You dread going on a walk with your dog. Not because you don’t want to, but because you know it is going to be a stressful situation.
Every time your dog sees another dog… pull. Every time your dog sees something to sniff… pull.
You can’t keep doing this! How can you control this dog’s behavior?
One answer that may work is a no-pull harness. Read more about them below to see if it is a viable option for you and your pup.
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Why Do Dogs Drag You on Walks?
There are actually several reasons why a dog might be dragging you on a walk, so it could mean different things depending on your specific dog.
1. Dragging You Gets Them Places
One of the reasons that a dog may pull on the leash is that it works for them to get where they are trying to go.
The dog is just doing what they think is going to be the most practical way of getting to the fun stuff, whether that is another dog, another human, or something gross on the ground.
Most people are inconsistent in how they react to a dog pulling the leash. Even though it may only be effective 10 percent of the time, the dog will keep trying to pull if there is a chance it might work.
2. They Don’t Know What They Are Supposed to Do
If your dog is untrained, it kind of makes sense that they would want to pull on the leash.
Walking on a leash isn’t natural to a dog, but is instead something that has to be learned.
If you are trying to get your dog to do the right types of behaviors on walks, you have to make sure they know what those behaviors are! Positive reinforcement can help here, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the unwanted behavior will be eradicated.
3. Dogs Are Fast!
Dogs are faster than humans and they know it. Your dog likely thinks you just enjoy walking at a slow pace, but they would probably prefer to go a lot quicker.
Part of the reason that dogs may try to pull is that they want to go fast, but this may relate to a lack of exercise.
If the dog is not getting enough activity, they probably have a bunch of energy stashed up with nowhere to put it. Where will they put that energy? The most obvious answer would be their walks with you.
4. You Don’t Have the Right Tools
A dog may be dragging you because of the type of equipment you’re using.
Training will help a dog learn to walk well on a leash, but if you’re using the wrong kind of leash, collar, or harness, it could still be more difficult than it needs to be.
There are even some types of equipment that you need special training to be able to use, such as a head halter, so beware! Not all equipment is one size fits all.
A no-pull harness is a great tool to have when you want your dog to stop dragging you, but you know you need to teach them what to do. It can be used for training and eventually you may not even need it anymore.
How Does a No-Pull Harness Work?
The first thing to note is that even the best equipment in the world may not work if your dog is too eager and excited during the walk. The best way to combat this is with a little bit of exercise, such as running around in a fenced yard, or playtime before the walk.
After some of the energy is gone, your dog will be able to pay better attention to what you are trying to teach them. In this case, you are teaching them how to wear their no-pull harness.
The no-pull dog harnesses you want to look for will have straps across the top of your dog’s shoulders. These will be clipped together in the middle of the dog’s chest and also behind the front legs. The clip for the leash will go in the front.
As you start walking, the harness forces your dog to stay by your side. If the dog starts to pull away, the leash will go to the side and this directs the dog to come back toward where you are.
The benefit of this is that you have more control and can successfully guide your dog to do what you need them to do with much less difficulty. It’s a great way to train the dog so that they can learn how you expect them to behave on walks.
How to Train the Dog to Use It
You don’t want your dog to dread using the harness, so make sure they associate it with something positive.
At first, you may want to try giving your dog a treat just for wearing the harness if this is not something they are used to doing. If your dog is not used to the clipping sounds, clip and unclip the harness around them for a little while so they are used to the sound as well.
Be sure that the straps are adjusted before you put them on the dog because you don’t want to accidentally hurt them and scare them away from the harness due to a silly mistake.
It’s better to put the harness on when it is too large and then tighten it up while the dog is wearing it. During this process, be sure to give your dog a lot of praise and treats for being a good boy or girl.
Walk the Dog With the Right Harness
A no-pull harness is a great way to ensure your dog learns how to walk on the leash, but it also can increase your bond with your beloved pet.
Having a more relaxing walk (rather than a stress-filled one) can make you and your dog much happier.
If you’d like to learn more about no-pull harnesses or any other equipment, contact us to see if we can give you some extra help.