Dog not interested in that Direction
- It is actually a no brainier, if the dog owner is going forward and the dog is interested to go left because of hormonal issues, he/she will pull in that direction.
Owner/Walker Not Moving fast enough
- You may not be the Usain Bolt of dog walking, but your dog may not be as slow as you are and would rather you pick up the pace so he begins to pull forward.
Checking out his/her Environment
- Dogs are rather "nosy" creatures and they will sniff just about anything. If they see a bush that looks a bit curious, they just may pull to go check out the bush to what's going on.
They Want To Relieve Themselves
- Some dogs will want to pee or poop but because of training will not just stop and pee or poop in the middle of walking. If they see somewhere which looks like a good spot to pee or poop they may try to pull you to that area.
The dog may pull so hard that it starts choking or coughing, this is a sign of oxygen being reduced. This is a very bad thing to allow your dog to do while simply ignoring the risk. There is also a health risk where the animal is excessively strong and not handled by an individual with some sort of proportional strength. The dog can easily cause shoulder damage or even pull you to the floor. This can be alleviated by using a Prong collar though.
First thing I actually did when my dog started pulling was to see what his big deal was when pulling, that is how I came up with the bullet points above as to why the dog pulls on the leash. So now I know there are some things which came into effect to prevent this action.
1. Random Turn
If my dogs pulled ahead, I turned and walked away giving them a slight tug on the leash. When they followed I had a treat in my hand and placed it just above my knee and when they went for it I gave the command “heel” and gave them the treat.
When they were heeled, I would randomly turn directions and taught them to pay attention to my knee relative to their head. I turned in, I turned out. My leg would bump into them if I turned towards them. They would follow and get a treat.
In about two to three days of this random turning my dogs eventually got the hint to walk beside me, but not ahead of me, and absolutely no pulling.
Another method is stopping as the dog is about to pull. Just stop and then walk away. Repeat the process with praise and treats. Making them sit when you stop helps assert your position with your dog. Every time you stop, have your dog sit. Eventually they end up doing it automatically.
3. Verbal Commands
If you can train your dog to acknowledge a verbal command which triggers him to calm down and refocus, then you can also use this to stop the pulling on leash.
So now that you know why the dog pulls and what to do, go ahead. Take back control of walking your dog and do not let your dog walk you.