Sometimes, no matter how well-trained your pup may be in other areas, leash training in particular can feel insurmountable. After all, even the most respectful dogs can’t always resist the temptation to jump after a squirrel! (He started it, right?) Thankfully, there are several leash tools out there that can do wonders for even the most energetic puller.
First, there’s the no-pull harness. The benefits of these are that they fit almost any size of dog, from the tiniest Chihuahua to your favorite Great Dane. They’re easy to put on, easy to handle, and come with lots of fitting options for dogs with sensitive underarm areas. The drawback, however, is that since they control the torso instead of the head or neck, they might not be the best fit for extreme pullers. Also, since they clip to the leash from the front, these harnesses can cause issues for pups who are adamant chewers.
Another option to help with leash-training is the halti, or the ‘gentle leader.’ These are great for dogs with ‘wandering noses,’ or any other kind of difficulty engaging with their handler (that’s you!), because the tool gently controls the head of the animal. When used properly, these can almost completely clear up any and all pulling, because they eliminate the reward dogs naturally find when they pull towards something. The halti is easy to use, being naturally self-correcting, and fits a wide array of dog sizes. The main risk here is that the halti can be irritating to a face-sensitive animal, and as the handler it’s important to resist any urge to tug sharply (this can torque your dog’s cervical vertebrae).
Lastly, for a whole new level of effective leash training, check out a two-point attachment leash system. These raise your upfront cost as they need to be paired with other tools, like a harness, and they can be tricky to learn for handlers. For the pup, on the other hand, the acclimation time is almost zero! It’s extremely useful when maneuvering your dog through high-traffic areas, and can be irreplaceable for training a dog how to truly heel, because it helps develop front and hind end body awareness.
Still got questions? That’s understandable -- leash training can be tricky! Stop by the store to chat with us about it.