Collar Fitting and Leash Pulling
The first step in training your dog to walk properly on a leash is to properly fit him with a collar.
Flat Collars :
- A flat collar is a basic collar secured with a buckle, quick release buckle or clip
- Flat collars are made of a variety of materials and have a metal ring for attaching identification tags and leash
- To fit a flat collar, measure your dogs’ neck and use this measurement against the size range shown on your preferred collar
Martingale Collars :
- A martingale collar is a collar that does not have a buckle but inside slides over your dogs head.
- Because of the design of martingales, these collars typically makes leash training much easier
- Martingale collars are useful because they prevent your dog from slipping out of their collars if you apply an appropriate amount of pressure while walking your dog
- Martingale collars can be used as an everyday flat collar for your pet’s ID tags.
- Martingales should be used with caution in a home with multiple, active dogs. The design allows for a little extra loop that could be tugged on by another dog during play.
- To fit a martingale collar, begin by measuring your dog’s neck behind his ears and select the appropriately sized martingale collar. Adjust the collar so that when pulled, the metal rings are approximately 1 inch (or two fingers) apart. If you cannot fit two fingers comfortably between your dog’s neck and the collar, the collar is too tight and you may need to switch to a larger size or loosen the collar. Make sure that you check the fit of the collar before each walk to ensure that your dog will be safe and comfortable.
Here are some tips to prevent leash pulling :
- Try playing with your dog in your yard before you leash him up for a walk. This way, he can exert his excess energy and will be prepared for a much more relaxed walk.
- Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog to walk on a loose lead. Start by practicing in your yard. Reward and praise your dog when he walks nicely on the leash. As soon as your dog creates tension on the leash, stop and wait until he stops pulling. Once your dog stops pulling and the tension is released, reward him and continue walking.
- If your dog continues to pull on the leash even once you have stopped walking, turn and walk in the opposite direction. This forces your dog to follow and refocus on you. A good exercise is to frequently change directions while walking so that your dog learns to focus on and take direction from you, rather than walking at his own pace.
- If these techniques and the martingale collar are not successful with your dog, you may consider using a head collar such as a Halti. Each manufacturer will provide different fitting instructions for each collar. Some dogs are not comfortable with head collars, so it is important to fit them properly and to be aware that your dog simply may not like head collars.
- A no pull harness works really well and is guaranteed to be more tolerable to most dogs than a halti. This particular harness tightens underneath the arms when the dog pulls, which is uncomfortable for the dog but not painful.
Be patient and reasonable in your expectations of your dog. With some time and hard work, you will have a polite and well-mannered dog.
For more useful information, please download our free Dog manual.