A common dilemma for people with dogs of all sizes. Here is a simple guide to help keep your dog more interested in walking with you without pulling.
The “S”-sense of lease walking
Stop – when the dog pulls, the walk stops! This is the most important thing to remember. If the dog is able to continue moving forward on a tight leash, then he is being rewarded for pulling.
Slack – slack leash means “go” when there is no tension on the leash. As long as the dog is not pulling, then the walk continues. You may find toys or squeakers helpful to get your dog’s focus off the road ahead and back to you.
Signal – a slap on your thigh (the same side the dog is walking on) will often help her to come around to your side when she begins to lag, or drift or sniff too long.
Speak – talk to your dog. Don’t forget you’re walking together. Remind her she is a good dog for paying attention to you, and you can slip her a few treats now and then when she is right at your side.
Swerve – try walking in an “S” pattern with lots of turns and speed changes. Sometime if you mix it up a bit, you may find your dog more attentive to you since he doesn’t know what you’re about to do next. Walking in the park? Just swerve in and out between the trees with your dog on leash. Keep the walk unpredictable and more interesting.
Speaking of Dogs is written by the certified trainers at “Calling All Dogs” in Holladay. Owner/Trainers are Anna Bettina Johnson, Nicole Corson, and Michelle Rizzi, who is married to CW publisher Jim Rizzi who knows nothing about dogs.