Hopefully no one is pulling the leash. The
ideal situation is that you and your dog are
equally enjoying the walk and neither is
pulling and tugging the other in any certain
If your dog tends to be pulling you off into
its own direction a large amount of the time
you are walking, you can train the dog to stop
doing this. What's interesting is that you
have actually been training the dog to do
this behavior not only by allowing it but
by supporting it without realizing it.
There are various reasons that cause a dog to
automatically pull on the leash. For example,
when a beagle sees a squirrel or other animal
scurry quickly across in front of him, he
is going to go berzerk. You can count on that.
So be ready to hold on strongly if you plan
to keep the beagle in tow in a situation like
Just holding the dog in tow is not enough,
though, since this will reinforce the dog's
desire to pull. Think of it as a training
opportunity! To use it as a training
opportunity, you'll need to know exactly
how you're going to train.
Another example that will cause your dog
to pull you off course is when your dog wants
to sniff out an area, he will automatically
go to the area with no thought of you who
are on the other end of his leash.
Expert trainers have techniques to keep a dog
focused in the direction of your choice. You
want to take care not to reward the dog when
he goes off your chosen path and expects you
to go with him. Since it takes you by surprise,
you may inadvertently reward him by following
him, impulsively reacting to his sudden behavior.
Now you may take a look at what you are doing
that is rewarding this behavior. You say, "I'm
not rewarding him! I don't give him a treat
for doing this." This is the time to consider
what a dog considers a reward, then.
To a dog a reward is when you give him something
which brings him happiness whether you meant it
as a reward or not. As you know, treats are not
the only thing that bring happiness in a dog's
life. Consider that you are rewarding the dog
when he is allowed to pull you off course at his
Any dog can be trained to stop pulling on the
leash. There are no limits as to age or how
long the dog has been allowed to pull on the
leash. From what you have read here and with
some patience, focus and repetition you can
train your dog to stop pulling on the leash.
The bad news is that this training takes some
education. The good news is that this education
is available and the training is possible for
anyone who can physically hold the dog on a leash.
And more good news: there is no pain or punishment
involved at all, neither for you nor for your dog!
An expert trainer can give you some basic steps
to getting the results you want by following a
Mogens Eliasen of K9joy is an expert trainer with 30+ years experience and author of the fabulous resource titled "Don't Pull On The Leash." http://www.PullingOnTheLeash.com
Juanita Bellavance, the author of this article can be
contacted at jjbellava@MyCopywritingSpecialist.com