Sitting in the coffee shop, sipping my organic home brew I enjoy the view from the outdoor patio down by the coast. My seat allows me a great vantage point for people and dog watching; a bonus activity after a business meeting. The sky is overcast which lends itself to more human/canine out enjoying the weather. As I sit savoring the view; a woman walks by with a HUGE mix breed. She is literally being dragged down the street behind her dog. Obviously her monster of a dog is on a mission. It is unclear if the guardian is aware of the mission or not but she is being dragged along for the ride.
I hate seeing guardians being dragged by their dog. Why? Because I know that the human part of the team is not enjoying their together time with their dog. With a little training they could both be enjoying the walk instead of just the dog.
Even tiny dogs can be a drag to walk if they are doing the dragging. Why do dogs drag their humans on a walk? They drag their guardians because no one ever taught them to walk differently. It is as simple as that. Leash training should start as soon as possible; as soon as you add that little bundle of fluff to your family, it should begin. If you’ve added an adult dog to your family then start with them immediately as well.
If your dog already has an ingrained dragging behavior; it will take longer to get rid of but you can do it. Starting today, don’t allow it. This means when your dog pulls, you cease to move. Very literally STOP and don’t move until they offer you some slack on their leash. No cheating, you cannot give the slack, it must be them. So you stand completely still and wait for them to move back, offering the slack needed to keep walking.
You can also implement the reward system for loose leash walking. When your dog walks without pulling, reward them. Using tiny little bits of treats, keep them coming. I like to use the “catch” behavior as well. It not only keeps your dogs attention on you, it is a great behavior to fall back on.
A dragging dog is no fun for anyone, no matter what size they are. You can start working on it today.