you, because you are lower than them in the pecking order.
Being in charge, they decide what is a danger and what is not, and of course, they can make mistakes, like when they might be aggressive to other dogs they see as a threat.
So, in order to remain in control, you must remain the pack-leader and this starts inside the home before you even step foot through the front door. Your dog must be calm before leaving, without barking, jumping or pressuring you to go out: this is crucial when learning how to stop a dog from pulling, as once outside, the behaviour is intensified.
If he’s at a level 5 (out of 10) when you bring the lead out, jumping around, enthusiastically, then he will be at a level 6 when you attach it, a 7 as he pulls you to the door, 8 through it, 9 by the time he’s down the path and eventually at a high of 10 once outside into ‘freedom’ with all the exciting things to distract him! At that stage, there is little hope of getting his attention back and responding to your commands.
And that’s no good, as it will only serve to frustrate and agitate you the more he ‘doesn’t listen to you’, which will, in turn, back up everything your dog feels to start with (agitated and on the lookout for danger) which creates the proverbial circle.
Simple tips on how to stop a dog form pulling:
Follow these tips – be sure to leave plenty of time to do this right on your first attempt:
For more tips on how to stop a dog from pulling on a lead, including the stop-start technique, have a look at Doggy Dan’s site. I have personally used his site and his ‘No Force, No Fear’ techniques and I can’t recommend them enough.
a simple video to show you How To Stop A Dog From Chewing...
This is a simple and calm technique on how to stop a dog from chewing – brought to you by Doggy Dan, the online dog trainer, who I think is great. By simply removing the object they are focused on and giving them one that they are allowed to chew, their energy is redirected, not stopped…
Dogs love chewing things, it’s natural and they love to do it, so they need to be shown the things they are allowed to touch and those they are not – like your sofa, or your shoes!
If it’s a habit for your dog, then you may need to keep repeating this process outlined in the video, by showing calm and consistent consequences of action. If they do keep repeating the behaviour then you may need to isolate them for a few minutes so they get the message. Remember this is done calmly (not with aggression) and without speaking to them.
3 Step Process: How To Stop A Dog From Chewing:
And of course, being the pack leader is essential so they take you seriously and not just think it’s a game. Set your dog up for success :)
DOG DISCIPLINE – BECOME THE PACK LEADER
In order for your dog to be happy, you need to know about dog discipline, so they know what the rules are…set them up for success.
In answer to all of the questions that people ever ask me regarding training, it only ever comes down to one thing… you need to become the pack leader.
When I mention discipline, I’m certainly not on about punishment and ruling through fear – becoming the pack leader involves mostly non-verbal communication, using body language that your dog understands, and earning their respect, so they want to listen to you.
Again, I reiterate, the key is getting them to do what you want through love, choice, respect – NOT fear of being punished.
You need to convince your dog that you are the person in charge: the decision maker; where you should go on the walk; how to behave in different situations; and how to respond to all the strange things that you encounter while out.
Is Dominating Part Of Dog Discipline?
Dominating your dog is certainly not the way to become the pack leader; in fact this can backfire badly on you later on if you teach your dog that physical strength is what it is all about.
Whilst you may force your dog into submission, it will not be convincing your dogs mind that you are worthy of the position and that you should become the pack leader, only that you are a bit of a bully.
In order to understand how to become the pack leader you must first realise that the following means nothing to a dog…
Is controlling food part of dog discipline?
Asking your dog to sit before her dinner is a start, but falls a long way short of what you need to be achieving to become the pack leader, and things like walking through doorways first is only necessary when your dog is on the lead.
So how do you become the pack leader?
All dogs worldwide, regardless of breed, use the same ways to check to establish the pack leader. During my research I found a great guy who teaches you how to become the pack leader and it’s all on video, so it’s so easy to put into practice, all you have to do is understand and copy what he does… I have personally used his tricks and tips to great effect.
The important areas where you need to take control when becoming the pack leader to instil dog discipline are:
Getting your dog to switch off is directly connected to how you meet and greet your dog after your return home. The difference is so subtle, but it is the difference between being the pack leader or the follower, which is so important when establishing dog discipline.
If you would like to learn from a great teacher, and through videos, which leave you in no doubt as to how to achieve your goals, then I can’t recommend Doggy Dan highly enough…
How often should I be exercising my dog?
I was once chatting to someone who had just bought a dog and they asked me – ‘How often should I be exercising my dog? Once a week…twice?’ The question astounded me somewhat as I thought it was obvious… but apparently not.
And, since then, the amount of people I’ve come across who own a dog and who don’t walk them for days on end, is too numerous to think about. It appears to me, more often than not, that it’s those with a garden and/or those who own small dogs.
Those with gardens think that’s enough, and those with small dogs don’t think they need the exercise because they have the house to run around in – small dogs may have small legs, but they are still robust and need to walk and play and run, and while getting out into your garden is great, a walk is also about mental stimulation from the sights and smells out and about.
So, Just How Often Should I Be Exercising My Dog?
Every day come rain or shine!
Health permitting, you should be walking your dog at least twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time, and given the chance to run around off-lead, or at the very least on a long extendable bungee lead if needs be. The chance to mix with other dogs is also essential for healthy social development. If you have a problematic dog who has difficulty mixing with other dogs, then it’s advisable to get qualified advice from a trainer to work through any issues.
Remember, dogs sniffing and foraging around is equal to humans reading a daily newspaper, having a catch-up chat or watching a favourite tv programme.
Every dog is different, fitness-wise, of course, and if you have any concerns about their fitness you should always visit your veterinarian and get them checked out and seek their advice.
I Have A Puppy…
Walks that are short and often are best. It’s good to be aware that for around the first 6 months of a dogs life, their bones are still growing and are fairly ‘soft’. So avoid encouraging them to leap and jump up and down excessively, as you could cause damage to their joints that might not show up until later on in their life – like arthritis or dysplasia.
Try not to let them go up and down stairs by themselves either, especially going down, as it’s a constant jarring motion – carry them down if you can, or walk before them so they can’t run.
My dog as so much energy, is there anything more I can do to tire them out while exercising my dog?
Try taking a toy, tennis ball, or football while out walking – most dogs enjoy playing fetch. If you want to add some more distance to each throw, try hitting a tennis ball with a racket, or use something like a Fling ‘n’ Fetch ball launcher.
Frisbee’s are great too. Remember to try and throw them fairly low to the ground so your dog doesn’t have to jump too high to grab it, and soft ones made especially for dogs are best to prevent chipping of teeth!
Is there anything else my dog can do for exercise?
Yes – swimming is great. There are many hydrotherapy pools around now and you should be able to find one in your area. Swimming is particularly good for those dogs with joint problems as the exercise is non-weight bearing.
While recovering from leg surgery, exercising my dog, Oscar, had to be done through swimming. While the majority of dogs there were recovering from surgery etc., there were a couple of Retrievers who were there just for the fun of it, which was great to see.
Still wanting more stimulation for your dog?
There are other options: have you thought about agility or tracking? There are many local clubs and a great place to start is agilityclub.org. Your dog will have fun, get lots of exercise and above all mental stimulation, that can, in most cases, be more tiring than a long walk!