I often love to demonstrate leash walking. Dogs seem to understand several languages and will follow me irre spective of what language I use -English, Kannada, French, Norwegian…it does not matter; human language is just noise to the dog. I rely on non-verbal communication -my shoulders pointed towards the direction I want to go and it’s the dog’s nature to join you and head in the same direction.
How often have we seen people standing adamantly, pulling back on a leash, facing a dog and yelling “Tommy come on! Let’s go.“ All Tommy is understanding is: “Tommy blah blah! Blah blah.“ Tommy takes one look at your shoulders and assumes mommy wants to go this way, so do I. If you want Tommy to realise that you want to go in the opposite direction, then you need to turn away.
If you stand still and don’t pull, but be adamant, you will notice something: your dog will sit down. This again is the universal language of the dog. You too can speak the same language by kneeling, facing away from the dog, in the direction you want to go to. And eventually the dog will turn to your preferred direction.
At the start, there could be a lot of changing of directions! Persist and soon your dog will be walking like a pro, as long as you are willing to respect the wishes of the dog to go sniff where he wants to. What matters is that your dog gets his fair share of things to explore -as long as he does not pull.
Now we come to equipment. Choke collars and regular collars go around the neck of the dog. Even the best trained dogs can sometimes pull or you might have to pull him back from one of the inconsiderate city drivers. When the pull happens the soft lower part of the neck takes all the pressure. This has some very drastic effect. In order to make walks a stress free pleasant walk remember the following » » Comfortable equipment like a good quality harness Give and take you let the dog where he wants to go when he is not pulling » No walk when he is pulling. Just change direction. Don’t pull him as far as possible.