1. Use the correct equipment.
There are so many different potential tools to help your dog. No one is going to know what will best serve your dog better than you. Trust your instinct! Our Brittany Spaniel hates anything that is uncomfortable, so much so that he freezes up and won’t walk. As such the Gentle leader, though a wonderful tool for many other dogs did not work for us. You have a better idea than anyone as to what will work for your dog, so use that intuition and go with it. If you don’t know where to start then here are some great things to consider:
- Easy walk
- Gentle leader
- Martin Gale
- Pronged collar (not my favorite)
- Step in harness
- Regular collar and short leash
2. Use a short leash.
This is commonly said and most of the time works— the more control you have over your do the safer you are and the more you are indicating to your furry friend that YOU are the one in charge.
3. Bring treats!
If your dog is particularly food driven, then this is your best bet. Bring the tastiest BEST treat that you usually give him and that will sustain his attention. ONLY reserve this treat for walks (and be disciplined about this) and make sure that every few steps if he pulls you make him/her stop and sit. Once you start walking when you feel he/she is in front of you but without a taut leash, make sure your praise them with a good girl or good boy and giving them a tasty treat. Continue walking a few steps if the pull.. it’s time to sit. This will take patience so the sooner you start (hopefully as a puppy) the easier this will be. Eventually, they will associate walking next to you calmly as an opportunity to get a treat.