By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pulling on the leash can be a problem for many people as they take their dogs out for a daily walk. As much as it’s a problem for you, it’s also a problem for your dog and must be corrected for their safety.
Severe pressure can form at the site of the dog’s collar posing problems for the dog’s trachea or windpipe causing coughing, severe panting, difficulty breathing, wheezing or a choking sensation. This can cause permanent damage.
Leash pulling has its roots in overexcitement and over-reaction to the many distractions the dog may incur. It also stems from what the dog is used to. Since they are creatures of habit and need structure to feel safe, they go by what they know and what has always worked for them in the past. It’s up to us to show them the desired behavior and what is expected for them.
There are a few ways that work but be patient and keep in mind that different techniques will work with different dogs. If one idea is not working, do not become frustrated, simply try another. Also stay consistent with whatever strategy seems to be taking effect.
First, wait for a calm state before taking your dog out for a walk. On the walk, stop and freeze whenever your dog is pulling. Only proceed when your dog stops to look to you, then calmly praise and move on.
Front attachment body harnesses like the Easy Walk are a good training tool that teaches humanely with no force on the neck or collar.