HUMAN LEASH PULLING
Roscoe is a rare Pit-Lap-Dog. What a lover, huh?
One of the things we covered in this lesson was one of the most common issues & mistakes I deal with: leash pulling. But not about the dog pulling – about the human pulling!
I have to teach & remind about 90% of my clients to not use the leash as a communication device with their dogs. I tell them to be careful not to pull on it to have their dog “sit”, “come”, etc.
Think you don’t do it? Pay attention next time you’re walking your dog and you want him to stop sniffing something, or you want to get his attention when he sees a squirrel. If you’re like the vast majority of dog owners, you’re pulling the leash to get him to listen.
But then you get upset when your dog pulls on the leash to indicate where he wants to go!
A leash should not be used to tell your dog what you want him to do. In fact, it should be used for emergencies only. If you need to get your dog’s attention, just tap him on his shoulder (or butt) with your fingertips just like you would a human. That should snap him out of his other focus.
He needs to learn to listen to your voice commands and you need to use those opportunities to practice. After all, why would he listen when he’s not on a leash if he’s used to you giving a tug with every command? Then we wonder why he’s “stubborn” in the house!
Plus, if YOU are pulling on the leash to try to get what you want, how can you expect your dog not to pull back to try to get what he wants??
Dogs are just trying to communicate with us when they pull.
Lastly, pulling on a leash from either end is BAD. It hurts your dog’s neck, throat & back as well as your shoulder, neck & back. If nothing else we need to stop all pulling for the sake of everyone’s health.
So, please try to catch yourself next time you have your dog on the leash. Make sure you’re not tugging instead of speaking to him. I suggest using your other hand to hold the leash to help you break any bad habits. Good luck!