Dogs pull on the leash for a number of reasons. Walking with your dog when he is pulling like a freight train is no fun for either party. A dog that pulls on leash can put himself and his owner in danger. Constant pressure around the neck can cause permanent musculoskeletal damage in the dog. Most trainers will tell you that pulling on the leash is not only an obedience concern but is a contributing factor in the development of more serious behavior problems like leash reactivity.
It is a pleasure to walk a dog who is well-behaved on the leash. This takes longer to train for some dogs than others, and the amount of time you need to invest in training this skill may depend on a number of factors, including:
Walking is a skill which must be taught systematically. I’m sharing a video I made recently which features the introductory stages of teaching basic loose leash walking behavior using a clicker. These are only a few of dozens of exercises I can think of for working on this behavior. I hope to work on a variety of other videos which will show you additional exercises you can use to build loose leash reliability in your canine companion.
Until then, I hope you enjoy this video of Cuba running through some of the basics at our classroom. When we shot this video, he was seventeen weeks old. Thanks to my client, Nicole Oakley, for helping out with the taping, and to her dog Leila for chiming in with a bark of support midway through the video!
Have a great weekend with the dogs, friends!