Dogs are happy and excited to go for a walk. When walking on a leash they pull-it gets them “wherever” faster: mission accomplished. We’ve all heard dogs wheezing while pulling on his leash without the dog realizing it. This continual strain on their neck is not good for them and reinforces bad behavior. You want your dog to obey you. Neck collars used with dogs pulling risk harm to the musculoskeletal and trachea, spine, and thyroid. Repetitive pulling on a leash causes trauma to a dog’s thyroid gland which can lead to inflammation and potential destruction of the gland, which in turn can lead to the decrease of thyroid gland hormone in your pet. (Prong, choke, and shock collars should be avoided.)
If using a collar, you can try this method:
When your dog starts pulling you pivot and walk in the opposite direction, do it quickly, repeating every time he pulls. It trains your dog to avoid the collar tugging sensation and throws off his desire to be in the lead. Avoid any string leashes that allow your pet to get further then 4 to 6 feet. Owners have been cut or lost fingers from this type of leash. Head harnesses also called “Gentle leaders ” are a great type of device to prevent your pet from pulling. They are also beneficial to prevent jumping. Make sure you get the correct size, and it takes a little time to get your pet used to them.
A harness is safer as the force exerted when wearing a harness is distributed over a larger area, eliminating neck pressure without restricting movement. There are several harness configurations: back-clip, front clip, dual-clip, over-the-head. Small breeds have delicate throats so the back-clip harness is particularly useful as an improperly placed front-clip can be harmful. A bit of online searching for your specific breed and size will steer you in the right direction. Use a 4-6 foot leash. Your dog should be walking close to your body, not racing ahead. Once you find an optimal length for your dog, knot the leash at that point to keep things consistent. Now you can train your dog to walk knowing you won’t cause injury. Treats are great motivators for all training.