Does Your Dog Pull on the Leash?

Pulling on leash is the most common challenge that dog owners face in Chicago.

At worst, pulling can turn into a very dangerous situation. For example, your dog could pull you down, which could cause an injury, or even enable your dog to get off leash and run away from you.  Your dog could run right towards another dog, causing a fight, it could run across the street, or it could even run in a manner where you can’t catch up.

Even if you don’t fall over, pulling on leash can also cause other injuries.  For example, it can cause muscle soreness in your back and shoulder.  In addition, if your dog pulls hard enough, it could cause the leash to could bend your fingers backward (we’ve seen it happen), or cause a rope-burn.

At best, it’s just not very pleasant to have your dog pull.  You go on walks in order to have a positive experience with your dog, and to enjoy yourselves.  It’s just not very enjoyable when you are getting frustrated that your dog isn’t focused on you, and when you are constantly battling your dog and pulling the leash backward.  Further, your dog may lunge at other dogs, which can cause leash reactivity.  Suddenly you may think your dog is aggressive because it can’t easily pass other dogs on the sidewalk.

This can also be frustrating for your dog, who probably doesn’t respond well to raised voices and yanking on the leash.  Dogs have a trait called the “opposition reflex,” which happens when you pull backward.  When you pull them, it makes them want to pull you even harder.  It’s a vicious cycle, and nobody wins. 

The more your dog pulls, and the more the opposition reflex kicks in, the more your dog learns that it can tune you out.  It can cause your dog to become a worse listener every time you go for a walk.  This can spill over into other areas of your relationship.  It may stop listening for other behaviors, such as when you call its name or want it to wait patiently.

So how do people try to overcome this challenge?  Most people approach it in the wrong manner.  For example, they may go out and buy a prong collar or choke chain.  When the dog pulls, they respond in kind by giving a hard yank, thinking the discomfort will teach their dog a lesson.  Unfortunately, that’s not a very effective method.  For one, the dog probably will keep pulling and become desensitized to this technique.  In addition, these tools can cause injury to the dog, including skin abrasions, or even damage to the trachea.  We have even seen cases where the prong collar has punctured the dog’s skin.   These can be painful and become infected.  Tracheal damage can be lifelong and cause your dog to become hoarse.

Tucker Pup’s Pet Resort has a better method, that will have your dog walking on a loose leash at your side, focused on you, following wherever you lead, and not pulling.  Our approach does not involve choke chains, prong collars, raising your voice, battling your dog, or showing your dog who is the boss.  You will be much happier, and so will your dog!

We teach leash walking in one of several formats, depending on what works best for your schedule, your dog, and your lifestyle.  We teach it in group classes, including for puppies and adult dogs.  We also teach it in private lessons at your home or on walks, and it is a major component of our turnkey training program.  By putting in 30 minutes per day using our methods, you will be amazed at how your dog can become a better walker and listener in a very short amount of time. 

All of our training techniques use positive reinforcement only, and cause your dog to WANT to please you. 

Stop putting up with pulling, because it won’t get better on its own.  Take the first step: learn more about our training program by clicking here, and sign up for your free consultation.  The sooner you resolve and prevent the issue, the happier you both will be!