Why Dogs Pull On The Lead
The picture 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 around me, I worked with 10 dogs that I had never met before during this 45-minute session. I am probably the only behaviourist and trainer to do this.
There is a short clip at the bottom of this page of me working with numerous dogs. Which is from my full HD Jingler video available in streaming download or DVD purchase.
This is the tool I use to stop pulling on the lead and many other unwanted behaviours. Simple and totally effective. (1) The Jingler
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 whilst 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 an 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? 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. The other lead that causes pulling is the retractable lead. You are actually telling the dog to pull every time you use these frankly dangerous leads
I also designed and developed a training aid called a The Jingler. Not just to stop pulling, but for many other problems as well. Which includes, jumping up, barking lunging, some aggressions and the sit and stay.
All my leads are made of cushion web which makes them incredibly comfortable. and very strong.
They are only available on this website and are designed and 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, 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 the 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.
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. 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. The 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. Dogs require knowing what is right and what is wrong and what is expected of them. see my articles (2) The Alpha Myth and (3) Killing With Kindness
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, as it tells the dogs when it has done something wrong at the exact time the dogs is doing it.
I have never used a check or choke chain, this is a barbaric method of lead control, and can cause long-term physical and mental 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 why I say that. Whatever people think or believe. they are really 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 like the Halti, 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 around 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 off and 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.
Instructions: 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.
The 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 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. Once again we can reward and reinforce bad behaviour.
You may have to remind him using the same technique over the next few weeks, You should find 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(4) 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 new and latest DVD 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. Go to my (5) RecallTraining Article if you are having problems in that area.
The clip below is in HD so you can use it in full screen.
(1) The Jingler.
(2) The Alpha Myth
Recent Letters and Emails From Users.
After purchasing your DVD, then lead, collar and jingler I now have a dog who walks beautifully on her lead. I only clipped the bells on and hey presto! Amazing is the only way I can describe it. She’s always been pretty good regarding food, but we started with the ‘Good,’ ‘take it.’ Still working on the jumping up without her lead on, but as soon as her lead is on she behaves. I just wished I had had this 6 months ago. Thank you so much from both myself and Darcey.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
Had to write and say how fantastic the Jingler and you training methods have worked with our dog. Literally within minutes of using the Jingler and the training methods described in your video our dog, which is a 5yr Labrador cross, rescue dog, was responding to walking to "heel", whereas she would normally be pulling hard when out walking.
Within 2 days of using the Jingler she will now walk happily at "heel" even when off lead with the distractions of a country walk. A brilliant method of training which does not hurt the dog in anyway.
Regards Royston Jones
Sent from my iPad
Thank you for such a quick reply to my first email.
I have been trying to train Douglas to heel, every day for two years now. I have managed to get him to walk just in front of me only pulling some of the time. Smiley lead as the kennel club calls it. But I wanted him to walk right by my side. As a lot of the time, I'm pushing my mum in her wheelchair. So I need Douglas by my side and away from the wheels for his safety.
I started using the jingle bells yesterday. Today I took my dog and mum for a lovely walk. With Douglas walking beautifully by my leg the whole time. He even walked past other dogs without pulling. I'm shocked and amazed. I have tried so many trainers and training aids and training ways in the last 2 years. That I was starting to feel pretty useless. I wish there were trainers like you in this area. I'm now waiting and looking forward to your recall DVD coming out. As we do have a problem with Douglas chasing rabbits squirrels pheasants any little critters really. And I haven't been able to find anyone able to help us with his chasing
Thank you so much Stan.
Maxine and Douglas