You are training your dog to walk to heal all wrong!
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
It’s something you do every day… Taking your do for a walk.
But you’re walks are spent hanging on to the end of the lead for dear life. The lead is stretched to the limit. Your dog is using all their might to pull forward. Nose down, shoulders forward and stomping their feet into the ground.
Pulling dogs are a pain. No matter if they are a mighty miniature schnauzer or a brawny boxer.
What is supposed to be an enjoyable time for you and your dog to bond quickly turns into a nightmare.
You are fed up of walking your prolifit puller and it’s time to act.
However, is the action which you are about to take going to stop the pulling or make it worse?
Typically, the first point of call is to head to the pet shop. You ask what you should buy to stop the pulling and end up buying a harness and new lead to walk your dog on. Maybe even a halti. Although a harness may ease up the pulling, they don’t fix your problem. The harness for most dogs just allows them a larger area to lean their weight into as the pull. Spreading the pressure and making the pulling easier on your arms.
We see it many times that if you have a dog which pulls you should get a harness. But there are so many different types of harnesses out there which is right for your dog. Well the simple answer is that none of them are right to stop pulling on the lead. Although this is what many pet shops will recommend to you it isn’t always right. After all pet shops main job is to sell you stuff. They are not dog trainers and just give you the tools to deal with the problem or give you a quick fix.
You then decide to do some training with your dog instead. So, on your next walk with your dog you wait for them to start pulling. Once they do you stop. Yank them back with all you might until they are back at your side. As you do you firmly say “HEAL”. You might even give them a treat as you do so. Then carry on walking waiting for them to pull again. Which won’t take long. Then repeat the same thing over again. After you have spent 30 mins of a 20 min walk doing this your dog is still pulling.
This is also a common method which is recommended when you are looking to train your dog to walk nicely on the lead. However, is this teaching your dog to walk nicely? OR are you teaching them to pull?
Well firstly when you are saying “Heal” to your dog as you pull them back is teaching them that the word “Heal” means they get pulled back. Which is not what you are intending it to mean.
Secondly, once you have pulled your dog back to you heal and maybe even got them to sit you give them a treat, for being at your side right. But you only rewarded them for being pulled back and sitting. Not actually walking nicely. Which is what you want isn’t it. Your dog soon figures out that puling forward, stopping, moving back to you is a great game and the get lots of treats for it. Ops you basically taught them to pull.
Through out this whole process your dog has probably been walking nicely in-between you “training” them. And you have completely been ignoring it.
That is how simple it is to teach your dog to walk nicely. Just reward the times when they do walk nicely at you heal. Most dogs do this, but you have not realised it.
Once your dog notices you pay attention to it when they do walk nicely, and they get rewarded then they will do it a lot more for you.
So get to it and start rewarding your dogs or walking to heal.