If you have a dog that’s constantly pulling on leash chances are you are not enjoying your walks very much, you get shoulder workout and you, your dog tries to or does control the walk.
Dogs pulling on a leash are nothing new especially when your dog may be bigger stronger and overpower you!
Here we will cover some reasons why your dog is constantly pulling on leash and ways you can combat this issue.
Why Is My Dog Constantly Pulling on Leash?
Your dog is pulling on leash because your dog is getting rewarded for pulling. Your dog learned that if he pulls in the direction where your dog wants to go your dog will ultimately be rewarded by getting to where your dog was pulling to.
That is the simplified version of why hour dog is constantly pulling but it can also fall into a variety of different category’s such as:
- On-Leash Greeting:
Consistently allowing on-leash greetings with other dogs or humans essentially create a bad habit for your dog. Creating this bad habit will essentially create an involuntary response to where every time that your dog sees another dog or person he will feel the need to “go say hi”
On-leash interactions aren’t necessary and don’t benefit both you or your dog.
Dog socialization isn’t like humans where we need to directly interact with a person to socialize, we as humans tend to “fit” our dogs which is another species in the way we think and assume they are the same which isn’t how your dog’s brain works.
For more information on proper socialization for dogs read our socialization article!
- Never teaching your dog
Another reason you might struggle with your dog constantly pulling on leash is because you never took the time to teach your dog how to follow you and the leash.
Unless you take the time to essentially teach your dog the right behavior it wouldn’t be fair to be mad at your dog for giving you the wrong behavior.
Teaching your dog how to take direction from not only you but the leash is essential for everyday real-world obedience!
- Using a Harness
If you’re using a harness you might notice your dog constantly pulling on leash simply because you are walking him on a harness. The harness is attached to the strongest part of your dog’s body, giving your dog more power to pull you down the road.
A dog collar that goes around your dog’s neck is more beneficial which trying to give your dog direction and trying to communicate with your dog what you want.
Read more information on Harness Vs Dog Collar.
- Walking Naturally Fast
Your dog might be pulling you simply because dogs as a whole naturally walk faster thanks, humans!
- Pack behavior
You may find your dog constantly pulling on leash when walking in large groups.
When walking in groups dogs have a sense of being in a pack and want to catch up to the group and be in the “mix”
This doesn’t mean that your dog wants to be in “control” or be “alpha” dogs are wildly different from wolves, this it simply means that your dog wants to be where everyone is at.
This also means that your dog probably hasn’t generalized that walking without pulling is the same even if we are in a group.
Dogs are poor generalizes meaning that if your dog knows how to sit in one context like your living room, that doesn’t mean that your dog understands to sit in another context like outside.
You as a dog owner have to paint the picture for your dog and help your dog understand that sit means sit in all environments the same goes for walking without pulling.
How To Stop Your Dog From Pulling
If you fear that your dog can severely overpower you through ut his walks I recommend some training collars such as slip leads and prong collars.
Although like any tool you have to understand the concept behind using the tool and how to teach your dog how to respond to the tool.
Our article here speaks more on prongs and training collars
Essentially you want to be able to walk your dog with no tension on the leash and only apply tension when you want to communicate with your dog and give him direction.
One easy drill to practice is a “Stop and Go” essentially what you want to do is when you and your dog are out on a walk. the very moment that your dog starts to pull on the leash you want want to stop and bring your dog to the “Heel” position at your side.
The Heel position should be behind either your left or right leg. the moment our dog pulls bring him back around in the heel and stop until your dog is no longer pulling.
This Simple drill will start to teach your dog that pulling will get him nowhere and not pulling is.
Dogs pull due to a variety of reasons, every dog is different but the concepts are generally the same.
ultimately you find your dog constantly pulling on leash because in some form or another your dog is being rewarded for his “pulling efforts” you just don’t realize it yet.
Practicing the drill above will help gain more control over your walk.
The best way to ensure that your dog completely stops pulling is to consult a professional dog trainer and behaviorist.
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!