Dogs and Pulling on the Lead


This is a very common problem! I am always keen to address this simple area of behaviour as it seems to neatly summarise the relationship between dog and handler. Lead pulling is uncomfortable for you the owner, possibly leading to shoulder, neck and back problems. A pulling dog can also develop physical discomfort and neck damage in the long run, so it's an area that affects all parties.

An aggressive dog that is pulling ahead on the lead is an accident waiting to happen. Your dog will have a strong association with the lead going on, going through the doorways and exiting the home, as these are all early signals of the walk itself.

Once outside, your dog will be exposed to a mass of sensory input, so you can imagine the effect this will have on your dog. It's your job to guide the dog's uncontrolled excitement into more manageable and calm behaviour. The trick to achieving this is to break things down into bite-size pieces.

Dogs on leads
Firstly, your dog will need to be calm and exercising a good degree of self-control before you place the lead on him.

Once the lead is on, you will need to approach each door in a calm and controlled manner if there is to be any hope for a half relaxed walk on the street. Bigger dogs represent a greater challenge of course, but with time and patience the biggest of dogs can be calmed enough to enjoy walking alongside you.

Check or choke chains should not be used with strong pullers as the device will simply become tighter causing damage in the process. I will help introduce ethical and safe measures to overcome your dog's pulling issues.

Need help for this?

  • Nick Jones, Alpha Dog Behaviour, Dog Expert witness

  • Nick Jones, Dog expert witness