All Things Dog Blog
My Dog Pulls On The Lead (And It’s Driving Me Bonkers)!

1fr2cc3rcrc4cmcRuffwear Just-A-Cinch Lead6tt7zsl8cjlRuffwear Roamer Lead9zdThundershirt Dog Anxiety JacketBefore I adopted a dog I thought you just put a dog on a lead and VOILA! Behold the dog walking. Ha! Walking on lead requires that your dog put YOUR desire for her to walk sedately beside you BEFORE her fervent desire to run and frolic and sniff. In other words – extreme self discipline.

Swap roles. How often do you put your dog on a lead and follow her wildly in every direction she wishes to go? Thought so. It takes heaps of love and training to get your dog to properly heel but keep in mind the sacrifice your dog is making and let your cup of patience runneth over.

That said, it’s no picnic to be dragged down the street by a raving lunatic on four legs. It’s dangerous. For both you and your dog. People ring us everyday in desperation with lead pulling issues. While I can’t do the training for you I do have some great tools on hand to make your training easier and less painful! I’ll run you through 6 great options below.

1. TRY A HARNESS THAT ATTACHES IN THE FRONT

The Ruffwear Front Range Harness is a strong, well-made harness with heaps of support. But the clincher is that you can attach your leash in the traditional position on your dog’s back. Or you can attach it on your dog’s chest to stop pulling. When your dog pulls, it’s because he wants to go forward. If he pulls with the leash attached to the front he will inadvertently turn himself around. Bingo! Not the results he wanted. The best way to stop a behaviour is to show that the behaviour doesn’t get the desired results. Keep this up and you’re golden.

2. GET A SAFE & COMFORTABLE HEAD COLLAR

The basic principal behind a head collar is that when your dog pulls, the additional strap over your dog’s snout will force your dog’s snout to move too. My head collar recommendation is The Canny Collar. This collar will draw your dog’s chin gently to her chest when she pulls.

Please note: I’m not a fan of all head collars. Some yank your dog’s head quickly to the side. Think horse halter. This motion is not as good for your dog’s alignment. The Canny Collar has a nice smooth action in the proper alignment. I have personally seen the magic of The Canny Collar at work and recommend it without hesitation. Great product with virtually no training time required.

3. TRY A MARTINGALE STYLE COLLAR

Martingale collars are the comfy and effective alternative to the dreaded choke chain. My feeling is that choke chains should be reserved for storybook monsters, not our best friends. This style collar will cinch tighter on your dog’s neck, but only to a level which draws your dog’s attention, not to a level of discomfort. You set the tightness based on your dog’s neck size. Here are my Martingale recommendations:

The Ruffwear Chain Reaction Collar is your strongest pulling deterrent in this group. It’s a flat collar which cinches tighter with a small length of chain. Dogs are very sensitive to sounds (an understatement if I ever heard one!). The chain portion of this collar gives your dog an audio cue as well as the tightening sensation. That’s what makes this my top winner in the category. And you can’t argue with Ruffwear quality.

Another option is the EzyDog Checkmate Collar. This collar is a more traditional style Martingale collar where the portion of the collar that cinches is made from the same material as the collar. This one is lighter weight – no chain – and less expensive. It works well too and is good especially where a chain bit would be heavy for a littler dog.

4. HAVE A GO WITH A CINCHING LEAD

We also have the Ruffwear Just-A-Cinch leash which applies the cinching pressure in a leash format. You place the looped end around your dog’s neck and it will cinch closer as your dog pulls. The leash is a soft rounded rope. You set the neck loop to only open to a certain size so to keep your rascal from escaping. You can set it as well to only cinch to a certain point.

Another option is the Thunderworks Thunderleash. This leash attaches to your dog’s collar and then encircles your dog’s chest. When you pull on the leash the loop around your dog’s chest cinches tighter. Presto! Pulling is a different experience and no longer as appealing.

5. TRY A LEASH WITH SHOCK ABSORBENCY

Leads with a bit of reluctant stretch to them are great tools. They ease the jolting effect of your dog’s pulling – you know the good old shoulder dislocation pop. But, the genius is that they also pull back on your dog when he pulls forward. How would you like to bounce back every time you tried to move forward? Not so much, eh? They can definitely take the shine off pulling for your dog.

EzyDog has some great options here. My favourite is the EzyDog Zero Shock Leash. This lead is super durable, comfortable to hold and with it’s concertina folding style the design is downright classy. For a more sporty style go the EzyDog Cujo Leash (even if your dog is a sweetie pie). Both have excellent shock absorbency.

Of course for Ruffwear fans Ruffwear’s Roamer Leash can’t be faulted either. Awesome quality. Nice traffic handle. Classy look too.

6. TAKE YOUR DOG’S ANXIETY DOWN A NOTCH

Does your dog suffer from anxiety while walking. Many dogs develop fears of other dogs or people. If this is the case for your furry mate your best bet for calm walking is to sort this out.

The Zen Dog Calming Compression Shirt and the Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Jacket are two excellent options that work by appling gentle but firm pressure around your dog’s chest to relieve anxiety. It’s like a constant hug. It’s a bit hard to believe how effectove these shirts can be. They really do reduce anxiety quite significantly for 80% of dogs so it’s definitely worth a try. Both options work equally well. Get the sizing right though. You want your dog to be super snug in these shirts.

WALKS ARE A SACRED TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR DOG

If you’re not enjoying your walks, it’s time to get it sorted. Which is the best option? Well, dogs are unique individuals and not every option will be best for every dog. However, you can purchase any of these items from us at waggle.com.au and you’ve nothing to lose because I want you to have 100 Day Easy Returns. So go ahead and try the gear out. See if it makes a difference. If not just send it back to us in new condition and I promise to refund you completely. I want you and your dog to be happy. And I don’t want you keeping things just because you bought them. They have to work!

Pluto & ZoeIf you have any questions or want to have a chat about which option to try with your dog just give me a ring on 1300 725 781. I’m here to help!

As always, all the best to your pack!
Zoe & Pluto 🐕
waggle.com.au

 

One Response to My Dog Pulls On The Lead (And It’s Driving Me Bonkers)!

  1. Kate Sleath says:

    Hi, our kelpie has had one of her front legs amputated. Any ideas on helping her handle this? Or any special toys recommended?
    Cheers Kate.

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