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Dog Walker at the Park

Why Does My Dog Pull on the Leash?


dog pulling in park

We've all been there, right? You're strolling through the neighborhood, and you can't help but admire that dog who's walking perfectly by their owner's side. Meanwhile, your pup seems determined to turn your leisurely walk into a tug-of-war contest.


At Sit's Getting Real Dog Training in San Diego, Amanda Martin and Tomas Natterstad are here to help your dog learn how to walk on a loose-leash . Let's dive into why dogs pull on leashes and how to put an end to this challenging behavior!


Why is my Dog Pulling on a Leash?

There are several reasons, and understanding them is the first step to addressing the issue.


Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and the outside world is like a sensory buffet for them. They also have a LOT of energy, especially if they are puppies. Leash-pulling can be an outlet for their excitement and enthusiasmDogs love exploring everything, especially if they are nervous. Dogs with anxiety love smelling their environment to help build confidence! Pulling on the leash is their way of telling you, "Hey, let's check this out!"


So...what do you do?


How to Train Your Dog To Stop Pulling on a Leash

Now, let's get to the nitty-gritty of how to tackle leash-pulling. The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all solution because every dog is unique. Here are some tailored tips to help you and your dog have more enjoyable walks.

  • Understand Your Dog's Triggers: Pay attention to what sets your dog off. Is it other dogs, squirrels, or perhaps passing cars? Once you identify the triggers, you can work on desensitizing your pup to them.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats, praise, and toys to reward your dog for walking calmly beside you. Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement, and this will encourage them to follow your lead.

  • Consistency is Key: Be consistent in your leash training. Use the same commands and reward system every time you walk your dog. This helps them understand what you expect from them.

  • Professional Help: If your dog's leash-pulling behavior is persistent or particularly challenging, consider seeking the guidance of professional dog trainers near you.

What is Loose-leash walking??

Loose-leash walking is when you and your dog are relaxed and walking with no tension or pulling on the leash. If you're looking to get your dog to walk on a loose leash, it takes a lot of effort on both you and your dogs part. It is important to relax, take breaks, and really understand why your dog might be pulling.


Loose-leash walking is different from heeling, as there isn't a focus on having your dog right next to you. The focus is on your dog and whether or not they are pulling and relaxed.


3 Tips To Prevent Pulling

Now, here are some quick tips to prevent your dog from pulling on the leash:

  • Start in a Non-Stimulating Area: Begin your training in a quiet, familiar place with fewer distractions. Gradually move to busier areas as your dog becomes more responsive and confident.

  • Try a Front-Clip Harness: Front-clip harnesses discourage pulling by redirecting your dog's attention back towards you. This can be a great tool when starting to combat pulling behavior without harming your dog.

  • Use Treats: Keep some tasty treats on hand to reward your pup for walking nicely. Remember, positive reinforcement goes a long way.

What NOT to do

When it comes to your dogs leash-pulling, there are a couple of key things to avoid. First, it is important to not raise your voice, or yell at your dog. This only increases their stress and adds confusion and frustration to the situation. Trust us, we've all be there. When your dog doesn't listen, it's frustrating. However, yelling makes the situation worse for both you and your dog.


Second, avoid pulling on your dog's leash in response to their pulling. Pulling the leash in the opposite direction actually restricts the dog and can encourage them to pull even more! Instead, try using commands like "this way" to capture your dog's attention and start strengthening your bond with them. Opt for positive reinforcement and consistent training methods to encourage good behavior, making your walks more enjoyable for both you and your dog.


Try Group Dog Training

If you find that leash-pulling is a persistent challenge, consider seeking professional assistance, like group dog training sessions in San Diego. Group training not only provides a structured environment for your dog to learn alongside others. It's a fantastic way to socialize your dog while also addressing behavior problems effectively.


Give your dog time to establish right from wrong when on walks. Consistently is everything, and being committed to the process will help your dog understand what's right from wrong, leading to a more enjoyable walking experience for you and your pup. Every dog is different, and our trainers believe every dog deserves a chance at becoming the best version of themselves.


Ready to Solve Your Dog's Leash Pulling Problems? Sit's Getting Real Dog Training Is Your Answer!

Dreaming of loose leash walking and ready for a change? At Sit's Getting Real Dog Training, Amanda Martin and Tomas Natterstad are dedicated to helping you and your dog build a stronger bond and enjoy peaceful walks together.


So, don't wait any longer! Give us a call at (619) 800-1350, and say goodbye to leash-pulling woes. Your dog will thank you, and you'll both enjoy the freedom of pleasant walks in beautiful San Diego.


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