Teaching your dog not to pull on walks takes time, patience, and lots of positive reinforcement. Dogs aren’t born understanding the rules of life with humans, and polite leash walking is particularly confusing to them. Have you ever seen two off-leash dogs walking shoulder to shoulder at a leisurely pace? I doubt it. Dogs like to dart here and there, changing directions and changing paces, investigating every interesting sight and smell. And since they have four legs to our two, they naturally move a lot faster than we can.
To help prevent your dog from pulling while you continue to work on polite leash walking, I love the no-pull harness designs that clip at the dog’s chest. The Premier Easy Walk harness is my favorite. The Sense-ible harness is good, too. These designs are proven to reduce pulling better than other equipment, and are more humane than choke chains and pinch collars, which can cause permanent injury if used improperly. The harnesses that clip at the dog’s back actually help your dog to pull more (think sled dog), but they do protect the dog’s neck from harm.
When I’m not writing or blogging, I work as an assistant dog trainer for Dog’s Best Friend Training in Madison, WI. To find a positive-reinforcement dog trainer in your area, search the Association of Pet Dog Trainers website.