Why Dogs Pull On The Lead
The picture on the right is me working with a dog I had just taken out the audience, at the Just Dogs Live show at Stoneleigh Park. It pulled like a train, this is after 3 minutes.
Note all the leads round me, I worked with 10 dogs that I had never met before during this 45 minute session. I am probably the only behaviourists and trainer to do this.
Why Dogs Pull
Firstly we should understand why a dog pulls, it is either:
Anticipation: "Yeah we going to the park" this one normally does not pull on the way back from the park! but is an absolute nightmare getting there.
Control: This one wants to control most things, from controlling the lead to the speed you walk. This control freak normally pulls at all times both to and from the park.
Fear: Only pulls on the way back from the park so he can get back to the safety of the house. This type of puller normally suffers from traffic noise, lead aversion or agoraphobia.
The Lead: Strangely enough many dogs pull because of the type of lead you have. Let me explain by quoting one of the principal laws of motion. Also known as Newton's Law.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These forces are called action and reaction and are the subject of Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion.
Simply put; for every Ying there's a Yang, for every propulsion there's a expulsion, and for every pull there is a push.
We generally have shortish leads and when the dog pulls we immediately pull him back. There you have it You can't fight Newton's Law and Physics. According to scientists this law is immutable.
So you pull the dog back and physics takes over, he just has to push against your pull and bingo you have a nightmare walking your dog. Isn't it strange that often dogs will walk perfectly well off the lead, but are an absolute nightmare as soon as you clip the lead on.
I knew all that time at school listening to my physics teacher (I think we called them science masters), would prove useful one day. Because of my beliefs I designed and developed a lead that would be the correct length for training dogs in all disciplines. and a training aid called a Jingler. Not just to stop pulling, but for many other problems as well. Young Isaac would have been proud of me.
They are only available on this website and are designed specially manufactured for my techniques.
All the material clips and rings on these leads are made and manufactured in the UK
They are five feet eight inches long with a couple of innovations, such as a D Ring for the Jingler, (more later) and an O ring at the handle end which is very handy for tying on your poo bags or putting the lead around your shoulder, when the dog is off lead.
It is also handy for clipping the dog to a lamp post or halving the size of the lead if you are in a busy area such as a high street, and also have shopping to carry as it frees up one of your hands.
The techniques I have created to stop your dog pulling on the lead works for all dogs, see below for what else you will normally need.
1. A quality reasonably wide collar. I now manufacture my own collars that are a similar material and feel to the lead and the same colours (see website) make sure the collar is not thin, or rolled as they can bite into the neck and cause problems..
You are also going to require a Jingler, which is a simple device which uses sound therapy to make the dog concentrate. Simply put a jingler tells the dogs when it has done something wrong. The opposite of a clicker that tells the dog when it has done something right.
I designed and developed this personally. It helps train your dogs in a number of ways.
The "OFF" Command which trains your dogs to turn away on command, pulling on the lead, sit stay, jumping up and some aggressive behaviours.
It goes on the end of the lead near the collar. It is the opposite of a clicker, it tells the dogs when it has done something wrong.
Never use a check or choke chain this is a barbaric method of lead control, and can cause long-term damage.
Halti's and Harnesses
You will no longer need a Harness or Halti or any other form of restraint. These devices never train dogs to walk to heel, they only inhibit it. My method trains correct heel work. Given time you should be able to get the dog walking to heel without the lead, and without the jingler when on the lead.
I do not like Harnesses, Halti’s or any other contraption that works on inflicting pain and discomfort, there are a number of reasons I say that,. Whatever people think or believe i promise you they are not made by Harry Potter. They are not mystical or magical, so how do you imagine they work? It is very simple, they work on pain and discomfort.
In the case of head restraints They pull down the head so the chin comes down to the chest. Try it?, pull your chin down on your chest and see how it feels. Can you breathe? Do you feel comfortable? They also tighten round the muzzle at the most sensitive part of a dog. And that hurts. Harnesses compress the chest and the lungs, and tighten under the armpits of the front legs, nipping the sensitive skin under what would be our armpits. They also change the centre of balance and causes the dog to be pulled sideways
You can always tell if a “Training Aid” works by pain and discomfort. Simply take it of and f put on a normal lead and collar. if the dog still pulls then you know that is works by hurting your dog, therefore the words "Training Aid" are actually incorrect. as It does not train anything, it just hinders and hurts.
You will need a suitable lead at least 5.8 feet long. Make sure your dog is always on your left hand side. Hold the lead in your right hand, the best way is to put the loop over your thumb and close the palm of the hand over the loop.
Then your left hand holds the lead between 8 to 20 inches up from the collar, depending on the height of the dog.
Step off with your left foot saying “Heel”. The rest of the instructions in full, come with the jingler. Most people make the mistake of saying heel when the dog is out in front or behind, which of course is teaching the dog the wrong position when you issue the command.
You may have to remind him using the same technique over the next few weeks, You should will those walks so much easier almost immediately.
If you find you are struggling with the techniques or you prefer visual step by step guidance, then I would definitely recommend you purchase my instructional DVD. Which breaks the whole process down into easily followed visual instructions and prompts.
It also covers jumping up, the sit stay which is the basis for the recall and the "OFF" command. Which changes the way dogs perceive you.
This makes for happier and better behaved pet. So many people buy the jingler and then have to pay for the jingler DVD afterwards costing extra postage, when they find out just how good the jingler is they want the visual instructions.
I perform at shows around the UK. Taking dogs out the audience I have never met before. I work with them in the ring and stop unwanted behaviour, like pulling on the lead, jumping up, aggression, barking and many other common problems. I know of no other trainer or behaviourist that can do this except my younger brother Paul, who is also a behaviourist and trainer. He follows my techniques.
I have one DVDs online at present about Pulling on the Lead. This is a snippet of my best selling DVD. I am currently filming a recall Video. watch this space for availability of my recall DVD. Should be a couple of weeks. Go to my Recall Article if you are having problems in that area.