Now many of you would say “my dog definitely walks me!” But is that a good thing? In a word, NO! Why you ask? Many reasons…You’d like to keep your shoulder in its socket, you don’t like your hands being sore, and you definitely don’t want road rash! But seriously many times when a dog is walking out in front of you pulling, excited and especially if it has tendencies to be anxious, nervous or fearful, this can be a recipe for disaster. When a dog is in the lead it can think it is the leader! What does a leader of a pack do? They are on guard, watching for danger at every turn and in their mind they must protect the pack. Most dogs are happiest as a follower with you being the leader. This allows them to relax, enjoy the walk and just be a dog. No worries, no barking madly at strangers or strange dogs. No pulling, charging or drooling, just walking along getting their heart rate up, releasing the feel good chemicals into their bodies which by the way causes relaxation. Ahhhhhhh, can you feel it?There are many reasons why a dog pulls its owner while on leash but mainly it is because they have never been taught not to. Dogs are not born knowing how to walk on a leash they must be taught, preferably from a young age. Don’t worry if you’ve rescued an adult dog because it is never too late, it may take longer but patience, practice and consistency are your friend.Now for the big question, standard issue leash or retractable? If you ask me? Standard issue. Preferably 4 feet long, medium width. It gives you the most control and it is not too much to hold in one hand. So you can use the other hand for say, talking on the phone, holding your honey’s hand or for walking your other dog! Sweeet!
Bear with me while I rant about retractable leashes…These things are dangerous! I’ve seen people with burns on their legs, arms and hands from those things. I’ve seen people walking their dogs that couldn’t put the brakes on those things fast enough to keep their dog from charging & biting other people’s dogs. And they give all the control to the dog! The dog is going wherever it wants, zigging and zagging, in front, to the side and in back of you, making all the decisions and guess who he thinks is the leader? You guessed it, him! Your dog can be taught to walk quietly beside you on a loose leash.
So if you have problems walking your dog, Check your leash, check your leadership and teach him to walk calmly beside you. If your dog is out of control call a trained professional to help you. Don’t be embarrassed this is a common behavior and you can be coached on how to better communicate with your dog so that he responds to you. You’ll be happier and your dog will be happier too. But hey if you are trying to build your upper body strength keep on keepin on!