Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the video cited below.
Before welcoming your beloved bundle of fluff into your family, it’s likely you had visions of the two of you enjoying leisurely walks together in the great outdoors.
But for many pet parents, those dreams of stress-relieving strolls soon turn to nightmares when their dog spends the entire walk dragging them from A to B and back again.
Figuring out how to stop a dog pulling on a leash can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
Thankfully, Alex Sessa, founder and head trainer at Peach on a Leash, has come to the rescue with a super helpful Instagram video in which she reveals a simple tip that will put a stop to leash pulling once and for all.
Read on to find out what it is…
Sessa explains that dogs engage in leash pulling for two very simple reasons:
They’re naturally faster than us, and have double the legs
hey want to get where they’re going, and pulling works to get them to new sights, smells, and interactions
In order to put a stop to this behavior, Sessa explains that you have to teach your dog how to walk more slowly, because it’s not something that they’ll likely offer up on their own.
So, how do you do that? Well, according to Sessa, it all comes down to reward placement.
“The placement of your rewards matters,” says Sessa, who suggests you reward your dog behind your back and then each time they return to your side, praise them, and reward behind your back again.
“Making all good things happen behind you is one way to help reduce leash pulling. This exercise is useful if you have one or multiple dogs, and works by giving your dog a predictable place they can expect get rewarded – a place that’s not compatible with pulling,” Sessa explains.
When rewarding from behind, start in a low-distraction environment to make it easier for your dog to focus.
“Over time, your dog will recognize that all good things happen at your side and behind you – and that you’re much more interesting than what’s ahead.
“What you reward gets repeated, but so does WHERE you reward! So try using it to your advantage,” says Sessa.