If your dog is pulling on the leash to the point where they are choking themselves or controlling you, there are ways to make them stop!
First, don’t even think about using a pinch or choker collar. The only thing these collars will do for you is cause permanent damage to your pet’s throat. Most dogs will still pull on the leash with these collars on anyways.
A harness is usually the best way to keep control of your dog and not hurt them. There are several types of harnesses out there, but the best one for a strong dog is the sensible harness. The leash attaches to the front of the dog’s chest as opposed to some harnesses that have the leash attach to the back. The reason for this is because if the leash is attached to the front (chest) and the dog pulls, his whole body will turn to the side. This teaches the dog that pulling does not get him to where he wants to go since pulling turns his body away from the object he is trying to get to.
If you have a smaller dog or a dog that is not very strong, a harness that attaches the leash on the back of the dog is fine. This will protect the dog’s esophagus and help you keep better control of the dog.
If you don’t want to get a harness, you can teach your dog to walk along side you with just a collar on. Make sure you have lots of great treats in your pocket. Whenever your dog pulls on the leash, just stop walking and stand there. Once the dog gives the leash some slack, praise them and give them a treat. The first few times you do this it will take a long time just to go around the block, but don’t get frustrated! With some patience and consistency with stopping whenever they pull, your dogs will figure it out pretty quickly that pulling doesn’t get them to where they want to go and that if they walk along side you there are treats to be had!
Remember – it is always a good idea to figure out what kind of treat your dog really loves. These are considered high value treats and your dog will work hard to get one!