What Age do Dogs Stop Pulling on a Leash?
Many dog owners will tell you that the most frustrating behavior exhibited by their pet is pulling on the leash. They probably imagined themselves going for lovely walks with their dog twice a day but then found out that the reality was completely different.
The truth is that many dogs pull on their leash because they are just so excited to be out for a walk and because they have never been trained to walk any differently. While some dogs will naturally stop pulling as they grow older, others will continue to pull until the day they die. So, is there something you can do about leash pulling, other than just hope that your pet will be the one to stop pulling naturally?
Training a Puppy to Stop Pulling
As well as the excitement of being out for a walk, dogs are naturally going to want to explore when they are outside. This means that they will likely have their nose to the ground and will be happily pulling you along as they sniff around. While sniffing is normal and vital to a dog’s health and wellbeing, it is up to you to teach your pet that he can do this without dragging you along behind him.
The best time to train a dog to walk well on a leash is to do it when they are young. The experts at Voyager Harness say that some people like to attach a leash to their dog’s collar, while others will opt for a step-in harness for dogs instead. Whether you use a collar or a harness, the method of training your dog to walk beside you is the same.
The secret of getting a dog to walk beside you is to make it rewarding to do so. This means having plenty of treats when training him to do so. Some people will start training their puppy from a young age in their back yard. But it is possible to train an older dog too.
Once your dog understands the ‘sit’ command, you should have him sit nicely by your side before you begin walking. Take the leash across your body and hold it in the opposite hand to where your dog is positioned. Then take up the slack on the leash with your other hand. This will allow you to keep your dog by your side and prevent him from walking across you.
Start moving forward, but the minute your dog starts to pull, turn and walk in the opposite direction. As you do this, say your dog’s name followed by the ‘heel’ command. When your dog comes to your side, praise him and give him a treat. Continue doing this until your dog gets the message. You should praise him and reward him with a treat every time he walks nicely by your side.
Even if your dog is walking nicely beside you after a while, don’t be surprised if he forgets his training and starts to pull again on the next walk. Continue with training as it will take some time before he realizes that he is going nowhere fast by pulling. Stay consistent and remain patient and your dog will get the hang of walking.
You can also buy a special harness that has front clips, which will discourage pulling. These harnesses are a good idea for older dogs that were not trained to walk nicely when they were pups.
To conclude, there is no set age that a dog will stop pulling on his leash. If you are lucky, your dog will stop pulling naturally, but it makes more sense to put in the time and effort to train him to walk nicely.