Tips on Stopping the Pull and Tug

Proper dog care when your dog keeps tugging and pulling

Have you ever taken your dogs to the dog park and found that they are actually taking you to the park? They lead the way by tugging and pulling you. Basically, your dogs are walking you rather than you walking your dogs.

Unfortunately, tugging and tugging can quickly become an ingrained habit that becomes harder to break as it develops over time. It can cause harm to both owner and dog alike. For dogs, it can damage the dog’s windpipe. For dog owners, it can put them in harm’s way – like being pulled towards traffic on a busy street.

For this reason, it is essential that every owner take the time to train their dog to follow rather than lead them. After all, you’re responsible for their safety and health, so it’s up to you to make sure that they perform properly, especially when on their leash.

Effective Ways to Stop Your Dog from Pulling and Tugging  

1. Use a body harness 

It’s important to note that tugging on a collar is a danger to dogs on a physical level. Due to their determination to be a pack leader, they are going to tug with the full force of their body in order to be in the lead. What happens is that a collar will dig into their neck, restricting the airway (trachea) and causing slight damage. While it may start out as coughing and wheezing, over time this can wear down their airway, especially with larger dogs that have more weight to tug with.

For this reason, the use of a body harness will help during the training process. These are relatively inexpensive – usually about the cost of a collar, and will displace the force of the leash across their chest rather than solely on their neck (it’s still necessary to use a leash for their tags and license).

Be sure that it fits your dog snugly and won’t chafe them, such as in areas under their legs. If the harness has a metallic buckle, consider using a cloth or tape to secure it so that it doesn’t strike their chest or flanks when they’re moving around; this becomes more of an issue when there’s too much slack in the harness.

2. Stop, turn and go

While you’ve addressed your dog’s well-being, it’s still necessary to get your dog to stop taking you for walks. So, stop and think about why your dog is tugging in the first place. Basically, a dog is going to move in the direction where they think you are going (they just don’t have the patience to wait up for you and your two-leg speed). They see the destination and basically want to get there in a hurry. For most of us owners, we tend to just go along with them, but this only enforces the fact that perhaps they are in charge right now.

In order to stop this behavior, the best place to start is when your dog pulls, you stop. This will leave your dog tugging against you, but they won’t be able to move on. Another good technique is to change direction regularly. If they’re tugging forward, stop, turn around and go the other direction.

Start out on the sidewalk, where there is no apparent destination for them to see or note. Start walking in one direction and when they begin tugging, stop and move in the other direction. Do this several times until they begin to wonder where it is that you’re going. They’ll eventually begin to wonder what’s going on and look to you for the answer. This is exactly what you want to happen. In order to stop the pulls and tugs, you need your dog to focus on staying with you rather than getting to the destination as quickly as possible.

  1. 3. Use commands and treats

The preceding process can also be associated with commands, such as “stop” or “stay” when you stop. If you stop, give your dog a command to “halt” or “stay with me.” This will help them associate the fact that they need to pay attention to you because you have the answers they’re looking for. Additionally, the use of a treat will help incline them to listen to you during the initial stages of training. But you will want to eventually wean them off treats and for them to respond to you on command alone.

Next time you take your dog out for a walk, be sure that you’re the one leading the expedition. With a little training and the right tools to ensure their safety, you’ll be able to take charge of your dog and guide them instead of them dragging you along for the ride.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Categories Dog Care, Dog TrainingTags , ,

Leave a comment on Tips on Stopping the Pull and Tug

You Can Ring My Bell, Ring My Bell

Melodies from the late 70’s and early 80’s fill my head when I look at the title of this post.  And, yet it has been a super cool way that my sister and I have trained our Chihuahuas.

It started one day after Christmas when we were taking down Christmas ornaments.  I am one of those hokey Christmas people who don themselves with a holiday sweatshirt and even a bell necklace during the season.  So, I hung that bell around the handle of the backdoor just for a place to put it so that it wasn’t getting in the way (nor incessantly ringing whilst I packed ornaments).  Our pooch, Rocky, needed to go outside – so I opened the back door and in doing so “rang the bell.”

For the next week, the bell stayed there.  Too many holiday happenings and to much decluttering to put boxes and new found treasures away, that I didn’t even recall the bell.  As, it was hanging there, one afternoon, Rocky stood up on his hind legs and “rang the bell” that he need to go outside! What a huge epiphany for me! He had found another tool for communication!

Fast forward to gifting my sister and her husband their new baby Chihuahua a couple of years later.

They were having trouble with potty training, Li’l Bit (he was such a tiny guy)!  So, I shared the bell suggestion.  Li’l Bit would hear it when she would take him out for a walk or to go potty.  And, she would also put him through the motions of hitting the bell and praise him when he did!

Pretty soon, he was “ringing the bell!”

And, now that’s his signal to his “parents” – even if he just wants to go outside and have a look around (we know who rules that roost <smile>)!

If you’re looking for another way to communicate with your four-legged family member, perhaps they can “ring your bell.”

Categories Potty Training TipsTags , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment on You Can Ring My Bell, Ring My Bell

Why You Need to Take Your Dog To Work

Here are the top 10 reasons why – courtesy of Pet Sitters International:

It is a GREAT day to make people, in and around your work place, aware of the heartbreaking life, struggles, and challenges for shelter dogs. And, the need for adoption.

Who knows?  Perhaps someone at your place of work, church, school, or an organization where you volunteer has been thinking about adopting a dog, and this small gesture will help them know that it is the best decision they can make.

Even if you can’t take your dog to work during the day – where can you take your dog during your off-time that day and help spread the word?

When someone asks you or mentions “hey, cute dog!” – you can respond – “It’s take your dog to work day.  There are many dogs at the shelter looking for a home. If you or someone you love could rescue one they’ll make a remarkable difference in your life.” It might be just the change that someone’s seeking.

Categories Dog CareTags , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment on Why You Need to Take Your Dog To Work